The Adventure Continues…

Just Another Sob Story

by | Apr 3, 2019 | 14 comments

“No one can tell you what to expect or can offer a guide to grief. Because every relationship is so unique, no two people grieve the same way. And you have no idea how you are going to grieve till you are grieving.” -Alysia Reiner

New Mexico is officially in the rear view mirror. I departed an hour or so after sunrise on Monday, April 1st, to begin wandering in an easterly direction. The last New Mexico State Park I resided was between the small town of Logan and the windy shores Ute Lake. It was one of the few locations in the state that I felt welcomed.

The first visit to the family owned grocery store was the tell-all sign I needed to confirm I was in a good-for-me location. After picking up the bright red shopping basket and dangling it over my left forearm, I headed to the produce section to look over my options. A gentleman about my age greeted me and asked if there was anything he could help me find. I smiled, and told him I was debating what to prepare for dinner. He smiled and jokingly replied that once I figured it out to let him know.

Each employee I encountered was just as courteous and accommodating. It felt good to be acknowledged and welcomed. Even the young man who had a large puddle of Coke flowing across half of the aisle was kind, considerate and eager to assist me (on his way to the back room to get a mop ’n bucket). The wild thing; he did not swear (not even under his breath), have a temper tantrum, a bit of rage or cast off a hint of frustration.

It’s amazing how simple customer service can impact a patron’s mood.

The two young ladies working at the gas station were kind and accommodating, as well. It was a nice way to end my time in New Mexico versus the unfortunate events that I mentioned in What I Found At The Grocery Store that occurred the afternoon I arrived at Bottomless Lake State Park east Roswell.

It’s not about the destination, it’s the journey. Right? I’m gonna call bullshit on that saying. The entire time I was planning this adventure to the west, I couldn’t wait to get to New Mexico. And once I arrived, I don’t know what happened. It was not what I expected. I kept searching for a place that had that special feeling. Something was missing. I enjoyed the city of Deming, Silver City, Elephant Butte and, of course, the Gila Mountain Nation Park. But… yeah, I didn’t feel what it was that I had anticipated. Yes, I did. I take that back. I felt that woo-hoo spark I sought on the mountain passes and at the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Park. I’m tellin’ ya, there’s magic in them there hills. I even wrote about it in A Raven’s Message.

Thursday evening, the same day I wrote Until Next Time, I spoke with several women in an entrepreneur master mind group. What they had to share astounded me! My question to the group was, “Do you feel there are too many sob stories out there? I’m debating if I want to continue working on the book I started writing.”

Let me tell ya, I was not prepared for their responses. Nope. Not at all.

I was an emotional wreck on that call (with the anniversary of Jeremiah’s death a week away). They were kind, gentle and very firm in telling me that the world needs my story. One woman stated, “Do you think Elizabeth Gilbert, Cheryl Stray and others who wrote about their journey saw the story unfold while they were living it? No. They were living the experience in the moment. They wrote their books once they were home.”

Then add all the comments I received regarding Until Next Time, I was brought to more tears. By the way, I want to thank each of you who wrote to me. I appreciate your kindness, support and love.

So now I get it. I’ve been so mentally occupied with how the book would-should-could end, reliving my past and holding too tight to my heartbreak. And, for the most part, unintentionally did everything to stay out of the moment.

I kept expecting some grandiose thing – you know, that thing that changes ev-er-ree-thing. A day or two before Thursday morning sucker punched me as I finally admitted my time “out west” was done. I was certain something life changing would happen in New Mexico. Dread and disappointed washed over me and drowned my mood. I felt like a failure and let myself down because I didn’t experience whatever I had conjured up in my imagination.

So when I was listening to the women in the master mind group tell me that my story matters, that people need to know what it’s really like to grieve the loss of a child to suicide without any sugar coating, and how traveling alone has it’s advantages and disadvantages (okay, I added the last part), I had no idea that my story has made a difference in anyone’s life.

I have worked myself into an emotional tizzy anticipating the looming tidal wave of grief to sweep me off my feet and slam me against the rocky bottom. This past Sunday was my ex-husband’s birthday. He would have been fifty-three years old. Tuesday was the fifth rotation around the sun since my father’s passing after the longest good-bye from Alzheimer’s. On Wednesday, April 10th, Mason, our family and I will honor the blessings of Jeremiah’s life for the second year.

They claim there’s five stages of grief. Again, I have to call BULLSHIT!! For those of us in the God forsaken parental club none of us signed up for, it does not go away. Grief for us never ends. The tidal waves of emotions crash down hard out of no where without any warning and slams us against the rocks. On the emotionally calmer days, they (our children) still reside front of mind. Our arms long to hold our child again; ears hopping to hear “Mom/Dad” one more time; to see our child walk through the front door. Damn it!

Somewhere along the way, I was listening to a mom on television talk about how her and her husband are healing after the murder of her teenage daughter. She said the five stages of grieving loops continuously. I agree. As soon as I think I’m wrapping up the fifth stage, the first stage sits right beside me on the emotional roller coaster and whispers in my ear, “Hold on, dear one, the ride doesn’t end.”

