The past, the future & the present

September 3, 2010 at 10:37 pm | Posted in silver lining | 12 Comments

I have been writing a lot about the past.   Here in 2010 some days it feels like Jake and Sawyer passed away just yesterday.   Oddly, on other days it seems like it was forever ago that I last saw them both.   I try to “be present.”  “Remember the past, hope for the future but live in the present”  is a phrase I often repeat to myself.  I can’t remember where I read it or who told me the phrase – I would credit them if I could.  It is pretty hard to stay present all the time.  Have you tried it?

Life throws us all curve balls – death, divorce, infertility, unemployment, miscarriages, sickness (I could go on but you probably get the point).   All of these events cause us to be sad and grieve.   We all grieve in different ways.   If there was a Life 101 class in college on how to handle these events, I unfortunately missed it.  At first, I was looking for the steps to get through the grief (similar to AA’s 12 step plan).   I quickly found out that there are no steps and no plan.   Everyone has to find their own way through the grief.   It is very difficult at times and some days seems impossible.  A few things that help me on really bad days:

  1. I try to remind myself that I am not alone (although I often feel like I am)
  2. A very wise friend once suggested to me that I just try to find one thing I like to do every day and do it.   It does not matter how small the thing is – it could even be taking a shower. . .
  3. Exercise
  4. And, I do remember the past but I try to think back to not only the painful and difficult times but also to the really good moments . . .

Me & Sawyer

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  1. You are so right about the difficulty of staying in the present. One of my favorite poems from Maya Angelou is a great reminder of just that:

    We spend
    precious hours
    fearing the inevitable.
    It would be wise
    to use that time
    adoring our families,
    cherishing
    our friends,
    and living our lives.

  2. hi Lanie…yes those are the same things that help me at times…about not being alone, though it often feels alone, I have also discovered that grieving connects me to the grief of humanity the world over..there is so much to grieve about right now. It is sometimes comforting to feel that connection and understanding of what so many go through.

    I don’t know if I shared with you one of my favorite exchanges with a friend; if I did, apologies for the repetition:

    friend: How’s the grief ride?
    me: It certainly is a ride…but I don’t remember buying a ticket..
    friend: I think the ticket is free…and everyone gets at least one in their lifetime.
    me: oh yeah, i forgot, it came with my birth certificate….

  3. Lanie,

    The one thing that has helped me get through the worst times of my life is to start each day with thanking God for the good things in my life. My day may have been full of pain but starting the day thinking of the positive really helped. At times the positive was so small like thanking God for my dog or that I had a safe place to walk or food to eat but it made me realize that in many ways, not all, I was fortunate.

  4. “Remember the past, hope for the future, live in the present” is a beautiful sentiment. I must try that sometime. I’m having a bad morning after a bad night full of dreams that woke me throughout the night.

    I know I am not alone in my grief – so many people the world over have tragedy visited upon them everyday. I just feel alone. So very alone and I’m so scared sometimes it hurts. I keep telling myself that if what God has brought me to He will bring me through. But it rings hollow this morning as I sit here in tears.

    Blessings to those who mourn.

  5. I love that picture. That is all very excellent advice…especially about the “no rules” of grieving, and focusing on the happy parts.

  6. The past can never be take away, at times a terrible hurt and at others a deep sigh with a smile in remembering. The present is where we have to spend our time–loving each other, caring for each other and doing what we can to make it into those memories that bring a smile without the sigh.
    love you always and forever

  7. What a beautiful picture Lanie. This post is a good reminder for us all to do what we can to live in the present.

  8. Your writing from your heart is incredibly touching. This is an amazing reminder to live life fully. The picture is so beautiful! You are an amazing woman and mom.

  9. From all the comments that have been written to you, I think that you have gently touched a common chord with this posting. I love the photo and it speaks volumes of the joy in that moment. Keep writing.

  10. All very sage advice, I’d say!

  11. Thanks for sharing your incredible strength with us all. You are a great woman and a great mama and a great friend, and you are never alone.

  12. Lanie, your blog is a beautiful tribute to not only Jake and Sawyer, but to Fletcher, Alyssa, and the humanity that you and Evan share with all of those you love. Grief is such a mystery. Not the grief itself, perhaps, but the fact that God can let it come to even the best of His people. They say He will never give us more than we can handle, but one must wonder . . . “why did He make me so strong?? I know for a fact that I cannot survive another blow.”


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