healing after loss


The tree planting was a success, and the rain held off. Each child decorated a rock and placed it at the base of the tree. The blue pinwheel is one of four of different colors that they had outside the daycare entrance last year - and it’s the only one to have survived intact through the brutal winter. I’ve had similar ones on James’ grave over the past year. The director wrote James’ name and his dates of birth and death on the pages of the book the little angel is holding.

Ray was sleeping when I got there, but I basically said, “Sorry buddy, but I’m not doing this without you!” and picked him up.

The ceremony was very sweet. James’ girlfriend/future wife took it upon herself to be the first one to place her rock, which seemed so appropriate to me. Each class held a baby blue balloon and we all let them go at the same time. I gratefully took the opportunity to say a few words through my tears, mainly wanting to tell the staff that the work they do is so important and to thank them for loving our kids.

Three folks from my agency - including my case worker and home finder - came and they gave me the little mom and baby statue. It made me bawl - I had just been thinking about the last time I held James when he was alive, and it was in the rocking chair in his nursery and his head was on my shoulder, just like this.

gypsy-belle  asked:

Top five moments in the Outlander TV series that you feel were BEST adapted from the books.

Oh goodness, what a great question!

Jamie’s response after Faith’s death (2x07): In the books, I hated that Jamie rushed off to Portugal, leaving MONTHS of emptiness between he and Claire after the worst had happened. When he DID come back, I really disliked the “nettles” exchange/reconciliation.  Some excellent analysis by @lenny9987 and my other supersmart friends has helped me come to terms a bit more with that chapter. HOWEVER, I still truly hate Jamie’s anger over what she did to have him freed, and the whole tone that that cast over their grieving for their daughter. So, I think it was a MARVELOUS adaptation in the show for Jamie to come IMMEDIATELY to find Claire, and then to show true strength (still grief and revulsion, but holding it in check) by hardly missing a beat before saying “you did it to save me”. This was such a relief for me as a viewer, because this is how I would have written it. It was also so important to me that they visited the grave together, something which DG does not show. 

The wedding episode in general (1x07). I think they did a masterful job in showing Claire’s growth from shame and hesitancy to tenderness and love in so short a time. 

Similarly, the entire Rent episode (1x05). I think they did a fantastic job in just an hour episode of showing the tensions, the growing affections, the political landscape, etc. It remains one of my favorite episodes to this day!

Claire’s return to 1948 (2x01): In the books, we have to wait until the third book to see Claire’s pain after Culloden/the aftermath with Frank. In the books, we go straight from Hot Spring Sex at the end of Outlander to BAM CRASH ZIPBOOMBAH SURPRIIIISE here we are in 1968 with no explanation, cheers!!!!! I think it was a fantastic decision to start season two instead in 1948. It’s still jarring, and still a WAIT WHAT HAPPENED?? moment, but far less drastic, and so much more respectful for Claire’s growth and experience as a character

Not really a moment, per se, but the decision to make Fergus a part of Claire’s emotional journey as well as Jamie’s. I’ve ranted before about this, but it’s worth saying again that it really bothers me in the books how ambivalent Claire is to Fergus over the years, (all the way from her very comforting “"Don’t tell me any more” when he’s falling apart confiding in her about his rape by BJR, to the total absence of him in her emotional landscape in the later books) it just bugs the crap out of me. She bonds with Marsali and with the children, but Fergus is always “Jamie’s”. I think the show did a particularly good job of beefing up this relationship from the start, and for showing how Fergus is part of Claire’s healing after the loss of Faith.

Sorry for the novel! Thank you again for such a thought-provoking ask! 

