Shock, Loss & Sorrow Part 3: Finding the Happy Again. Photo Edition

When you experience a great loss that changes your world drastically, it is easy to slip into a sadness that affects your everyday life.  That sadness can quickly turn in to a sorrow that grips you fiercely.   It’s an awful way to feel.  I know because I’ve been there before and I nearly let it consume me. :link:

I find myself not only feeling as though I shouldn’t smile or laugh at things, but feeling outright guilt for wanting to.  I’m afraid to make eye contact with people for fear that the sadness in my eyes will infect them, thus creating more sadness.   Music has different meaning now.  Songs that once brought a smile to my heart are now promptly skipped on my iPod.  I try to read and I find that I have to keep going back because my brain cannot focus and retain the words.   This isn’t healthy and I need to change it.  I need to find the happy again.

It was a tragic and bizarre set of events that led my life to be where and what it was for the past 30+ days.  The tragic loss of  Shaun brought me to Colorado.  It also brought my father there from Arizona and my cousin, Noreen, there from Tennessee.  We were all there, together with our family, because of Shaun.  

The timing of my father’s illness was both a blessing and a curse.  The blessing part is because he was where he was when it happened: in civilization.  If he had been home when it struck him, who knows what would have happened to him.  (Seriously, that fucker lives in the middle of nowhere; like 40 miles from the Mexican border.)  The curse part is, well, the fact that he was sick in the first place of course.  His surgery and extended hospital stay of 21 days are what kept me in Colorado for so long; with my family.

Here’s where I find the happy… 

Did I want to be in Colorado because Shaun died?  No.  Did I want my father to be sick?  No.  Did I want to be away from my husband  for four weeks?  No.  Was I surrounded by the love and support of the most awesome group of Irish bastards that are my family?  Yes, yes I was. 

Those four weeks were some of the worst of our lives.  But you know what?  We had each other.  All of us.  We weren’t afraid to cry in front of each other, hug each other, break down in front of each other, laugh (yes, laugh) with each other or even indulge in too many high-balls together, (ok, maybe that was just me) Just being around each other made the whole fucked up situation a little more bearable because not one of us was alone.  And that, Internets, is how we find the silver lining.  We have to be able to do that in situations like this or we’ll end up bat-shit-crazy and lost in the throes of depression.  And no one is much good to anyone else if they let that happen. 

I’m still devastated by the loss that my family has endured.  I’m still sad.  I’m still angry.  I still cry.  But that’s not all I do.  I think about all that time I spent in Colorado with my amazing family and I do, in fact, smile.  Because in a world where we’re all working and paying bills and dealing with life’s day-to-day struggles, when would I ever be able to spend that much time with the people who I love that live so far away? 

Even though it was a horrible event that landed me where I was for so long, there was good there as well.  There was love and there was togetherness.  At the end of all of this, my father moved in with my amazing Uncle Pete and Aunt Arlene instead of going back to the middle-of-fucking-nowhere.   He’s with a brother who needs him more than ever, as my Aunt and Uncle were the people who raised Shaun from the time he was just a few years old, losing him was doubly painful for them.  He was their grandson as well as their “son”.  Yes, my father is right where he should be and that makes a lot of people happy.

I don’t know when I’ll be able to bring the funny back to this blog  (Shut up.  I’m fucking funny.)  but I’ll get there.  In the mean time, I’ll share some of the happy from my last day in Colorado when my fam decided to get together for a day of food and football and I decided that it was my Going Away Party because I’m a narcissistic asshole like that.

Slainte ~ SF

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               Irish Celebration

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About Noodles and Gin

I'm like a superhero, but with no powers or motivation. View all posts by Noodles and Gin

19 responses to “Shock, Loss & Sorrow Part 3: Finding the Happy Again. Photo Edition

  • Natasha

    Wow, girl, this is amazing. Your family is clearly awesome. I’m glad you could all be there for each other. Grief is a motherfucker, and every single feeling you have is valid. So laugh when you feel like and cry when you feel like it, and eventually it might just suck a little bit less. More hugs!

  • Anonymous

    My amazing cousin whom by the way I happen to love so much. I have loved you like a sister almost my entire life, and although we dealt with something horrific I am so grateful we had eachother. I love you so much and miss you even more.

    • Heather aka Sugar Free

      I love you, too. Wait. Which cousin is this? Because that could change my reply. Awwwww…..just kidding. I love all of them with all of my heart. ((((HUGS))))

  • Anonymous

    I had no idea you were so good with kids! Who would have thought? Looks like a great day with your family and you all needed that. It’s crazy how things happen and good things come out of something bad. When you think of Shaun, maybe you can smile a little, knowing it was because of him that the good things happened. Thanks for the update and never feel guilty for laughing.

    • Heather aka Sugar Free

      That picture cracks me up. Poor kid. It was a pretty good day, indeed! Thank you for your kind words. You’re a doll.

  • Bouncin Barb

    I read all 3 of your posts in succession and wow you certainly have been through the ringer so to speak. Having dealt with loss myself I can certainly understand the emotions. Thankfully you have a great family support network. When my husband died, no one from my family came to the celebration of life service. My step-kids, my son and friends got me through it. Everybody deals with differently. I used humor an awful lot and some people thought that wasn’t “right”. How could I be happy? You do whatever you have to do to get through it. And for those that don’t understand it,,,,screw ’em!!!! Hugs to you and hope you smile for at least 1 second because of me…haha.

    • Heather aka Sugar Free

      Thanks Barb. You do make me smile. People shouldn’t have judged you for the way you dealt with your loss. They need to realize that humor and happiness are two different things. Hugs to you as well, my friend.

  • Mynx

    You photos of your beautiful family brought a smile to my face. Such terrible things to bring you all together but the love you all share is obvious. Together you have the strength to move forward from this tragedy.
    With hugs for you

    • Heather aka Sugar Free

      My family is pretty damn amazing. We had much laughter and many smiles that day. We needed it and it did feel good. Until it came time for me to leave and I lost my shit and started crying like a baby. Thanks for the cyber hugs, buddy.

  • Katy Anders

    What a roller coaster of a few weeks (and series of blogs)!

    Thanks for sharing all of this over the past couple weeks.

    The funny (as you put it) will still be there when you’re ready for it…

  • abeerfortheshower

    I’m glad to see you making the best of a bad situation. It’s heart breaking, but at least you have a kick ass family to keep you strong. Every blogger’s entitled to a little sad time, and we’ll be here when you get back to being fucking funny. 😉

    • Heather aka Sugar Free

      Thank you. It was not a fun series to write. But, what the fuck do you do in a situation like this, right? Write what you know and feel.

  • kage

    you are so beautiful, heather 🙂 and i am so proud of you for finding such an incredible strength in such a horrible time.

    me loves ya.

    • Heather aka Sugar Free

      Oh Kage! Thank you! I can’t let things like this devour my being. Not again. Balancing sorrow and happy is not an easy thing, but I’m doing my best. Loves ya, lady!

  • The Penguin Gazette

    On behalf of the rest of the PENGUIN ELITE…WE LOVE THE FUCK OUT OF YOUR FACE!!!!! Yup Just like that. We all wish you and your fam the best during this time and always, why cause penguins are mates for life! 😉

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