Some Thoughts On Life…

Life.  It’s such a crazy thing.  We all have one, and we can do what we want with it.  But it goes by so fast.  Seriously, too fast.

20140313-232144.jpgChristmas with my grandpa

On Wednesday morning, I woke up to a phone call from my dad.  My amazing grandfather died that morning.  He was in a nursing home, and after eating breakfast they put him back in his room.  When they went back in there a few minutes later he was gone.  I can’t even think about it – the thought of him dying alone is enough to make me go crazy, but I don’t even know what he was thinking or feeling right before it happened.  I’ve been a mess ever since I heard, and I took yesterday and today off work because I can’t handle the normal stress that comes from work right now.  Every time I talk to my dad he’s so sad, and I can’t even deal with talking to my grandma right now because we both start sobbing immediately and can’t stop.  My sister is flying in from Milwaukee today, and all of my aunts came back to Lancaster as soon as they heard.  It’s like a big, sad, miserable family reunion that no one really wants to have.  I’m so worried about Saturday morning because I know the funeral will be very tough for everyone and I don’t know how to help my dad and the rest of my family feel better.  I’ve never had anyone this close to me die before and it’s a really awful experience.

One interesting thing has come out of all this is that since he died, I’ve been noticing the little things more.  Stupid things that used to stress me out are gone (well that’s probably because I took off work) and I find myself appreciating the small moments.  Some little things that stuck out to me this week:

  • I went to work Wednesday because I was in shock and didn’t know what to do.  I’m a job coach for kids with special needs and without a coach a lot of my students can’t get to work.  My usual Wednesday student is only comfortable working with me and one other staff member, and she was busy that day so I didn’t know what would happen if I called out.  She’s very easy to work with, but mostly nonverbal (which means she can talk but chooses not to because communicating that way is difficult for her) so she needs lots of support.  Anyways, I told her what happened and explained that I might be sad today and might not talk or laugh as much as usual.  She looked pretty sad but we ate our lunch and then went to her job.  She was working and I guess I was staring off into space looking sad so she stopped working and patted me on the arm with a sad look on her face.  That little gesture made me feel so much better, and I couldn’t help but smile and say “I’m okay”.  She smiled and then went back to work.  Just knowing that my students care about me and want to show me they’re here for me made me feel so much better.
  • Walking around town after dropping off my student I noticed that flowers were already starting to bloom.  They look so pretty, even with the leftover piles of snow in the gutters.
  • Even though it was cold yesterday, the sun was really pretty.  Temperature doesn’t even matter on a nice sunny day.
  • Stretching after a Barre3 workout is probably the best feeling ever.
  • Sometimes when you go to Panera they heat up your french baguette.  That happened today and it pretty much made my day.
  • Ben and Jerry’s Karamel Sutra Core ice cream is the best thing ever invented, and great at cheering people up.
  • Also, I’m moving to the most beautiful place on earth and the thought that I’m following my very crazy dreams makes me feel better about how short and uncertain life is.

Life is really really rough sometimes, but it’s so short that we can’t waste any of it by rushing through it and not stopping to be happy about the little things.  I know my grandpa wouldn’t want me to be sad, so I’m happy I’m able to notice some nice things this week despite all the tears.  Saturday will be rough, but I will hopefully be feeling better next week.  And my very exciting blog post about where/when Andrew and I are moving is sitting in my drafts folder for now, but I promise I’ll post that next week once I’m feeling better.  Thanks to everyone who read this post, it was hard to write and especially hard to look at that picture but I wanted to share what I’m going through in case someone else is feeling the same way right now.

How do you cheer yourself up when you’re sad?  Does anyone else continue to workout even when life gets tough?

18 thoughts on “Some Thoughts On Life…

  1. I am so incredibly sorry to hear about your loss. *hugs* My thoughts are with you during this tough time. Sending you and your family love and healing.

    I didn’t work out at all during the week my grandfather was in palliative care–despite the fact that my gym is actually attached to the hospital he was in. It seemed silly to waste time on a run, when I could spend my time with him. In terms of cheering up, I have had a few Ben & Jerry’s meals, and I have spent time with my grandma–it’s forcing me to be strong and it helps both of us feel better. We laugh, we cry and yesterday she even asked if we could do a half marathon together–provided I don’t get mad when she beats me. lol.

    Take care of yourself and don’t worry about the running–it will always be there. Much love to you and your family.

    1. Thank you! It was hard because it happened so suddenly – he has had Parkinson’s for so long but we had no idea he was going to die last week, otherwise I would have been there as much as possible. I did go to Barre3 just so I could be around other people and try to de-stress (lots of yoga moves in Barre3!) but no running until today. I was just too tired and sad to make the effort to run at all. I’m starting to feel back to normal now so hopefully I can jump right back in!

      1. I have so been there on the too tired and too sad to run. It’s amazing how much running is physical and mental–I don’t think I ever realized the importance of both until the last few weeks with all that has happened. Much love to you and your family, Kristen.

  2. I’m so sorry to hear about your grandpa Kristen.
    My grandpa contracted pneumonia and passed away a little over a year ago. While it sounds like a while ago, I remember the pain of hearing the words “he’s gone”, and the sadness over the next few weeks.
    I think running helped me deal with it better. I found myself running harder more often because the pain from running took my mind off of the fact that he was gone. Running gave my mind some relief.

    Hang in there and remember all the good times you had with him. Glad to hear you’ve been able to notice some positive things recently as well.

    1. Thank you. The funeral was awful but at dinner later that night we were all able to talk about some great memories and that helped. I’ve been feeling so tired and drained lately so running has not been an option until today. I feel like things should be going back to normal soon and I’m looking forward to getting some good runs in!

  3. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss, my friend. My stepdad passed away very unexpectedly last August and I totally understand everything you are saying about how suddenly the way you view things will shift a bit and small things that would normally go overlooked become very apparent.

    Take the time that you need. We are all here for you! My thoughts are with you and your whole family. Sending many hugs from Baltimore. ❤

    1. Thank you so much. I’ve never dealt with a death like this before and it’s so crazy how much it’s affecting me. I’m starting to feel back to normal and got a run done today so I’m making progress!

  4. I am so sorry. This past month my grandmother died, so I completely understand. You never stop missing them, but time makes it easier to bare. I think you’re right. The best thing you can do is live your life to the fullest while you can. My thoughts and prayers go out to your family.

    1. Thanks. It’s so sad to hear how many of you guys have lost someone close, but it makes me feel less alone!

  5. I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost a very dear friend to suicide last fall. It was very tragic and I was devastated. But, as a running coach, I had an obligation to my runners to coach them to their first half marathon. I continued to show up for the group runs. These long runs, and the group helped me deal with my grief.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear about your friend! It’s good that running helped you cope. I have been so tired and drained since I heard but I was able to do Barre3 which helped me relax and feel better. I ran today and that definitely made me feel better!

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