I had to drive over to my friend’s house tonight to fix a couple of peachicks that hatched with splayed legs. I sent him away to find scissors and he left me in the basement with his nephew, who was like…. idk, maybe 8? Sweet kid. I was showing him how to hold the peachick so that I could tape the legs, but I guess scissors were really hard to find because then we were just sitting there alone and this kid realized I was Beep’s owner, and asked me if I had a peacock in my house. I said, I used to. He asked what happened, and I said She ate something bad for her, and he said ‘oh.’ very small and disappointed. At this point I was now sitting in a basement with a child I didn’t really know, holding a baby bird and crying. Awesome. But he just asked a couple of more soft questions like was it a boy or a girl, and what color was she, and what was her name. And then he took the baby bird, who had started peeping again, out of my hands and snuggled it to his face and said don’t cry, you’re gonna have a good life here. Then my friend came back and after we had gotten the chicks taped up to sort out their issues, I was going to sit one of them in a bowl, which the kid had fetched at some point. He told me “this is my favorite bowl” and I said “well you might want to get a different one, cause this baby might be sitting in it for a few days.” and he considered this, kissed the bowl and said “goodbye, friend. you’re going to help someone else now.” and then he asked my friend if he could keep one of the babies in the house like I did.

So, it turns out that putting Ray to bed last night was one of the hardest parts of this whole one-year-later thing. There were too many similarities that I couldn’t control - it was a hot night, Ray was running a slight temp (teething, not illness)… I held him extra tight and extra long, but my breath still caught in my throat as I closed the door to the nursery and told him “night-night.”

His teething was a blessing in disguise, since he woke up several times, whimpered for a minute - long enough to wake me up so I could hear him - then fell back asleep.

I realized during the day yesterday that next year might be even more difficult, since Ray will be the same age James was when he died. I’ve already decided that I will reserve the right to sleep on the floor of the nursery that night if I feel I need to.

The Easy Way (Prologue) - Carl Grimes & Negan Imagine

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

Part 13

Part 14

Part 15

Part 16

Part 17

Part 18

Part 19

Part 20


summary: aftermath of the lineup

a/n: wowzers there are now more than 700 people following this blog that’s crazy thank you for putting up with me

let me know what you think! my messages and inbox are always open, and i respond to everything :-)

word count: 1122

tagged users: @deeindarkwonderland @namelesslosers 

Everything around you was moving in slow motion as your head was clouded with the images of Abraham collapsing onto the cement. His body lay lifeless, twitching on the ground for a moment before becoming still, the rise and fall of his chest slowing until his lungs could no longer take in any new breaths. Your mouth hung open, and your eyes opened and closed in thirty-second intervals. 

Maggie stared at the ground in front of her, avoiding the living and the dead bodies which surrounded her. Her mind was as scrambled as yours; varying from blank static waves to the last words of her loved ones–her lover. Her breathing quickened as her eyes darted towards Glenn’s corpse, which was something you hadn’t yet dared to attempt. 

You weren’t ready to see Abraham’s body; to discover him in a whole new way you wished you never had been exposed to. He was the one constant in your life–your last connection to the world before it all went to hell–and now he was gone. He had vanished into thin air within seconds, but his lifeless body lay in front of you. 

Sasha couldn’t look at you because you didn’t know about her and Abraham. Rosita was afraid to look at you because she was the only person who loved him almost as much as you did. Rick didn’t know what to say, and he knew he couldn’t make it better. All he could do was hope his son would be there for you, and that you’d have someone to rely on. 

Carl placed a hand on your shoulder, and you turned around, falling into his embrace without questioning yourself. Nobody said a word, so the sound of his rapidly beating heart was the only thing proving that you were still conscious. Your ears rang like sirens, and your head pounded like the strongest man alive had placed his hands on each side of your face and squeezed. 

You were thankful he didn’t apologize, because you wouldn’t know how to respond in an acceptable way. Then again, nothing was really unacceptable those days. He had told you about his mom dying, and how much of a toll it took on his dad. He knew what it was like to lose someone, but he did’t know what it was like to lose the last person you had. 

