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The Loss of a Job

Once upon a time, I was the administrator of an Alzheimer’s unit.  I was the administrator for about a year.  I loved my residents, their families, my staff.  I didn’t love my beeper when it went off at 2am, but I loved that job.

What I didn’t love was the corporation associated with my home.  Every week I was chastised for going over the food budget.  I was expected to buy food for 3 HEALTHY meals and 2 snacks a day.  And the suggested dollar amount for groceries was horrendously low.  I didn’t care about being the top house.  I cared about taking care of my residents and keeping them happy and healthy.  So each week, when I sent in my expense report, I took the lashing.

The final straw though, was when they sent in an assistant for me.  I welcomed an assistant, but when I fired her for hitting the flask on her break, and they brought her back, that was the last straw.

I called corporate and gave my resignation.  My staff wanted to follow me out the door, but they were instructed to not leave the home unmanned.  The residents were the top priority.  A new administrator was in place within hours.  And yes, it was the assistant.  I couldn’t fight corporate, and I’m sure they could get a more manageable grocery bill out of her.

The following weeks, I stood on my principle.  I knew that the alzheimer’s unit was not the right fit for me.  You can’t fix a system that’s broken all the way to the top, nor can you make greed turn into care.  But as the weeks went by and I was still jobless, I became sad.  I became mad, I wanted to kick corporate’s ass.

I had a gorgeous white Mercury Marquis with a sunroof.  I gave it back, couldn’t make the payments.  Oh how I miss that car.

Would I have done things differently?  Perhaps I should’ve fought a little harder.  I left out a lot of the details about the assistant and corporate, because in the end the choice was mine.  But how I’ve grieved that job.   I lost my livelihood for awhile.  Lost my footing for awhile.

That job and the grief associated with me leaving changed me forever.  I’ve lost other jobs, due to my own stupidity.  Each one has shaped me.  In the heart of each one was grief.  Grief that I had to work through to move on.  Grief that stays with me to this day, paralyzing me to stick it out in a job that doesn’t serve me well, but I’m working on that.

How have you dealt with grief over the loss of a job?

We know, as parents, that the day will come that our children will move away.  But I can tell you from personal experience that no matter how good the circumstances, it is a pain like no other.

After my ex father in law’s accident, my oldest son chose to relocate to his grandparents house.  At first, to help them, then to work, as employment is so often who you know, and they had excellent connections in their town.  It was a great move for him.  He has a stable job, is making some money, getting job experience.  But the day it became clear to me that he was really gone, my world crumbled.

I knew in my heart that it was a good move for him, but my heart hurt so much.  No more coming home to him, no more daily talks.  I cried.  I cried a LOT.  I had long talks with my son’s dad, I tried to find my personal peace with his absence.

As with most things, time healed this pain.  We have established a new groove.  We will be together for the holidays.  We keep in constant contact via text and phone.  And we are actually closer than before.

Do I miss him?  Is there a hole in my home?  Absolutely.  Did I take some time to feel ok with it?  Absolutely.  It was helped with the deep down knowledge that what he did was right, and expected.  Yet, I grieved.  I allowed myself to feel the pain.  That made all the difference.

The Loss of A Pet

In May, our beloved pet passed away.  His name was Gabriel and he was our pet ferret.

We got Gabriel when he was just a couple months old, 6 years prior.  When Gabriel was a baby, he fit in my love’s t-shirt pockets.  We took him to the park (only once or twice… he couldn’t stand the leash!), and we’d let him run amok in the house in the evenings.  Gabriel was amazingly mischievous, and one time I watched him drag a 5 pound hand weight 10 feet across the floor into the closet.

He was the sweetest addition to our family.  He was thoroughly loved and enjoyed by all.  Each evening when we would put Gabriel back in his cage, he would pace until we gave him his vitamin paste… he loved that stuff!

His last evening, he woke me up with crying.  Ferrets do have some sounds.  I had heard him scream out in his sleep, had heard his happy squeak, but this crying was difficult.  We held him and tried to soothe him much of the night.  We now know that he had suffered a stroke earlier in the day, and had partially recovered, but was now constipated.

I did what I usually do, and consulted the internet.  I made a concoction to help him, I kept him warm, I talked softly to our little angel.  He was walking around, but staggering a bit.  Parts of his personality were still there.  I made an emergency vet appointment, and showered.  After the shower, I looked at him… he had taken a very quick turn for the worst and was convulsing.  I wrapped him, put him in a basket and my son and I got in the car.  We had to drive about 2 miles.

