Let your pain be your teacher.

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I’ve learned in time everyone’s story of grief and loss is so different. Everyone’s journey through grief is so unique, but even though the path we all take varies,  a loss is a heartache that runs deep and never quite heals but in time mends. The pain of losing my Mom to Non Hodgkins Lymphoma has been one of my best teachers, who knew, I would be thankful for death and cancer, in time and on my journey, I am now thankful because it has proven to be my best teacher.  My Mom was a person who was a thoughtful straight shooter that always had compassion in getting the point across, a true gem whose joyful spirit radiated when she walked into a room. I think I received one of the best compliments last week and I owe it to my Mom and family, someone said, “you are always so thoughtful and always have very good points.” Thanks Bert! I am thankful to my family, Mom, loss and grief, here are a few lessons that have kept me better not bitter.

1. Sing and don’t take yourself serious! My Mom would sing in the morning when my sister and I were little getting ready for school, “Rise and shine, give God your glory, glory. Rise and shine and give God your glory, glory, children of the Lord.” Bob, Bob, Bob, BarbaraAnn, BarbaraAnn, went to the dance, looking for romance, saw BarbaraAnn so I thought I’d take a chance, BarbaraAnn. She sang and you could feel her joy! She had dun nicknames for people and things, you could feel her love! Keep it fun.

2. If you made the commitment, then keep it, it’s the right thing to do. This is a value I honor in others and guess what she’s right, I find the people who do are good people and it speaks volumes.

3. You allow people to treat you the way they do, you teach them how to treat you. Thanks Mom, she could pick out the truth and just made you feel better, but you left her better. She is so right, I place value on this now, so much more than I did in the past and it really has helped me to see the true beauty in people and what needs to stop. You can’t change people, embrace them, don’t take it personal or move on if you don’t feel respected. Respect yourself, you are important.

4. Your time is important too, people need boundaries. Years ago, Oprah coined the term “disease to please” I believe, I may have had that disease, but happy to say I am finally cured!!!! Everyone is important, their time, their job, but  you need to put value on your own and speak your truth with grace. And, nothing is that important!

5. Don’t take things personally, you never know someone’s situation. Try to be understanding and don’t feel bad you might not be able to help them. You can’t do everything.

6. It’s not always what you say, but how you say it.

7. Sometimes you need deer reflectors. I never knew if the plastic deer reflectors on the front of my car worked, but when I looked at them I felt loved. Thanks Mom!  Celebrate, little things, bringing people together, including others, valuing yourself.

8. It’s not about being front and center. My Mom didn’t need attention, she did thoughtful things for people because she wanted too. Do it because you want too, not because you need recognition, people will see in time.

9. You can’t complain, if you are not going to speak up, but be careful how you say it. Appreciate what you have, but get the point across.

10. Sometimes it’s ok to eat McDonald’s for dinner!

Better not bitter, use your grief and loss as your guide and know your loved one wants you better not bitter!

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