Yes, Carl had lost many loved ones, but he always had his dad right by his side. When his mom died and his dad went a little wild, he had Judith to motivate him to remain strong. Maggie had lost her entire family, and then Glenn was torn from her. She truly had nobody left who she felt she connected with. You felt like you were in a similar situation, but at least you had Carl. 

Originally posted by imagine-multifandom

Carl’s hand combed through your knotted hair calmingly. You counted the strokes his calloused fingertips paved in an attempt to steady your breathing. His thumb rubbed soothing circles on your lower back, causing your eyes to drift shut peacefully. His grip on you was loose enough so you didn’t feel suffocated, but tight enough that you felt safe. 

With Carl, you always felt protected. At times, it bothered you. You were treated like such a kid when it was just you, Rosita, Eugene, and Abraham on the road. When you met Rick’s group and saw that there was a boy your age, you were hoping for some kind of realization to come over your brother and Rosita, and that they’d learn that you could take care of yourself. 

But all you needed in that moment was some sense of security. You needed time to allow yourself to mourn, but you knew that just wasn’t likely. The world didn’t slow down for anybody, and it sure as hell wasn’t going to make an exception for you. That was part of survival, though. You take what you can and you deal with it, whether you like it or not. 

Your mind and body battled each other, for your eyelids were droopy and heavy, but your head was cluttered with too many thoughts to clarify. You needed seep, but you knew that wasn’t realistic at all. It was made clear by the growing nausea in your stomach that you wouldn’t be sleeping any time soon. You could pretend, though. You’d have to get used to that. 

Marilyn Monroe was considered one of the most beautiful women, and it’d been said that she lacked confidence. What she lacked in self-esteem, she made up for by faking it. Eventually, she had been faking it for so long that she actually grew to consider herself a confident woman. Maybe if you convinced yourself you were okay for long enough, you would become okay over time. 

The thing is, time wasn’t something you could wait for. Time was against you, and it was winning. Your heart was shattered by the man who killed your brother, and you felt like your body ceased all functions. You didn’t have any time to spare. If you slowed down for a minute to catch your breath, you would be as dead as Abraham. He wouldn’t have wanted that. 

He would never want you to spend time mourning him. He had spent many sorrowful nights discussing the protocol you were to follow in the circumstance of his death. You always laughed when he brought that up, content in your belief that he would live much longer than you. Abraham seemed to think otherwise, though. He was wiser than most gave him credit for. 

Originally posted by monasax

The RV rocked as the uneven pavement created friction against the worn down tires. Your chest rose and fell at an even pace, easing Carl to sleep. He couldn’t relax until he was sure you were okay. He wouldn’t allow you to deal with this alone, but you could tell he was tired. You went out of your way to make him talk to you, seeing as his voice was the only sound that wasn’t completely terrifying. 

You woke up in the morning, sunshine peaking in through the thin curtains of the RV. Carl’s limp body lay next to you, his hair a mess and his limbs flopped across the makeshift bed you had created out of old couch cushions and some extra blankets. Carl seemed so peaceful. His breaths were nearly silent, and his body was relatively still. It wasn’t often that you’d encounter someone sleeping peacefully. 

Maybe it wouldn’t be easy for you to heal after the loss of your brother, but you would learn to cope with the help of the boy whose arms held you close to the center of your universe. 

gotham-ruaidh  asked:

Dear YF - what is your favorite book-to-screen adaptation in Outlander?

Hi Gotham! Great question. Quick background, a coworker gave me Outlander and said I should read it. Walked back to my desk and another coworker noticed the book, tells me about the show and that I need to watch it. I watched the first episode and was hooked, but stopped and read the first book before bingeing the rest of the season. Since everything happened so quickly, I didn’t really have any expectations or lines that must be included in the screen adaptation.

However by the time season two premiered, I had read Dragonfly in Amber twice and had those scenes and lines that I couldn’t wait to see.

I remember reading and envisioning Master Raymond with his frog-like appearance. When he heals Claire after the loss of Faith was just so spiritual and super natural that I couldn’t imagine how it would translate to the screen, but it was everything I hoped for.