Gabriel took his final breath as I put the car in park.  My son and I cried in the car.  I thought about driving away, but instead went in to cancel the appointment.  I couldn’t do it without sobbing, of course, and they had the vet come to the car and check him out.

*********************

I still get tears in my eyes thinking of his last day.  And you know what?  I rarely think of it anymore.  What I think about is the 6 years we had with him, his spirit, and all the laughter he brought into our world.

The sting of death is so difficult.  And it takes time.  Sometimes a lot of time.  But once we are able to move past the anger, the pain, the shock, we can move towards the celebration of the life.

Sadly, as of late, there have been some people in my life who have had to endure the grieving process of losing a loved one. It’s something we all have to go through at one time or another but it’s certainly not something we look forward to and something we can all certainly use a bit of support with, sometimes, more than a bit. (((HUGS)))

We need to remember that grief is a very normal process that we must go through after the loss of a loved one. Grief enables us to process and work through the loss. If we don’t permit ourselves to mourn and grieve properly it may end up biting us in the but…manifesting itself in other ways…coming up unpleasantly later.

As for crystals & stones to help us work through the process; apache tear, champagne tourmaline and smokey quartz are 3 wonderful stones to work with. They can help make the grieving process more bearable, easing the grief of bereavement as we go through it. I recently made up a mojo bag for a friend who lost someone very very special (but who of isn’t “very very special”?). The mojo bag contained apache tears, smokey quartz, marjoram herb along with essential oils of marjoram and chamomile. I tucked this all into a small organza lavender bag.

The apache tears and smokey quartz work together to alleviate the pain of grief while the heavy yet healing emotional work is done. You may want to read the very sad legend of the Apache Tears here.

Marjoram is an age-old remedy for grief and chamomile brings calm and comfort. If using this remedy for yourself, you may want to also do some meditations with these stones and sleep with a similar mojo bag or simply carry it with you to hold in your hand when the waves of heartache feel overwhelming.

There is no way to avoid the pain of loss, like I said; it is a natural part of the grieving process. But crystals can truly help us through, emotionally supporting us and allowing us to process and work through the grief.

Hibiscus Moon is an author, workshop creatrix, teacher, mystical goddess & crystal junkie who LOVES teaching about crystals with the Hibiscus Moon Crystal Academy. As a self-admitted complete & total science geek, she brings a dose (maybe a smidge more than a dose) of science to the topic of crystal healing, while trying to make sure we’re all still having lots & lots of fun! She lives with her hubby, Frank & kitty, Topaz in bustling beach town, Pompano Beach, FL.

Crystal Blessings!

(Stephanie)

http://www.hibiscusmooncrystals.com
Follow me on Twitter: hibiscusmoon1
Join me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/crystalacademy

The loss of Self

I have been thinking a lot lately about the loss of Self.  I certainly felt like I lost ME when my children were born.  All of a sudden, I was Mom.  I wasn’t Robyn.  That Robyn (pre-children) will never be me again.  And it’s a good thing.  But sad, nonetheless.  As parents, we have to lose that identity and cling to a whole new one.

But this loss of Self… it can occur at other times as well.  Like, when you are being sexually harrassed in the workplace, when you are being bullied, verbally abused, etc.  That Self gets lost in there… it goes in to the darkest places.  And we grieve.  Hopefully we put on our boxing gloves and come out swinging, and can celebrate Self again, but unless you recognize it as grief, then we are lost.

My biggest story about loss of Self though was a period of time when I lived with my in-laws.  I’d like to first say that my boys’ grandparents are amazing.  However, there was a time when my mother in law would step between me disciplining my child, she would take over, and I realllllly badly wanted to be the model daughter in law.  So there went Self, slinking into the darkness.  Until one day.  One day, there I was, grieving my loss of Self and I told my husband she was driving me crazy.  We lived on their property, but not in their house.  We had a microwave, sink, washer, dryer, tv, etc.  No stove.  So all meals were eaten in the house, as a family.  He told me to just stop being around her then.  It was the permission that my Self needed.  I went to the store, stocked up on microwave meals, and stopped going into the house.  Easy enough, right?  Not really.  I was taking my Self back, but I was also not confronting any of the behavior.  I went into hiding.  Til one day I had a loud knock on the door.  She wanted to know why I was avoiding her.  I blurted out “I don’t like who I am when I’m around you”.  And to this day, I don’t know why I chose those words.  I felt like they were a little less harmful than “you need to let ME parent my children” .  They were a cop out.  But it was the beginning of me setting barriers.  Of me reclaiming Self.

I talk to women every day who feel like they are pulled too thin, like they are being taken advantage of, and often by trusted friends and family.  They have lost Self, and we are taught to be good little girls and just be quiet.  So we grieve that loss.  We get depressed, we over-eat, we drink a bit too much wine, we may even sleep around.

