How are you feeling?

What are your plans for tomorrow?

Welcome to the thirteenth edition of my “Gatekeeping” blog series. I shared the back story of these simple and yet powerful questions in this post.

It’s been almost another two years since we last did some Gatekeeping here.

And again, I can hardly believe I let that much time pass since my last Gatekeeping post. It was two years in between that one and the one that came before it. When I started doing these I’d typically share them every few months or so.

Yesterday afternoon a good friend shared that one of her old and dear friends was missing. By the end of the day his body was found. He died by suicide. My friend and her family adored him, his wife and their two young children. He was a local school teacher, beloved by his students. No one knew how much pain he was in, until this happened.

Anyone following a story like this will likely feel sadness. I am not alone in that.

Anyone who has lost loves ones to suicide may experience triggers, when they hear about others who are following in their heartbreaking footsteps. That is not unique to me.

So I am not surprised to be feeling down this morning.

I am aware of my privilege, to be able to honor, sit with, and somewhat wallow in my feelings today, while my husband is at work and our children are at school.

However, I know that life must go on and I have things that I need to get done.

I intend to get to those things shortly.

But first, let’s do some Gatekeeping…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Over the past six years, I have lost loved ones to suicide. I realize that there is likely nothing I could have done to change the outcome of their lives, but it is something that I struggle with as I continue to work through my grief and try to make peace with these people taking their own lives.

I know that many of us suffer in silence when we are going through difficult and uncertain times in our lives. It doesn’t have to be that way.

I am not asking you to tell me your secrets or your problems, unless you want to of course. But I invite you to check in here periodically (you can also email me or send a Facebook message) and let me know how you are feeling and what plans you may have for tomorrow.

Here’s an excerpt from the post I referenced above called Gatekeepers:

My favorite line in Meg (Hutchinson’s) song (called Gatekeepers) is, “maybe every day, in ordinary ways, we hold each other on, we keep each other here.”

I think that is so profound and it certainly rings true for me.

There have been countless people throughout my life that have been “Gatekeepers” to me. Though I have never seriously considered taking my own life and strongly believe that I will never do so, I have survived some very rough patches where my self-esteem and self-worth were severely challenged. 

I love the idea that in “ordinary ways” we can make extraordinary differences in the journeys of loved ones and even strangers that we meet throughout the course of our day-to-day lives. 

Kevin “the Gatekeeper” Briggs has done so by asking those two simple questions of strangers he has met contemplating jumping (off the Golden Gate Bridge), Meg Hutchinson has done so through her music and song, Bob Edwards has done so with the stories he shares on his radio show and you all have done so for me over the years through your comments here, your caring ways, your love and your support as my readers, fellow bloggers, friends and family members. 

Thank you so very much.

I post “Gatekeeping” blog entries now and then and hope that they present the opportunity for anyone who reads them who is having a hard time coping with challenges they are facing in life to share. That said, you are certainly welcome to comment about the things you are feeling good about too. I believe that being able to recognize and name the things we are grateful for is essential to help us find peace and joy in our lives. That is part of why I loved participating in Lori’s Perfect Moment Mondays.

Sometimes it’s the little things than can help keep us a float when we feel like we are drowning. Just knowing that others care and want to know how we are feeling, as well as being able to think about what we might do tomorrow has the power to help us get through tough times.

Thank you for reading. I hope that however you are doing today that you know there are people in your life (I am one of them) who care about how you are feeling and want to know what your plans, hopes and dreams are for tomorrow and the days to come.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I will start us off by answering the questions myself:

I am feeling… 

Sad — Between following the loss of my good friend’s friend and the news of the death of Soundgarden front man/singer Chris Cornell (age 52), possibly by suicide (though as of yet undetermined), along with hearing a childhood friend’s father also died this week, grief seems to be surrounding me.

Though I don’t have direct connections to any of these people, my heart breaks for my friend and all those whose live were touched and better for knowing her friend. I was never a huge fan of Chris Cornell, though I certainly like some of his songs. However, my sister and many of my friends are/were. So I get their grief and needing to process his death, as a musician/icon of our generation.

And though I didn’t know my childhood friend’s father well, I vividly recall seeing him at church many Sundays when I was growing up. He had a big personality, wore colorful clothing to match his energy, and I can still picture his smile from across our congregation. He was older than my parents, but not by a lot, and all of these losses are reminders that nothing is promised us and any day can be our (or our loved ones) last.

Hot — Typical to Chicago, our spring was brief and now we are getting a glimpse of summer. I have a low tolerance for humidity and though it seems too cool to turn on the A/C, it is also a little warmer than I would like with out. #firstworldproblems

Hormonal — My period is due any moment. I am sure my emotions are exacerbated by that. So I am trying to give myself grace as a I process my feelings.