“Now,” he said softly. “Call him. Call the red man. Call him.”

His healing of her was described beautifully from the cupping of her breast where her child would have fed, to the reaching into her womb and cleansing her internally. It had the possibility to go so wrong or be too graphic, but it was perfectly done.

For those who would like to or have not read the passage, I’ll put it under the cut.

Keep reading

i’m so so so grateful that one of the biggest and most important lessons in mushishi is just simply to live and keep living. that nature is constantly giving back life, urging you to pick yourself up again, telling you that the world is so big and that there are so many places to belong. weigh every bit of sadness and happiness in your hands as a reminder that you are still alive. rebuild, heal, even after devastation and loss. live and survive in any way that you can.

As the one-year anniversary of James’ death approaches, I find myself struggling more and more. I’m not focused at work. I’m definitely more emotional.

I almost skipped Ray’s swim lesson this afternoon because it was bringing back memories of the swim lesson James had two nights before he died. I’m basically feeling like I want to run away from anything that reminds me of that weekend last year.

But I went. 

And as I entered the lobby of the Y, one of the toddler daycare classes was walking through. The little girl at the end of the line turned around and waved and said “hi” to me – it was one of James’ little girlfriends. I looked at the other children and realized it was James’ class – at least the class he would have been in if he was still here.

So, that had me on the edge of tears… Then, while walking back through the building with Ray, we ran into the mom who had messaged me about the tree and her little girl (the one I had pictured James growing up to marry), who was crying. The little girl stopped crying the second she caught sight of us, smiled, and said “hi.” 

The mom told me she wanted to take her daughter up to the cemetery this weekend to put a pinwheel on James’ grave, but was a little worried about answering her questions – she didn’t want to scare her. Her daughter is a month younger than James was, so she’ll be 3 in September. When you think about it, we humans have some strange customs – how do you explain to a 3-year-old that the body of her friend is buried under the earth and the spot is marked by a big stone? And how do you help her understand that he’s not in his body anymore, so she doesn’t have to be afraid for him? (Seriously, let me know if you have a good suggestion because I’ll see the mom at the tree-planting ceremony tomorrow – plus, I’m going to have to have the same conversation with Ray someday, so…)

In chatting with the mom about all of this, my emotions got the best of me and the tears spilled over. She was sweet and gave me a hug, and then Ray and I headed off to swim class.

Class only lasted 15 minutes because someone (not Ray, thankfully) pooped in the pool so they had to make us all get out. It was a blessing in disguise for us because Ray has been so cranky in the evenings lately – the child refuses to nap and is just exhausted by the time we get home. So he was in bed by 6:30.

I’m both anxious about and looking forward to tomorrow, which I’m sure will be very emotional. I have the tree planting at 10, my psychic reading at 11:30, and a massage at 2. 

I’m not sure what Saturday will bring, except Ray and I have another swim class in the morning. Maybe we’ll get outside for a walk if the weather’s nice. I’m certain I’ll need whatever emotional relief I can get.

But Sunday… Sunday is the beast that’s staring me down. All I know for sure is that I want to get myself and Ray out of the house as early in the day as possible… The friends we’re going to hang out with aren’t available until noon, so I’m checking to see if the family who used to watch James (and now occasionally watches Ray) would let me take them to breakfast or brunch. Ray and I will also visit the cemetery before going to my friends’ house.

I’m hoping that by Monday morning I’ll be able to get back to what I consider my “new normal” – the grief is always there, but it’s usually in the background; part of my life, not the main focus of my life. This week, though, it is in sharp, painful focus.

Life is hard. My career has taken me all over the globe and I have met amazing people at all stages of their lives. Nothing ever prepared me for witnessing the grief and despair of a mother losing her child.

My path with Kate crossed before I had become a mother. I was fluttering into her life as her daughter’s young life was coming to an end. When Sarah passed, it was devastating for everyone, even though it was expected. To watch a four year old leave this world, well, there are no words to describe how terrible it is.

