It’s been a long time since my last blog. Being able to actually articulate and get words down happens less these days, as my mind is so all over the place compared to when I first started this blog. I used to love putting my thoughts into words, winding together words and creating the perfect sentence to convey my feelings, my humor, my individual opinions and points of view. I’ve always loved reading, voraciously devouring books any moment I could and I’ve always looked up to authors and their stories that they could spin just from their imaginations. I’ve always enjoyed writing, started with journaling when I was little, but it has always been words about my actual experiences, my thought processes, and my journey of being a beautifully flawed human experiencing life as it comes at me. I am always shocked when real people, actual humans, read my blabbering and praise it (or pick it apart and become keyboard warriors ie. some of my mommy blogging experiences ha ha!) It has always been more of a release and outlet for my brain to organize my crazy thoughts than wanting to get any attention from it. But I am always so honored when some of my words might speak to another person and help them navigate their own thoughts and experiences, or maybe open up their minds to be accepting of a different opinion or thought process than what they have always thought. Seeing the world through someone else’s thoughts can be eye opening and educational for sure!
Anyway, I’m off on a tangent, which I’m really good at. The point I’m getting at slowly is that I have had a hard time finding words these days; my last blog was 7 months ago and then it might be another year or more before that post too! If you are new here, which you probably are since I haven’t posted in so long (unless you are family or friend), then let me share a little of why I don’t regularly post anymore. Almost 3 years ago, my world was pretty much shattered when I lost my best friend, my cousin, my person, very suddenly and traumatically. Kelsey Kaye left her earthly body on December 8, 2019 and began her spiritual journey, leaving us all in her effervescent and abundant wake. This loss has pretty much defined my life for the last 3 years. I am a different person than I once was, and not only have I been grieving the loss of Kelsey, but I am also grieving the loss of the Megan that I knew and had finally learned to love. In the 5 or so years before Kelsey passed, I had worked really hard on my self-love and personal development journey. I had been working extremely hard on becoming the human I always knew I could be. I was running my own business from home, guest blogging for a local moms blog along with writing my own, organizing local events, networking and connecting with awesome people and public speaking about my transformation inside and out! All while raising my two boys, Kaleb & Jameson, being PTO President at their elementary school, and being a wife to my amazing husband, Jon. I had a huge passion for helping other people gain the confidence in themselves to become who they knew they could always be. I was rocking life and enjoying every moment of it.
Then the proverbial rug was RIPPED out from under me and I was thrown head first into the hurricane, the rollercoaster, the tsunami waves of debilitating grief. My early grief was raw and intense, which I hear is normal when you experience a traumatizing event but I was lucky enough to be surrounded by my family and friends who were also living it along side me, at different levels of course; but, we were holding each other up and supporting each other through the raw intensity and shock. I’m not going into details, you can read my previous post about what happened and the first year of my grief. We had Kelsey’s Celebration of Life in February 2019, a few months after she passed and it was such a beautiful day. We cried, we laughed, we shared, we held each other, we truly celebrated the beautiful soul that was Kelsey Kaye.
After this beautiful event, everyone had to go back to reality…and reality it was! The first year after Kels passed is mostly a blur, most significantly after the celebration, because on top of the most significant loss I had ever experienced, our world was thrown into a tailspin with COVID in March 2020. I was literally a shell of myself, living in survival mode, day in and day out. Making sure my kids were ok, worrying constantly about my husband working out in the world, worrying about my loved ones who were already dealing with health issues and having to completely isolate themselves from us to protect themselves and others around them. Being locked down with two kids, ages 5 & 8, was a ridiculous test of patience, emotions, and everything we considered normal up until that point. The complete insanity of the world was bombarding my brain every day through the news and social media, the division and hatred of so many people being brought to the surface, watching friends and family draw lines in the sand and be so vindictive to each other because our world was being driven by fear, rage and hatred. The energy of everything around me was so scary and negative as I was trying to heal my broken soul and figure out a life without the one person I would have vented about it all to and word vomited all my feelings to…the one person who would commiserate with me and then figure out how to turn it into something hilarious and absolutely ridiculous, to tell me to stop taking it all so seriously. That person was no longer here and I was drowning. Not the best case scenario for a human who suffers from anxiety/depression normally, now we get to pile traumatic grief on top and lock her in her own house. Was this really our life?
I remember as we approached the first anniversary, I was desperate to navigate my thoughts and my feelings, to have someone…anyone…understand the chaos that I felt on a constant daily basis. I ended up finding a grief account on Instagram at like 3am on an insomnia filled night. It was called LearningAboutGrief, and was the account of a beautiful soul named Ashley. I’m not even sure how, but I think I just saw one of her posts and her words rang so true to me. I started looking through all of her posts and the veil lifted just a little. I joined her online grief group and started talking to other people who were dealing with loss. These random internet strangers pulled me through that 1 year mark and I finally started feeling a little understood, and I felt like I wasn’t so alone.
A post from Learning About Grief
You see, I was surrounded by so many people that love me so very much. I literally have the best friends anyone could ask for, a super supportive husband, and a giant family that extends around the globe! But, I had never in my life felt so lonely before. I didn’t know how to let people help me, I didn’t know how to articulate anything that I was feeling, I just knew how to go through the motions of living my life everyday so my boys didn’t worry and my house was functioning, I was doing what I needed to at work, I was even being social when I needed some fun. A lot of people tell me how amazing they thought I was doing, how strong I was, how they could never keep going like I did, even excelling at things in my life. But I was completely empty. I started talking to Ashley over DMs and we actually developed a friendship. She wrote me a beautifully hand written letter, quite a few pages long, and every word she wrote helped me to heal just a little bit (I still have it, I will keep it forever). We also met “in person” on a video call and probably talked for at least an hour, probably more! She is an amazing resource and light in the world of grievers, unfortunately because she has had tremendous loss in her own life, but talking to someone who gets it is priceless.
