Tag Archives | death

8 WAYS TO THRIVE FROM LOSS, PAIN, HEARTBREAK.

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A good friend of mine emailed me months ago about her divorce and all the challenges she’d be going through and raising her young toddler on her own. It hurts me to hear good people going through messes. But it can be blessings. That we need to see the unseen in our paths, to see how strong we are. How possible the impossible is. To believe in you.

Anyhoots, I wanted to share what I sent to her. That to rise from pain, struggle, grief, or boredom you must invest in yourself.

Here’s 8 fab and easy ways to invest in you:

 

01.  Take good care of yourself — honor and cherish you. 

I felt so ugly, unloved, clueless, overwhelmed to who I was, what I was supposed to be doing after Tim died. And I’m sure you might feel that way too. But one thing a wise person told me, is no matter who you’ve lost in your life, you’ll never LOSE YOU. That you need to realize all the things you can and will accomplish. Do not victimize yourself. Take a deep breath, and say “I CAN do this”, and not “why me.” Because why, why, why, becomes whining.

Your work, your kids, your finances, cooking, errands, etc it’s all overwhelming and everything is screaming for your attention. Your partner (or the lack of any partner at all) isn’t there cherishing you, cheerleading you on, making you feel special, to get you through those stressful moments. But you have YOU. And as ladies (and men too), we try to do everything to everyone, but its like that analogy of the airplane oxygen masks — you need to put your mask on FIRST before you put your child’s on. That as you take care and honor yourself, you will have more energy, love, and focus on other things and for others.

That to nurture your interior and your exterior. Focus on ways to get your body moving and active. Eating well. To look good. And feel good. And when you radiate awesomeness, awesomeness comes right back at you. You are a mirror to others. Mmm-hmm.

 

02.  Map out and visualize what you want.

Happiness, peace, joy, love, etc is part of your birthright. You are absolutely deserving of everything you want and everything that you haven’t given yourself enough credit for. You need to manifest, to visualize, and map out what  you want. IF you have faith. That’s the kicker. You have to believe that it will get better. Mm-hmmm… I have just felt this love and clarity recently because of truly feeling that things will get better. I created a vision board the beginning of this year  (see this fancy vision board I created and how easy it is to make here).

I have my vision board on my dresser, and I see it everyday. It’s a reminder of my goals and dreams. I still want to be a mom, have an awesome husband, be successful, but taking small steps to achieve our big dreams and goals makes it more attainable.

 

03.  Join a babysitting co-op or find a great reasonably, priced sitter.

I’m not sure if this is big in your area, but I’ve heard friends of mine do this (or at least take turns with each other’s kids). It’s a setup, where once a week or once a month, you take care of your kids and their friends for a few hours/ for an afternoon/ evening, etc., and vice versa. Or maybe a good neighbor, friend, etc would be willing to help out. This little allows dedicated time to focus on YOU. Whether it’s a few hours or half a day, so can check emails, run errands, or just do something fulfilling and fun for yourself— maybe a mani/pedi, calling a friend, going to the movie alone, etc. Once you realize that you deserve that time, your kiddos will understand that mommy needs to pamper herself so she can be a happier, more energetic mommy.

 

04.  Fuse happy time into your day.

This can be yoga, enjoying your coffee, stepping outside for a quick walk, reading magazines, etc. This is small bits or an hour in your day where you can recharge, put yourself first, your sanctuary moment, create balance to your day. Sometimes for me, when things are super crazy, it’s just sitting with my coffee and turning off my phone and enjoying 10 minutes of sanity. For me, I’ve especially noticed when I step away from technology (my computer, my cell phone, etc.) that my mind is calmer and I’m less anxious. Though sometimes my happy time is watching a hilarious YouTube video for 5 minutes, but without interrupting it with checking email or whatever. You’ll notice as you prioritize these moments into your day or week, you’ll get better at it and realize that you can balance the crazy of your day with sprinkles of some smiling. Because the thing is, there is ALWAYS going to be distractions (kids, emails, work, etc) and its all about getting through those stressful moments so that we aren’t always a tight, aggro-stressball, which is so attractive, huh?

 

05.  Don’t compare yourself to others. 

I’ll admit this one was hard for me, especially after Tim’s passing. I felt like I was on island with my loss— that everyone was happy, in love and perfect—which was just my distorted view. But I’ve finally come to terms with who I am, what makes me unique, and to relish in my circumstance and situations that make me who I am. That every one has a different life situation, even though you see someone who has a life that you envy, that you become more depressed of your own life/ your situation because of comparing your situation to what every one’s situation is, that you feed that energy to your circumstance owning you vs. you owning your circumstance.

And sometimes we must go thru highs and lows, because of deeper life lessons that is part of our school of life.