This is very hard for me to write, years later, because I can’t help but feel that anguish and wonder “what if that was my child?” over and over. Being a parent brings more depth to feelings, in a way I never knew.

My path with Kate crossed again last year. She’s tried to build a life for her other child. I don’t know how she does it. We talk about the unknown and loss and hope, and she shared with me that she started painting as a way to heal.

“If one ever can really heal after that loss. Maybe not heal, but learn to live with the hurt,” Kate said to me, giving me a tour of her small, sunlit potting shed-turned-studio.

She also took her hurt and turned it into good works. Before they separated, a couple of years ago, Kate and her husband started a nonprofit to honor her daughter’s memory, to bring comfort to other families, and to show her other child that we must keep living.

She gifted me this painting. I hung it in my little corner home office, intentionally unframed. There’s a lot of meaning for both of us to that painting. I don’t have concrete religious beliefs, but I do believe in hope and having witnessed devastating loss, I believe in the soul.

As I live through the path the kids’ case is taking, I have to keep hope all will be well.

This is very personal, please no reblogs.


Lily: Forgive me for prying, but I heard your mother died this past spring.
Caroline: I just spent the day reliving Stefan’s first time. I really don’t feel like talking about my dead mother with my hostage taker, but thanks.
Lily: I was simply curious about one’s ability to heal after such a loss.
Caroline: Well, you must have had a mother. I mean, even Mussolini had a mother.
Lily: Of course I had a mother.
Caroline: Then you know that love is different than any other kind of love.

[meta] The Apple Pie Life: Sam and Amelia vs. Dean and Lisa

This is a topic that has been on my mind for a while, but this amazing gifset made me really think about how intentional the parallels between Lisa and Amelia are. They are both beautiful and strong women to whom the Winchester boys went to seek comfort and healing after their respective losses, but they also serve to highlight the brothers’ needs and motivations. Some of the conclusions one can draw are illuminating and interesting. Others are saddening. Perhaps most interesting, however, is the way each brother reacted to the other’s attempt to live the “apple pie life” for a little while. (Beware: this meta is Dean-critical.)

Keep reading

The mom of one of James’ little girlfriends (the one I wanted him to grow up to marry) messaged me yesterday. She works at the daycare that Ray attends, and that James attended. They have pinwheels outside the entrance and James always tried to steal them; we’ve kept a blue pinwheel at his grave, and Kelly (the daycare director), keeps one outside the daycare entrance. I’ve told her I like seeing it every day - it makes me think of James watching over his friends.

Honestly, I thought they had forgotten about the idea of planting a tree. Other people had told me they wanted to do things in James’ memory and then I never heard from them again. It’s OK - I get it. Life moves on and we get busy with other things. It happens to me, too - I haven’t been to the cemetery in weeks, and I had thought about other ways to honor James’ memory that I haven’t acted on. (But, in a few weeks, we are giving his scholarship to two deserving young ladies who knew and loved him that are graduating from the school where I work. Thankfully, the scholarship is well-funded and the money should last at least until Ray graduates.)

But I’m so glad they’re doing the tree planting. Another friend suggested they plant a blue chiffon rose of Sharon bush instead of a tree - it produces beautiful blue flowers, and as my friend pointed out, it blossoms in mid-August, around James’ birthday.

It really doesn’t matter what they decide to plant. I’m just grateful that other people are remembering my boy.

It’ll be a year on Sunday since he’s been gone and I have several days’ worth of self-care planned, including therapy, a massage - even a psychic phone reading. I’m also planning to spend the day on Sunday with Ray at the home of some dear friends because I can’t stand the idea of being at my house that day, and these friends are kind enough to host us.

The high holy days of the relationship are hard. So, I’ve already cried more tears this week than I have in a while… But I suppose that this is all just a normal part of grief and of missing someone whom I loved so deeply.