With the passing of each person, the grieving process is different. Expect that.

There’s plenty for my family to celebrate in April. My youngest son, Mason, and his wife celebrated their seventh wedding anniversary a couple of days ago. My Mom’s birthday is tomorrow. And, it’s spring! What’s not to love about spring!?

It’ll be interesting to see what lays ahead on the highway. I know the east coast is much different than the west. I must admit, I am curious to see how I will feel about the new location.

Life is an amazing adventure.

Captured moments along the way…

Palo Duro State Park in Armarillo, Texas
Palo Duro State Park in Amarillo, Texas
Palo Duro State Park in Armarillo, Texas
Palo Duro State Park in Armarillo, Texas

Explore the adventures that got me here…

Until Next Time…

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About The Author

C.K. Kochis

I am a writer; it's what I do. My mission in life is to guide women exhausted from nurturing others and the stagnation of daily routines to ignite self-love through the power of their words. I am utilizing my Integrative Nutrition Health Coach education as the foundation of ElementsForAHealthierLife.com to create a platform for coaches and leaders to share pearls of wisdom and professional insights. I wrote, designed and published “Get A Compass Not A Clock” and “UnLeash Your Story: A Journal Writer's Guidebook”. My virtual assistant clients keep me creatively busy, while my grandsons teach me about the importance of play.

14 Comments

  1. Andrea

    I think it’s important that you keep putting one foot in front of the other — to see where the journeys lead you. You’re very brave to keep putting it out there.

    Reply
    • C.K. Kochis

      I agree, Andrea. And I am.

      Reply
  2. Jenn Prothero

    Love you. That is all the words I have in this moment.

    Reply
    • C.K. Kochis

      Thank you, Jenn. I love you, too. You’re a dear friend.

      Reply
  3. Ruthie Lewis

    Beautiful, Cindy!! So glad we got to spend time together! Hope your time on the east coast was soulful. Keep following your heart and living authentically!

    Much love,

    Ruthie

    Reply
    • C.K. Kochis

      It was good to stop and visit with you on my easterly travels. You have a beautiful, and very comfortable, home. Thank you for you kindness and generosity. I am grateful. Much love to you, as well.

      Reply
  4. Barb Parcells

    Everything you’ve written so far, every experience you’ve shared and every honest emotion you have expressed, has been a blessing and a lesson for someone. You have such a gift for telling the story and letting us all feel it along with you, and in that way we all learn something about ourselves as well. I can’t wait to see where your adventure takes all of us next!

    Reply
    • C.K. Kochis

      Your encouraging words inspire me to put pen to paper and share my story, Barb. Thank you for all the love and support, and riding along with me on this journey. I, too, am curious to see where the adventure takes us.

      Reply
  5. Vatsala Shukla

    I remember learning all about the 5 Stages of Grief when I lost my father, Cindy, thinking there was a road map for bereavement and grief and a timeline for the pain to stop.

    What I discovered instead was there is no timeline and it comes in waves. There are good days and then suddenly something happens and one remembers and there is sadness.

    One day at a time is the mantra that has helped me in my journey to numb the pain. Parent, child or loved one, if there has been love, then the sorrow of losing them is but natural and human.

    Reply
    • C.K. Kochis

      The ebb and flow of grieving. It’s an unpredictable ride, isn’t it? Many blessings to you, Vatsala. Thank you for sharing your insights.

      Reply
  6. Suzie Cheel

    First I was distressed to read your post because I love New Mexico, I first went there one winter and just loved it and found it friendly. I went back the next year in summer for a conference in Santa Fe. I also felt I had lived there in a past life as I had painted images that I saw there. I must find a photo to share with you

    After your comment on my post today- excited to read the next episode. Keep telling your story it will help others through their grief too. Love you xxoo

    Reply
    • C.K. Kochis

      Due to the winter weather conditions, I was not able to spend time in Santa Fe. I’ve heard it’s quite the creative community. There’s a good chance I’ll return to the state. After all, I fell in love with the mountain ranges and the dessert. I would love to see the photo, Suzie. Love you, too.

      Reply
  7. Heather

    Grief can be difficult and you are right each person reacts differently. In my knowing, God and the Angels can always help you with that. I talked to a Shaman once regarding death and grief and he mentioned some believed it takes 7 years to pass through the grief. I hope that’s not true for most people. Grief can be agonizing. It can hold you hostage from the joy that is in life. I’m glad you have other things to celebrate. Once a person dies, I have always chosen to celebrate their life. It’s not that I don’t miss them, I do, but I keep with the memory of all they stood for in life. Yes as humans with such heavy emotions it’s hard not to have them here with us still but I know that we can still contact them in another form. I know they would never want us to stay stuck in grief. They were here to bring us joy and that is what they still wish for us. Hard as it may be at times. Trust me, I know.

    Reply
  8. Zeenat Merchant Syal

    Your story is full of courage and give everyone strength…So you keep living one day at a time and keep sharing your beautiful journey here. And I do agree with you…Life is an adventure…and a GRAND one at that 🙂 xoxo

    Reply

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