Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Grief river rapids

Of all the analogies I've heard about grieving, it's the river one that rang true for me. How sometimes the river flows peacefully and calm, and other times the river is rough, with rocks and flows aggressively. If you've never see a river like this, then obviously your sister never convinced you to go tubing down the Coquitlam river before. 

Lately my grief river has been a little rougher. I'm trying to meet these feelings without judgement. It's a fine balance to welcome these feelings as a testament to your love for that person, and not dwell on them so much you're forgetting all the good memories. 

For anyone new to the game, I'd say leave your epectations at the door. Don't expect to be "over it" by anytime, and don't be too hard on yourself when the grief hits you with all its strength. Plan for the days you know will be hard, but also be ready for unexpected greif rapids. 

Just yesterday I had a client who was dealing with the loss of her dad, and she said, "I just want my dad back" and I lost it. I made it to the back room at work before I broke down in tears. Big tears. Big heaving breaths between them. I weeped. I let it out for just long enough that I felt I'd done it justice, then I dried my eyes and went back to work. Pulled up my big girl panties and got on with it. 

I wouldn't agree with as much with "time heals all wounds" as much as "fake it until you make it". Do the best you can, get up and dressed for work. Eat - try small portions of a big variety of foods and nibble away. Sleep, do whatever you need to relax, and make this happen. Smile. Eventually faking it turns into actually feeling that way, and being okay with it. Be gracious when people say, "I'm sorry for your loss" especially the 110th time - it's your world that feels empty, those words are full of love. 

Accept that some people close to you won't know what to say, or what to do to help you. Accept that some strangers will. I found doing small things to help other people, and bigger things like fundraising events help a lot too. 

I hope you've found comfort in my words, and feel free to pass this on if you found it helpful. Maybe even to someone who needs it. 

"There's beauty in this world. Sometimes you have to look hard for it, and other times you have to create it. But it's there"

Monday, March 20, 2017

Miss you everyday

I found this note in my rechargeable batteries.

So obviously my batteries are quite old. And probably won't work in my digital camera I'm bringing with my on my trip. But that note is in dads handwriting. It made me miss him, in the best way. 

I know people who've lost people close to them and say "I miss them everyday" I can appreciate that, and I respect it, but I'll be honest, I don't miss dad everyday. Some days I don't even think about him.
I just go about my daily life, trying to always do the right thing, and taking every opportunity to laugh. Just like he taught me. When I used to think about him, I'd get sad. Lately, I only think about him when I'm super happy. 

I miss him with intensity. Some things I do, I can't help but think of him. But I don't miss him everyday anymore. I've come to a point of my grieving for my dad that I'm more at peace with him being gone, and try everyday to live my life in a way that would make him proud. 

Saturday, March 4, 2017


I snapped this last week...

And then this one...

Truth is, the "life" I was trying to escape is my indecisiveness about a new toilet paper holder. I saw one I liked for $10, but the store was out of stock. Now they don't carry it. And I just can't seem to find another one I like as much that isn't $45. I've been to three different stores, on five different occasions I just can't seem to make up my mind. And the longer it goes on, the most indecisive I become. Some sort of awful TP holder negative feedback loop. All joking aside, the shower was very calming. And shit if someone walked by, I wouldn't have wasted a second to jump out just to scare them. Or would just standing there quietly staring at them be creepier? I wonder...

Monday, February 20, 2017

Putting the brakes on my enthusiasm

This won't be my usual light hearted post, but it's important. I post a lot of pictures of me at finish lines, holding medals and happily succeeding. There's another side to training you don't normally see. 

This is me after a training ride yesterday, feeling completely broken. I'll skip to the end, turns out the whole 30km, the front brake mechanism was broken, and partially engaged. But I didn't know that while I was riding. I thought since I'd given up alcohol, and been drinking so much water (thanks Jon) I'd be a gazzel! It was a route we do often, and usually as a reprieve in our training. I made the same breakfast mistake I thought I'd learned from last year, but even eating didn't help. I was sluggish, and it was all I could do to make my bike go forward. It was our first ride since the snow, and it was cold and wet. With every fibre of my being Grams, I wanted to stop, throw my bike and cry. 

But I learned more than if I'd nailed that ride.

1. Regular bike maintance is imperative. 

2. Keep pedalling. Even when it sucks. 

3. My cousin, life coach, mentor, riding buddy and cheerleader Cindy is irrefutably one of the most important people in my life. I hope one day I get the chance to encourage her like she did for me yesterday.

4. Jon is as optimistic as me, if not more so, with unwavering faith in my abilities. "You got the best work out of your life!" 

In true form of this experience, this is my second time writing this post, the first time I left the page to find the link to my fundraising and it disappeared. Hopefully I wrote it better the second time. Here's the link:

Friday, February 17, 2017

Whistlered right

For family day Whistler had half priced tickets for BC residents, so Serena, Shaun, Jon and I drove up for skiing/boarding. A series of mini events had us up and skiing by noon. Our first priority was taking as many chair lifts as we could to get to the top. We miandered our way down, stopping for a snacky lunch on one of the runs. While eating we even commented, "where is everyone? Feels like we have the mountain to ourselves..." When we finally got to the bottom, we headed over to the Blackcomb side to take the gondola. We all hopped off with our gear at the midstation, and laughing like hyena's rushed back into another gondola with only one guy in it. He turned to us when we settled and composed ourselves and said, "did you guys get stuck on Whistler when it shut down?" And we said, "whatever do you speak of?" Turns out, the whole Whistler side of the mountain was shut down for a couple hours in the middle of the day, some people were stuck on lifts for 45 minutes before they got running again. We missed it. Completely. Let's be clear, I have a healthy fear of heights, and being on a chair lift is one thing, but they swing when they stop, and then dangling there for 45 minutes? I'd have freaked. My friend at work told me about a movie "Frozen" where people got left on a chair lift for a weekend, one got their face stuck to the pole, one froze, one jumped off and got eaten by wolves...sounds like only one got out alive. Lucky bugger. We even lucked out and took our last chair at 3:40pm, and got the most out of our day. Hit up the Longhorn for dinner, I'd recommend it, their poutine is delicious. That's right, I gave in - whole heartedly and I don't regret it. We had an amazing day, and that we avoided a mess made it even better. 


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Casual ring

A friend of mine at work got a ring from her boyfriend and said, "it's not an engagement ring though guys, it's just a casual ring"  

Despite scooping ice cream for a customer, I said to her, "I think what you're looking for is 'promise ring' what you said sounds much worse" that's when said customer piped in, "yea, this is my friends with benefits ring" I laughed so hard I practically fell into the ice cream cooler. 

Found that when I was looking for my picture and I barfed in my mouth a little. Okay, a lot. Here it comes again...