“Going Through Changes”

Welcome to Mother’s Backyard Buzz and #empathyforgrief Episode #12, where I want to focus on change and “Going Through Changes.” Each topic is all about “breaking the silent struggle” around grief. 

My podcasts are based on my personal grief journey from my book: My Backyard Garden – A Memoir of How Love Conquers Grief. I share current insights into this life-changing journey called grief. Thanks for joining me, Debra Hester, as the author and your host of #empathyforgrief podcast.

March 2020 and COVID-19 is Deep

I’m still reflecting on Chapter 1, “A Change of Planes.” in my book if you’re following along. And this is the beauty of reflection; it takes into account our past and our present state. I’m sure if you’re listening to this episode #12 in March of 2020, the current state of the world is changing faster than any of us could have imagined. 

COVID-19, the coronavirus is a pandemic, and we in the U.S. are experiencing a different lifestyle. Information is coming from inside and outside of our borders, and we have daily reports on changing laws, decisions, requirements, progress, and events that affect our lifestyle. Right now, going through changes is an understatement. 

To make my point, I’m going to share my podcast writing process. What I do is, I reread my book and the topics that I want to focus on I highlight and put them in a schedule. When the time and subject gets close, I spend some time reflecting on the topic and share my current insights. So basically, I plan my topics ahead. So months ago, I knew I would be writing my 12th podcast on the subject of “Going Through Changes.” 

March Madness Redefined

Looking back five years ago on my grief journey, I’m not sure if I understood the magnitude of this single word: change. For me, the term “change” was enough five years ago because that’s how I felt; that’s all I knew, and that’s what I wrote in my book. At that time, five years ago, I had to make travel changes so I could go see my mother alive one last time. A somewhat simple task for a frequent flyer became challenging. 

But even then, I had to keep my emotions under control. I consciously focused my mind, eyes, and hands on my laptop and that travel change website versus calling. If only for a short time, I needed to change what seemed like every detail of my life. I felt my mother’s life coming to an end, and I wanted to spend every moment with her. 

Life is change. 2020 is a new decade and has brought with it more change than most of us have witnessed in quite a while, if ever. Even the term March Madness has a dual meaning to me now with COVID-19. 

Not Knocking Change

The world, people, organizations, friends, and loved ones require us to change now. Believe me, I’m not knocking change. Actually, I sort of love changing. I believe in transitions, but it is still a process. Sometimes and some of us handle change better than others. I ask you to think back. When you reflect on the most change you’ve experienced, the offer to change often comes with rewards.

But, the collective we, including me, are going through so very much change right now, I don’t even want to use the word “change.” So for the rest of this podcast, when I talk about “change,” I’m just going to say “goin’ thru.” That’s how I feel right now, that going through changes in the world has stepped it up a notch or two, maybe three. We are “goin’ thru” more than ever before. 

Is “goin’ thru” a bad thing? I believe not. But I believe it’s a big thing, and an important thing to do, reflect on and as always show yourself and others some empathy during these times. As if we can just change. I’ve learned on my grief journey, we don’t instantly change, we “go thru,” then we, it or something happens that is different. 

Goin’ Thru Something Broader

On top of your grief, how do you feel amidst all this COVID-19 happening in the world? Many are encouraging people to be positive, and that is always good. That’s what I’m doing too, remaining positive. I believe that positive thoughts and actions help our immune system. I try to laugh every day to keep my endorphins high. Exercise and stretching help me some. But laughing is easier. 

Truthfully, I try to stay positive, regardless. And while I remain positive, I also can’t ignore and rose color glass what’s happening around me either, or I won’t get the help my mind and body needs right now. I have to admit how I’m really feeling right now. My truth is, still, I’m goin’ thru. Let me break it down this way:

I need to eliminate the word change, drop the letter “g” in the word “going” to make it “goin” and reduce the term “t-h-r-o-u-g-h” to “t-h-r-u.” Yes, in my mind, we are all at this point in time, “goin thru.” 

When my mother died, I have now realized that I was “goin’ thru” the beginning of a life event. A life-altering, mind-blowing event that on the front end started with trying not to cry while changing airline tickets. Somehow I was able to go thru without crying and get that task done. 

I believe we all have untapped abilities that are released in times like these, and when life events demand it. They build us up, mold us, and alter us. If you haven’t experienced the loss of a loved one, then grief and loss are one of those life events that call on some type of untapped reserve. 

Even though I don’t like to say “be strong” to people who have lost a loved one. I believe this is what people mean when they say “be strong.” Personally, I’d rather say “be you” because I’ve found that grief requires many emotions. Usually, the person knows what they need, and when they need it. And with empathy, I work to be there for them. 

Episode #12, “Goin’ Thru,” shares my perspective on our redefined March Madness 2020. As always, I hope that it is helpful. I believe we are in a time of “goin thru”; when we must adapt, modify, revise, and transform our lives right now more than ever. Remembering that many words will describe this time in our world, that it’s more than that one word I didn’t use and definitely more words than “goin’ thru.” 

For me, defining these times this way, using “goin’ thru,” leaves it open and flexible for me to throw whatever I need in and take whatever I need out. Maybe thinking of it this way can help you through your journey too.

The Real Deal

Loved ones, I believe we are in the process of substituting the lifestyle we use to know to hopefully a lifestyle that is better. And that is going to take some “goin’ thru.” Grief and loss are real, whether it’s losing a loved one or a lifestyle. So as always, I encourage you to show yourself and others more empathy than sympathy. 

I want to thank you loved ones for listening to #empathyforgrief podcasts episode #12 about “Goin’ Thru.” My podcasts are based on my book, My Backyard Garden – A Memoir of How Love Conquers Grief. My book is a quick read. It’s meant to capture and share the reality of life and inspire reflection and conversation for those of us who are on this grief journey or know of someone who is. 

This is Debra Hester, your host, where I pledge to continue to break the silent struggle with grief and loss. Remember: move forward from the pain of your loss with love and more empathy, less sympathy. If you found the podcast helpful, it’s available anytime on iHeart, iTunes, Google Play, or from your favorite podcast provider. 

#empathyforgrief podcast is now on the radio with Force 3 FM Radio Network and also streaming online at www.force3radio.com at 2pm CST during their all gospel music Sundays. I invite you to find out more about my mission at www.mothersbackyard.org. Join me next week when we continue with Chapter 1 – A Change of Planes in my book, My Backyard Garden, A Memoir of How Love Conquers Grief. And the buzz will be about “Small Choices-Big Blessings.” 

Peace & Blessings