 

06.  Be patient.

Good things take time. I went to a blog conference last year and the CEO of Pinterest, Ben Silberman spoke about his career hurdles. He quit his job just before the dot com crash and had a job in an industry that was lucrative, anyways after 4 years, he finally got Pinterest launched. Now I realize he had an idea and hired talented folks to execute and make it happen, but it took time and he was half fearful and half joyful about his idea and if it was going to work. But now its something everyone is using and loving. That he had to patient and trust in what he believed.

 

07.  Delegate and/or find experts that can help you if you can’t do something yourself.

We all need to give up the idea that we have to do everything ourselves. Many people want to help you out, but they don’t know how to ask you on what you really need help with. THIS really annoyed me while Tim was sick. I was so overwhelmed with taking care of him, researching his disease and treatment plans, working, taking care of my dog, that I didn’t always know the answer to when they’d say “let me know if I can help”. I knew I needed help, and half the time I knew what I needed help but the other part was that things were so intense and stressful, that the only thing I could focus on was that second or hour, not that evening or tomorrow or next week.

So, just remember to ask for help and when you don’t know how to figure something out, to ask people what you need, if they can figure it out for you. And realize the above things, that things take time, be patient with yourself and others, and things will happen.

 

08.  Let go of your ego. Find your deeper connection.

We can all be control freaks. Seriously, right!!? But you know what, you gotta get out-of-the-way of yourself. And if you keep idolizing things that don’t serve you, what good is that. Some may call it collective unconscious. Some call it the universe. And some call it God. Whatever your word of choice and beliefs, you gain a sense of peace and clarity that you aren’t all alone in this big world full of drama and adversities. That things happen for a reason. To show you signs, symbols, introduce you to people, situations, experiences to help you grow, discover and have fun.

I’m not going to force what my faith is, what I believe, onto you. NOT AT ALL. But what I can share with you, is that going through my circumstance and believing in God—he  has given me strength and confidence. That good things are still to come, that he’s got my back that he’s always been there for me, even when I didn’t believe. And still very much with me. I don’t have a religion. I have a relationship, and he’s providing some amazing miracles and filling my heart with joy. It sustains me, my family and my close friends.

My church has been my life therapy. The messages from my pastor have been like little nuggets of insight that helped me discover what I needed to do to be my best self, to take ownership of my life and situation, and to be thankful for what I had, that there’s always someone in a far worse situation. Here’s one of my favorite quotes from my pastor, Miles McPherson:

“We are all on a journey. And unless we die. You still have more life to live. Make it count.”

Anyhoots. That’s all I got for now. If there’s anything you can share that’s helped you, I’d love to hear from you. We are all getting through something and we need to lean on each other. To share. Inspire. Empower.

Love & hugs!

Above photo from my trip to Paris in 2012, near the Eiffel Tower. 

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SECOND ANNIVERSARY IN HEAVEN

tim-anniversary

I just got back from a 4-day Sedona retreat. It was a spiritually deep and fun adventure in some of Sedona’s most sacred and visually stunning locations and trails that most don’t know about. I met 13 other like-minded genuine souls of various ages that have become new life-long friends.

One of the most important parts of the trip, was that I was also able to scatter Tim’s ashes in sacred Apache Native American land. I knew that this was a significant part for me to let go and allow us to move forward in our lives. That we both need to serve, but in different dimensions. I have felt his love, protection and strength with me these past few years, but it’s now up to me to open my heart fully to allow for new love. I’m ready and I look forward to meeting someone amazing. Being Tim’s wife was truly an honor and my time with him was the best of my life. Though, I know God has plans that are unseen to me now.

What was crazy as right after I scattered his ashes, the moon peeked up, and then I saw a rainbow flash in the dark night sky. Not joking!! Carissa, our retreat spirit guide, told me that Tim would show me a rainbow during this trip. And I can’t tell you how explosive it was to see a rainbow in the dark moon-lit sky. Just shows you how powerful an angel Tim is, and I know God is helping work this magic too.

It was such an honor to be given permission to scatter on this land that used to be a vast ocean with whales, dolphins and other abundant marine life. It was a whole-heartedly healing process. I do feel that this trip has given more wisdom and strength.

I know that time will be needed to process the trip and integrate that “stillness” of Sedona into the daily grind of life. I’m glad to be back and to honor Tim at home today. I’ll share more of my Sedona trip photos later.

With today being Tim’s second anniversary in heaven, I wanted to share some handwritten notes I found that you would enjoy. Some of his notes are great nuggets of wisdom. Let’s celebrate a warrior and unstoppable soul who is having such a blast up in heaven. He is in all of our hearts forever. All my love to you shugar. And I’ll end with a word we used during the trip to continue during our hikes… ONWARD.

 

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This note was written during Tim’s first trip to meet my family in New Jersey in 2003. He proposed in January 2005, and then we married in October 2006. We were together 8 years and married for 4.5 years.

