And I’m not talking about picking up a sign and chanting in a crowd for a cause (though I do believe there’s a place for that, absolutely).
I’m talking about standing up for yourself in your relationships.
Setting boundaries and holding them in a loving, respectful manner. Saying no. Being honest, even if it means someone you love is going to be upset with you.
We act like saying no makes you mean, selfish, evil. And saying yes means you love someone dearly and you’re willing to go the extra mile.
But saying yes is sometimes the very worst thing you could do. Sometimes, a ‘no’, is what everyone involved needs.
Anywho. Wherever you are. Please know that your health matters. How you feel, your needs, your dreams… these things ALL MATTER. Don’t ignore yourself, please. It can be all too easy to ignore what you know you need in times like this.
A collection of thoughts, realizations, and truths for me as I navigate the loss of my Papa from this life.
The first three I published on various social media sites, but after that they’re a first time thought.
He died Thursday 18th at 3:22 am.
Okay, so…. I’m not good at this. And I’m still stuck in …… I think shock and it hasn’t sunk in.
But Chuck Schultz, my Papa, went home to God Thursday morning at 3:20.
I miss him. I love him. I know he’s happy and safe and feels peace and joy and all the love that there is.
So, yeah. I will just leave this here.
With my awkward and inadequate words to mark with speech the love I have for him, the sorrow over losing him for a time, or the surety that I’ll see him again.
I am ever grateful for the memories.
I love you Papa.
I don’t remember my Papa’s laugh. I realized this in a painful panic. In a flurry of grasping memories and desperately trying to hear, just hear the last laugh he laughed in my presence. Instead, I only have tears to offer the silence.
I’ve never lost anyone before. Not to death. It’s a strange land to live in.
The entire world has changed. Yet it remains the same.
I am confronted with a void where there once was life, tiny memories dropping into the hollow that now presides, trying desperately to breathe life back into the part of my soul where he lived, died, and now is reborn in hope and knowledge that we’ll meet again and begin another journey of colliding souls.
I bought him this apron. I’ve only bought two aprons in my life. One for my Papa and one for my best friend.
We loved Snoopy together. And food. Cooking. Recipes. Papa was a chef. A master of cooking. He seemed to be a master of everything.
I wonder if I will see it again. After his funeral. When I must walk into his room and sit with his things and pick through them like a vulture. Oh, what do I want? How horrid. But how beautiful and loving and revitalizing. To bring a piece of him home with me. A physical piece of my Papa to keep with me forever. What will I bring home of him?
I miss clicking into my blog posts and seeing that my Papa has commented on them. Because he cares. Because he sees me. Because he’s a sassy character.
And now I feel the void where they were. The incoming comments on my life in his words, from his mind, his heart.
I get excited, wonder what he’ll think.
But there won’t be any comments from Papa.
When I was a wee munchkin Papa and I rooted for the Raiders. I knew absolutely nothing about football or why we liked them, but oh man did we love them!
It was our thing.
I wore a Raider’s hat. I now love the color scheme. I still know nothing about football. But I root for the Raiders.
I brought home his Raider’s belt buckle. His Raiders ring. What odd things to keep. They’re little bits of him. Right here. Where I can hold them in my hands while I tear up and learn how to let myself cry.
Papa taught me that. Cry. By dying he made me all aware of how if I didn’t shed tears, pretending, faked it, I was disrespecting our bond. Truth. Love. Those tears mean something. And I’m no longer ashamed to cry anymore for any reason in front of anyone. What a gift he’s given me. Even not being here, he’s teaching me about life.
I kept three of his ties. They still smell like him. I never want to wash them. I never want the smell to leave. I wonder if I put them in Ziploc bags if his Papa scent will keep.
I remember his laugh. It’s faint now, but growing. A shadow memory, cruelly fading in and out. But I won’t let it go.
It will come back, fully. If not I’ll hunt for it.
He laughed a lot.
People say, “I’m sorry for your loss”.
I used to say that to people.
I don’t think I will any longer. I’m not upset by it or anything like that. But its a wee bit meaningless at this point when I use it on others. Becuase now I know. Now I’ve felt it. Experienced it. Losing someone I love. Sometimes we don’t need to have anything to say. Just sit with someone, acknowledge the pain, understand that there are no words to fix it or make it better.
It’s a jumble of emotions, thoughts, and new understandings.
I am trying to step back and witness how I am moving through this.
“Love cannot exist without the dimension of justice.”
Forgiveness is an interesting topic to me.
Much of my life, forgiveness has been a patsy for negative, addicted, controlling, and manipulative people.
It made everything a person could ever do, okay.
And now, I read articles, hear people talk about, and see media portray, forgiveness in the same way.
And it pisses me off.
Forgiveness, according to a majority of the media, is thusly:
Forgive everyone for harming you in any way, then love them enough to allow them back into your life. Forgive and forget, wiping your brain of the memory of what they did. Remain naïve, trust them. Allow them to harm you again. Forgive them – rinse and repeat.
No. That is not what forgiveness is. And not only does this change the healing of “forgiveness” into something insidious and disgusting, but it also drags love in there.
Along this line of reasoning, love is defined thusly:
If you love someone, it doesn’t matter what they do or say, cause, or believe. You love them. That means anything goes and if you ever feel an emotion of misgiving, shove it.
People are turning “love” and “forgiveness” into a form of Victim Shaming.
Once again making everything negative, abusive, or harmful in any way – the victim’s fault. And they should just take it and be quiet.
Or they’re a bad person. Or a bad Christian. Or a bad mother, bad lover, bad father, bad human being.
Of course this is all done with extreme subtly and manipulation, leaving the person clueless to how badly those around them are stripping the term forgiveness of any real substance. But once you take a good look, it’s all saying the same thing.
“I should be able to do whatever I want, however often I want, and you should keep letting me do it, while smiling and loving me.”
Forgiveness is not a patsy for the abusive.
Forgiveness is letting go. Taking all the gunk of anger, resentment, and bitterness and getting rid of it. Not allowing it to hold you down any longer. Forgiving someone for something they’ve done wrong to you in the past.
Forgiving someone does not mean that what they did is okay. It is not okay. But let it go. Learn the lesson, let go of the anger, and move forward.
Forgive but do not forget.
Forgive but protect yourself. Make your boundaries.
Let the past go, but remember that it is your responsibility to make good decisions and see to it that you don’t allow others to hurt you in the future.
You are not alive to be used.
You are worthy of love, respect, and happiness.
“Love cannot exist without the dimension of justice.”