darkness · death · grief · just live · vulnerability

Just Live


Yesterday… yesterday I felt like the most boring version of myself possible. Seriously. After working on paperwork and thank you letters all day, I didn’t want to do anything but work out and sit. And I kept thinking, “Amanda you are so boring.  Get up and do something and go somewhere.” But I didn’t. I just sat and spent the afternoon with mom. She had a rough day and couldn’t finish the work she started.

And.. while we sat and talked life got real again. Moments started flooding our memory banks and we got shed quite a few tears. I hate seeing my mom cry. It’s awful because I know there’s nothing I can do about it. I can’t bring dad back for her and that’s all she wants. And I hate when she questions so many things because it hurts my heart to hear her questioning. She has every right to question and feel the way she does. She has every right express how angry she is with dad for not going to the doctor sooner. But in the midst of her questioning, I want to be able to make all the pain go away… and I can’t.

And I hate thinking about the fact that she’ll be alone when we leave. I don’t want her to be alone at all. Not in this house. But, life has to keep moving forward for me. My life is in Cali right now and I’m not changing it or uprooting myself. And that might seem cruel and wrong, but my dad and mom both wanted me to stay there… where I am happy and on a really cool journey.

Hopefully…. hopefully things will work out and she won’t be alone. I can’t imagine what she’s going through. To be a wife and mother and have her husband gone so quickly. I can’t imagine how she feels to be alone now. It sucks. It has to hurt. She’s so put together, but keeps saying that she’s lost. I think she’s lost because half of her died 4 weeks ago. I watch her handle construction workers, life insurance people, phone calls and friends…. and she’s really ok… but she doesn’t feel that way. She said she feels afraid and I don’t know why. She has no reason to be afraid. I see her handling herself like a champ.

And no one knows what the future holds. Mom’s not moving out of the house. She’s not going anywhere right now… but what will happen in the future? Well… I don’t know the answer for any of us anymore. I’ve always loved to try and control my future… try and make sense of what’s coming and protect myself from the unexpected. Honestly, I used to have a huge fear of the unknown. It was much easier in my mind to know so I could be prepared… and though I’ve worked myself through that over the years, I still like to know. But the last year of my life has been so unexpected. Things have changed so much. I never thought I’d be living in L.A., trying to figure out my life. I never thought my dad would die so young. None of these things ever entered my mind.

And… I guess because over the last year, well I’m continuing to see it’s just better to not know. To not imagine too much what my life could be like because it never turns out that way. My imagination gets the best of me and disappoints me so much. It’s much better to go with the flow of life… really enjoy every day because truly anything can happen. I think this experience has taught me that. I believe this is the realest thing that’s ever happened to me…. and I don’t know how to describe the realness of it. This situation, this life event… it has a presence that’s always constant. It always reminds me that life is so temporary and anything can happen. And that life is so short and can be gone so quickly… and if I don’t live within the moment, if I don’t truly connect with people and things when they are present then I’m not truly living at all.

But living life… living in the moment is available to all of us. We just have to do it. We have to laugh at ourselves…. especially me. Laugh at our mistakes, foot-in-mouth comments and moments when we feel ashamed. Because… well because it’s too expensive to feel ashamed, worried and stressed. It’s costly to be negative and anticipate the future.

About a month ago I wrote dad a letter with the words “Just Live” on the outside. The inside talked about my day and how I was just sitting at the table listening to the birds out the window, and the kids I nanny giggle with each other while doing home work. And I explained how I was learning that that’s a moment I should savor and enjoy because it would be over soon and another moment, maybe more stressful would be present… but in that moment I had so much peace.

And after I sent the letter, I sent a journal with the words, “Just Live” on the outside… because I wanted so much for my dad to begin to adopt the mindset of living… Not living physically, but living in the moment… living for himself and enjoying even the bad times because the good would come again. And, no… no he didn’t ever adopt the mindset I’m working on… but, now that I look back… well I think I was leaving a message for myself. Talking straight to me through the letter and journal. Reminding myself to just live.

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