 

 

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2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

Julie Goldstein

This has been a big and profound year for me. The thick, intense “widow fog” has dissolved.

This year was about becoming more present and moving forward without Tim. You can’t avoid grief. You have to go through it.

It was full of emotional happy highs and lonely, deep lows. But I realized that I wasn’t completely “on my own.”  That my faith in God is true, and he’s been here with me this whole time. It was also a year filled with healing and transformation.

 

Here are 4 words that sum up my year:

01. Connection – Forming friendships with several strong, spiritual, and confident women that really helped me grow “on my own” and believe in myself. Fall, Hayley, Dana, Jill and Sorrel. You ladies have been my rock. I love you so much and I can’t tell you how much your soul sisterhood has meant to me.

02. Faith – I been more vocal about my beliefs. I’ve been wary of sharing my faith, but I’ve realized that I shouldn’t be fearful to share what it means to me, and the reason why I’m optimistic and curious for what the future holds. I believe in love and God gave me that love. He took my soul mate from my arms. But I don’t blame God. All I can do is have faith that there was a reason he needed Tim up in heaven. And that God is counting on me to recognize his purpose for my life. That I need to take responsibility for living and not dwelling on the sadness. The medium session I had in April was profound – getting messages from both Tim and God gave me clarity on my new journey. I highly recommend seeing a medium to help connect with your loved one.

03. Slowing down – Grief is very fatiguing. And I think in today’s world, we try to accomplish so many things with high expectations and its usually unfair and unrealistic. First of all, it doesn’t seem like there’s ever the time to grieve. We live in a non-stop, hurry-up, get-it done now, add it to my hotlist, firedrill-kind-of-world that expects microwave results. And how does one fit grief and healing into overloaded schedules? You can’t.

I didn’t realize how intense grief can be until the evenings and weekends, when things slowed down, and I was alone. With my thoughts. I’d shake and cry so hard, that I finally came to a crossroads. That I needed to take care of myself.

Quitting my job has allowed me the time to heal my heart, spend time with loved ones, have fun and organically play on my new creative path. Working “on my own” has been rewarding and overwhelming. I’ll share more in my next post.

04. Rediscovery– Allowing myself to do things I love. That make me happy. Things that I used to enjoy with Tim. Going to new restaurants. Dancing. Going to live music. Traveling. Laughing so hard it hurts. Shopping. Cooking. Helping others. Stepping away from the computer.

Here’s a look at some of my favorite memories of this year. These photos give me so much hope that 2013 will be even more fulfilling, fun, creative and filled with love. I will never stop missing Tim, but I believe he’s proud of what I’ve accomplished this year.

 

So, I do have some exciting things planned for 2013. And I will share more with you.

I also want to thank all of you for following and reading this blog. This has been therapy for me. This is my creative outlet. To share what’s on my mind. What inspires and empowers me. And what gives me hope and delight, as I recreate my life without Tim. My hope is that you will discover that you are worth it. That no matter what your circumstance is, that life really is worth living. That you are awesome. And beautiful. And have great shoes, too! (hah!)

So I thank you so much for visiting my lil quirky blog. You rock my world.

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PRAYERS FOR SANDY HOOK

A tragic December day. This blogger wrote a beautiful post about today’s horrible shooting in Sandy Hook that I wanted to share.

Sometimes it’s a tragedy like this one, that makes us all step back and realize that we need to slow down, spend more time with loved ones, communicate better with others, notice your neighbors, share your things, eat dinner as a family, turn off cell phones, ignore email and Facebook, sit quietly and pray.

From someone who lost their soul mate too young and what I thought was going to be my future, drastically changed. So, we can’t take each other or our own life for granted. That in this tragedy there is still good in the world. We just need to be that change.

Many prayers and blessings. xoxo

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LOST AND FOUND

 

This past year, I’ve been really lost. I told you in an earlier post, that going thru this new journey feels like I’ve had a concussion.

I was happily married, part of this awesome team. And without Tim, I’ve felt lost. Thinking about the future was daunting and sad. I was indecisive for sure. I felt like I was healing, listening to my heart, but also kept analyzing so many things. Is it okay to want to find another soul mate? Will I be truly happy with my life again? What do I want to do with my life? Though I never blamed God for putting me in this situation. And I felt so blessed for my life, was so happy and fulfilled for everything I have and those that are in my life. But I needed to dig deeper and  discover myself, and how to understand this journey better.

Now before I get into that… I have to give you insight on myself and my roller coaster of emotions.

Up until now has been especially emotional and fragile for me, knowing that this time last year, was mind-blowing, devastating and hard to describe unless you were there.

It was around May 20, 2011, that we were all naive to the time ticking, intensity of Tim’s cancer.

You see, for those that didn’t know Tim, up until the last day, he had a big agenda for tomorrow. And although doctors, nurses, hospice, and all of us were acknowledging the frugality of time, Tim was still joking, laughing and hopeful.