Tired — I didn’t get enough sleep last night. That is something I have control over, for the most part, and need to work harder at going to bed earlier. As with a morning routine that includes my alarm going off at 5:00 a.m. to get up and work out, going to bed after 11:00 p.m. is not the brightest idea.

Grateful — Anytime I/we learn of the death of someone close in age to me/us, with a spouse/partner/significant other and children, it hits close to home. I feel thankful to have Bob, Sean, and Abby in my life. As difficult as things can be with a husband who works hard and a lot (which his wife and children appreciate so much), a teenager who is learning to navigate life at 13 (which I am still doing at 42), and a 7-year-old daughter who also has her struggles, especially when things don’t go as she hopes/expects them to (don’t we all?!), on days like today I need to pause and recognize how very blessed and lucky I am/we are. I can’t assume they know how much I care and I love them. Though I feel like I share that often, today I will say it out loud, to each one of them, when they get home from school and from work. I may even call Bob before then, because it matters. He matters. They matter. You matter. WE. ALL. MATTER.

Motivated — I am working towards some big goals with my health and fitness coaching business in the month to come. Three years in to doing this I still love it! I am not where I’d imagined I would be by now, in some ways, and that’s okay. It’s a process and I am always learning. And I still really enjoy helping people on their health and fitness journeys, leading accountability/support groups, and working with the awesome fellow coaches on our team.

I am also always working on my own health and fitness. I am enjoying doing Beachbody’s newest workout program release “YouV2” with Bob and our newest morning workout buddy, Sean! I crave Shakeology’s newest flavor Vegan Vanilla every day, especially making my version of a “Miami Vice” tropical smoothie (without the alcohol) by adding fresh-cut pineapple and strawberries to it.

Though I try not to focus on the scale, I have hit a bit of a plateau there recently. I find that frustrating, as the plateau came after I gained about 5-8 lbs. from where I like to be. I have been following the Portion Fix/21 Day Fix Eating Plan now for over 500 days in row. I am proud of that and it really works for me. That said, sometimes I am too liberal in my allotment of extra containers when I splurge, especially yellows = carb servings. So I continue to work on reigning that in.

My plans for tomorrow/the days to come… 

This afternoon Abby has ballet class and swim team practice and it is my night to be carpool mom/driver. So I will be doing that after school and homework is done.

Tonight Sean and I will be attending a meeting with fellow 7th graders and their parents at our parish church, in preparation for him making his confirmation next year.

We have Sean’s 504 plan meeting tomorrow morning at his school. I don’t talk about that much here, but know that, as any parents do/try to, we are doing the best we can to support our twice exceptional son on his journey with some special needs.

This weekend my sister and her family are coming to visit. We will watching our niece and nephew for part of that time. Sean and Abby enjoy playing with their cousins from Wisconsin and I look forward to some quality time with our god-daughter and her little brother, as well as their parents. Hoping we can fit in some Euchre and/or other family games while they are here.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lori Lavender Luz May 18, 2017 at 12:21 pm

Oooh….your timing is on point. We just have a very similar situation at the local middle school. The community is reeling.

I am feeling…relieved and thankful. I just delivered 2 different speeches — one a commencement address and one a webinar — and I am happy for how they turned out and also happy that they’re now in my rear-view mirror!

My plans for the days to come…to hang out with family and to knock some things off my to-do list.

Wishing you well with your plans, Kathy. Thanks for this post focused on connection.
Lori Lavender Luz recently posted..Top TenMy Profile

Reply

2 loribeth May 22, 2017 at 3:20 pm

I am sorry to hear about your friend’s loss, Kathy — although it is always nice to see a new blog post from you! I have seen a lot of social media posts about Chris Cornell, and I have to admit, Soundgarden was a little “after my time” 😉 although I do know one or two of their songs. But I have felt the same way when some of my own generation’s musical heroes have died — especially so young & senselessly (I’m thinking about Prince, last spring — what a shock that was!).

Right now, I am a little bored (which I seldom am). 😉 It’s a long weekend holiday Monday here and almost everything is closed, so we’ve spent the day at home. That’s OK to do now & then, but i know we will both be itching to get out of the house tomorrow!! So we will do our usual Monday lunch out & grocery shopping tomorrow, and probably drop by our favourite bookstore for a browse too. 🙂 We also have dental checkups & cleanings to (not!) look forward to later in the week!

Thank you for checking in on your readers! 🙂
loribeth recently posted..#MicroblogMondays: Let’s break the silence on another taboo subjectMy Profile

Reply

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

*

Previous post:

Next post: