This Is Us


I look at my life always from the end.

I go to the future every day and look back on today.

It calms me down.

It gives me distance.

It allows me to see all the goodness that I have created after loss.

When I don’t do that, I have life envy.

Other people’s lives. Many lives. I envy them all.

You know other lives that were not interrupted by catastrophes?  

The other’s who had more years with the people they loved?

More money. More opportunities. More brain. More charisma. More luck.

Why didn’t my life look like theirs, where I get to grow older with someone.

Where my kids get to keep their dad.

Where I don’t have to be the evil stepmother to other people’s kids.

I know, right?

This life envy view is a little dramatic.

I allow myself to go there.

To that envy place. It’s ok.

It is healthy to let loose sometimes.

Life after loss is not perfect. (Click to Tweet!)

I ask people in my classes to do grief cleanses.

So the above is just a bit of a grief cleanse.

A very healthy thing to do by the way at any time after loss.

First year. Or tenth year.

No matter how many years go by I don’t think I will ever not wonder about the other life I was supposed to have. You know the life where he didn’t die.

I will always look at my friends, my neighbors and notice how they got to keep their family for most of their life.

I watch the show, you have probably heard of it, This is Us.

Jack on the show dies young.

Living behind three small kids.

Tragic. Just like our lives.

True. Just like our lives.

We see the life of his kids and it’s not perfect but they make it.

They miss him but they forge ahead.

And they can be dramatic like me and you.

They get angry about how things turned out.

They say and do the wrong things.

Perfectionism is not healthy after loss.

If you are attempting to be perfect please know that it will hurt you more than grief did.

It will destroy the parts of you that made it through.

We can’t have that.

So do a grief cleanse, write it like it is to a friend.

Be dramatic for an hour or two.

Watch the show This is Us.

You are not a bad person. Neither am I.

We are just trying to make it through.

And if we come across a little off it is because we are.

THIS IS US.

With many faults,

Christina

PS. If you haven’t subscribed to my Star Letter blog yet here it is. 

 

Image Courtesy of NBC

Comments

  1. Christina, I catch myself doing this from time to time. Yesterday was the 3rd deathaversary of my young wife and I spent the first part of the with a bad case of life envy. It started in the morning as I received messages from many of her friends telling me how special she was and that they miss her. My goal from day one has been to make sure my children’s lives are as normal as possible. The second part of the day was spent looking back at how far we have came. My oldest is in his second semester at IU with a 4.0, my daughter is a senior in high school and working with autistic children, and my youngest is just a normal 5th grader. I have a new job that allows a lot of flexibility and is what I have always wanted to do and I met a great lady. Looking back I realized that we have a perfect record (100%) for getting through the bad days. Love your work

  2. I not only have a lot of grief to deal with but also a severe anxiety/panic disorder. I found that I was trying so hard to not feel any bad emotions as it might make my anxiety worse. I did feel them of course, but tried to get over them as quickly as I could. I finally realized that I was just plain tired of trying to be positive all the time and now let myself feel “bad” emotions. Your article helps me to know I am doing the right thing…thank you.

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Christina Rasmussen

Welcome to the Message in a Bottle page, here you will find wisdom, truth and tools for you to start over. Make sure you sign up at the top to be sure to receive it in your inbox every Friday.