But right now.  We need to address the pain.  We need to grieve the loss.  We need to step back and see what is actually happening, from a different perspective.  And we need to realize that Self is worth fighting for.

I stood my ground with my mother in law, I sat down and we had a good talk (some time later).  I set my personal boundaries, and they have always been respected since then.  Communication is sometimes all we need.

But as the holidays approach, and we feel spread too thin, pulled apart by family obligations, the need to be all for everybody, let’s take a moment to breathe… let’s check in with Self and make sure it is ok.  If not, let’s do some adjusting, yeah?

 

2010 was an amazingly challenging year for my family.  Dad’s death in February seemed to be a catalyst for so much.  His death pulled some of us together, it ripped some of us apart.  We figured out how to cope (or not, in some cases), and we moved forward with our lives.  28 days later, though, I received the 2nd of the phone calls I would receive in 2010.  THE phone call, you know?  28 days after Dad passed, his wife of 28 years died suddenly.  Dad and Toni had been married for 28 years, and the doctors say she died from a broken heart.

I received the call at about 10pm.  I knew before I fell back asleep that I simply couldn’t do it.  I could not make the 15 hour drive so soon after all the time I had already taken off work.  Physically, I didn’t see how it would be possible.  Emotionally, I had no doubts that it was absolutely impossible.

After Dad died, I would call Toni frequently.  She was my link to Dad.  She told me things that I wouldn’t have otherwise known.  I held on to every bit of information like I was starving for it.  And now she was gone.  I grieved for Toni.  I grieved for Dad.  I couldn’t make the trip, I just couldn’t.

That was in March.  At the end of September, I got the third call.  My brother’s wife, Misty, had died.  My heart couldn’t comprehend the pain that my brother must have felt.  He was left with 3 children, and the love of his life was gone.  I reeled, just as every member of the family did.

We buried 3 of our people in 2010.  Each one completely reopened the wounds again.  The grief rolled in, over and over.

We held one another, we made numerous calls across the states, we kept a constant vigil, trying to grasp the pain each person felt, trying to hold on tight so as to not “lose” another.

It says a lot, I believe, that we survived that.  We still call one another for those “welfare checks”… wanting nothing more than to hear their voice and FEEL that they are ok.  The reality is that 2010 changed us all forever.  We have wounds that have morphed into deep scars.  Those will always be there.  As I type that, it occurs to me that scar tissue is stronger than the surrounding flesh.

I’ve blogged repeatedly about my Dad’s death.  He passed away February 13, 2010.  My entire grief process was shared very publicly on this blog.  Today I would like to share with you some of the stumbling blocks I had while dealing with Dad’s death. 

I had to return to work about a week after Dad died.  I had to try to put on a happy face.  I felt like I needed to be strong.  I began telling myself that all I had to do was “fake it til you make it”.  If I could just keep acting like everything was ok in my world, then it would be… right??

I shoved things away, internally.  I convinced myself that others were tired of hearing about my pain.  I put up walls, I attempted to ignore the emotions bubbling away inside me.  I cried sometimes, but almost always when I was alone.   I didn’t ask for any help.  Instead, I tried to be strong for others. 

All of these things… I learned from them, yes.  But each one of them acted like huge speed bumps in my grief.  Ignoring the pain, well, that’s just never going to work. 

During that time, Patti Digh posted on Facebook that she did not like the phrase “fake it til you make it”.  I jumped right in there to tell her just how wrong she was.  That sometimes, especially after the death of a loved one, it’s exactly the right thing to do.  If you are grieving, have to hold down a job, take care of your family, etc, that faking it til you make it is exactly what is needed.  Months later, I wrote Patti an email telling her how wrong I was.  I’m stubborn like that.

I dove into my online business.  I became a certified life coach.  I created an Artist Empowerment Class.  I showed my photography at local venues.  I was unstoppable.  And then guess what happened.  I stopped.  I lost my footing.  I  became ill.  I sat at my computer for hours at a time, and the screen would remain blank.  I melted down.  There were many times that I thougt of throwing in the towel.  What good is an online business with no new ideas.  I had lost my mojo. 

Not until I had a dream about my Dad, where he spoke to me, did I move forward again.  It’s been almost 2 years since Dad’s death.  Throughout those two years, I have not once stopped learning.  More than any other singular experience in my life, his death taught me what my path is.  I am meant to take all of those lessons and help others.  My light in this world is to ease others through this amazingly difficult journey of grief. 

Are you grieving?  Have you gotten stuck?  I can help you… contact me anytime.

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