Hopeful for camping in our travel trailer with me. Going on a motorcycle ride with his brother Steve. Renewing our wedding vows in October. Going fishing and hunting with Bray, Lisa and the kids in November.

We all thought that Tim was “superman”, that the cancer was somehow going to go away magically. Well, we had hope that something miraculous and positive would happen. It was on the 20th that we realized that the cancer had spread to most of his body, especially in his legs and groin, which were causing his legs and feet to balloon. The game plan had abruptly changed from aggressive treatment and a cluster of machines hooked up to Tim, to slowly watching his spark fade. That nothing could stop the cancer. That his 41 years of life seemed to flash in front of our eyes in those few days. And on May 28th, God decided to recruit Tim upstairs, understanding how unfair and sad this would be for all of us, but that Tim’s suffering was over.

Sooo… knowing that this heavy experience and emotions was fresh again, I knew it was time to seek experts to help me through my grief and blockages.

Here’s the two (2) things that have given me a whole lotta clarity, confidence, and optimism about myself and my future.

(and I recommend either or both to anyone going through a loss, feeling stuck/confused about life/career/love, or want to invigorate the fire in your soul).

1) I’ve been seeing a therapist.
I was so lucky to find a therapist who practices by integrating psychology, creativity and spirituality. After all, creativity and spirituality are huge in my life. My first appointment, and each one thus far following, I’ve left with a huge sense of relief and weight off my chest. Her approach is similar to a cocoon turning to a butterfly, and I’ve felt that transformation.

2) I went to a Reiki healer/Medium.
I’ve been a huge fan (stalker) of the show on TLC called, Long Island Medium. It’s a reality show that follows Theresa Caputo, a real Medium and her family. She’s blunt, funny and turn skeptics into believers. If you haven’t watched it, watch episodes here. You will laugh, cry and be amazed. She’s so talented and reveals so many specific details that are crazy spot-on. She’ll walk into a coffee shop or nail salon, and spirits will come to her, and people are truly blown away.

Watching her show has given me clarity and understanding about “spirits.”

Then a few months ago, my new widow friend Dana, told me her friend went to a group medium reading and they revealed some major stuff about her husband to her friend. I was impressed.

So, I emailed that Medium and her first availability, was on April 28th, which was the 11-th month anniversary of Tim’s death!  So, I booked it, and I was a nervous wreck driving to the appointment. (I emailed Theresa too, but she’s got a 3-year waiting list)

Here’s some of the things that I realized from my medium session.

1. Understanding my worth. That no matter with this loss or any other loss I have in the future, I will never abandon or lose myself. That I need to value myself more, be confident in who I am. That with or without Tim, I’m still me, and to continue to honor and discover this new me without Tim. I need to be brave, vulnerable, free.

2. Heaven is a real and active place. Tim was able to describe some of what he’s doing up there. I assumed it was calm and peaceful. And it is, but that he has opportunities for learning, productivity, and helping others in his same situation he was in. (of course Tim can’t sit still, he was so non-stop here, why did I assume he was eating bonbons and surfing all day? Hah)

3. Connection with Tim. I wasn’t able to see or feel Tim, but the Medium described Tim accurately and it was like he was in the room, her reactions were real. His humor, charisma and creativity was definitely on stage. I was able to ask Tim questions and I received feedback, calmness and hope.

4. The universe really controls it all. This session didn’t foretell my future, and I didn’t want that. It gave me insight about myself and how to take ownership of my life, while realizing that I can’t control everything, that the choices I make will set the stage, allow for opportunities to come through.

5. My faith is real. What I believe, that Jesus is truth for me, and he was present during my session. And he acknowledged that he’s been supporting me this past year. And that he’ll take good care of Tim.

6. I need to move forward. That Tim and I are on different levels now, I can’t lean on him anymore, and to create this new future for myself and not what I think Tim would want me to do. Allow my heart to have room for a new soul mate. Make choices to progress my career, creativity, follow my joy.

After this session I was in a blur, shaking, and felt this deep sadness, like the day after Tim had passed. But the days since then, I’ve also felt this surge of newfound hope. That although I’ve been hopeful and optimistic about this new journey, that I have some “tools” and guidance from my spirits and I need to take ownership for my life again. I can’t tell you how amazing this feels.

I still feel a deep sadness and shock on the reality that he’s still not here, but at the same time. I need to “finish” my goals here on Earth, before my time is up. That my story is starting to begin. That I have “found” clarity and hope to forge ahead, and I’m really excited about living again. That like Tim, up in heaven, I’ve got some work to do.

And  I’m also looking forward to that day when it’s time for me to arrive in heaven. Where Tim promised he’d be all fancy and handsome, like on our wedding day, waiting for me, and with a bouquet of flowers.

 

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