It’s interesting when you have such a significant loss, you look back and realize how horrible you were with other people who were dealing with loss. You were that person writing, “sending condolences for your loss” on their Facebook posts, or asking “How are you?” when you saw them out in the world. I hate that phrase…How are you…how do you think I am? I get it now, I get how lame the platitudes are, even though you know they truly mean well. And that is what these grief accounts on Instagram showed me. They took the feelings and put words to them. They gave me permission to talk about my true feelings and not feel like I was being a burden to everyone else around me, living their best lives while I am stuck in my pain.
I tried to go to therapy. I tried 3 different therapists online, because COVID, and what a fucking joke that was. I would give the entire run down, my history with depression/anxiety/trauma blah blah blah and the first therapist straight up stopped answering my messages. I got ghosted LMAO! They couldn’t hang with my fuckin basket of fucked upness I guess. Then it just started to feel like online dating and I couldn’t put myself through it anymore. Fast forward to year two…it was getting better I guess. Time does not heal these wounds though, and everyone who says that is full of shit. But your grief does change. It’s no longer the all consuming, can’t stop crying, can’t stop replaying the last days and trying to make sense of it all type of grief. I started feeling like I was able to share more, to talk about Kelsey more, to bring up my memories and find joy in the fact that I have so many wonderful ones.
I kind of threw myself into being busy, working at the new restaurant and learning a new “career”; I became more involved with my boys activities, which were at different schools and boy did I do A LOT of driving! I found that the busier I was, the less time I had to be sad. I was faking it…and not til I was making it ha ha! It is definitely my toxic trait and I’m really good at pretending everything is ok! I had a little come to Jesus moment as my last remaining grandparents on my mom’s side both passed away within months of each other. Another blow, especially losing my Grams, who I was very close to. And this time, I had to watch my mom be consumed by her intense grief while trying to navigate my own. It’s so hard watching a person you love so much being thrown into the hurricane, the rollercoaster, the tsunami waves that you know so well.
My Grams was an absolute angel on this earth and she is missed so very much. A few months later, we also lost my Grandpa who was a pillar for our family. It was so hard losing them both so close together and it makes my heart break for my mom and her siblings because I know that pain all too well. It is etched into my soul and my being forever. I honestly would never wish it on anyone, but it is a fact of life that we will all experience it at some point in time. I am actually grateful that I was at the point in my grief journey that I was able to find peace with their passing and while it will forever hurt and I will miss them always, I’m so grateful that they lived beautiful lives and have left their legacies behind in their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
At my Grams Celebration of Life, I was able to stand up for my mom and convey the words she wanted to say herself but wasn’t ready to. I’m not sure if I could have done that without going through my journey first. I actually was able to write my first blog in months after the celebration and it was truly one of my favorite pieces of writing I have ever done. It was a beautiful tribute to my amazing Grams and it showed how much I have learned and experienced with my grief and what I’m able to share with others who are in the depths. I feel like I can try to be the person my mom and her siblings might need; they can lean on me while they heal, kind of like how Ashley was there for me. I can share with them the words that actually feel like they help, the tips that I have learned along the way that have dug me out of my own grief hole and just support them when they might need it most, holding space for their healing. I can take on some of their pain, and I can help them release and break down if they need to. Because lets face it, we will all break down at some point, no matter if it’s 10 days, 1 year, 5 years or 20 years. Like I said before, time doesn’t make grief any easier, at least not in my experience. It just changes, ebbs and flows, but it is not easier, in some ways it can be harder.
Which is why I am trying to get some words out at this moment. We are 8 days away from Year 3, and 17 days away from what would have been Kelsey’s 40th birthday. I have been struggling these last few weeks, as I always do around this time of year because I am remembering all of our lasts. Our last trip to the cabin, our last Halloween, our last Friendsgiving, our last lash and hair appointment where we would dish all the hot goss and make each other laugh to the point of snorting. Our last hug where she was bawling her eyes out over something that doesn’t matter now, but I held her all the same, because I was her safe space as she was mine. Our last “I Love You” and our last “Call you tomorrow”. I replay those over and over in my head as we get closer to December 8th. We had birthday plans; reservations at Ichiban, she LOVED getting that free birthday dinner. Then karaoke at her favorite dive, where she planned to belt out her favorite jam and blow everyone away with that voice that came out of nowhere. Then an epic hangover where we would call each other and commiserate over how miserable we felt while comparing what horrible greasy food we were eating and what trashy tv show we were watching. But those things never happened…and she didn’t get to turn 37 before me, I had to do it by myself 5 months later.
We used to talk about turning 40 and she fucking hated the thought of it. She hated everything to do with aging, besides gaining more wisdom and life experience. She wanted to be young and beautiful forever, she did all the crazy things to try and slow it all down. Weird ass skincare hypes, drinking disgusting tonics and god knows what, a little botox here and there and of course her beautiful brows and lashes. She kept me looking fabulous too, that’s for damn sure! It’s interesting though, she really did hate turning a year older every year…I always thought it was because her bday was close to Christmas, but I wonder if deep down she knew that she would stop having birthdays and leave us to get old AF without her. I truly believe that when she did pass, she became free and stepped into being an amazing spiritual being that we always knew was inside of her. She was truly one of the most intuitive and spiritual people I have ever known…even when we were kids she had some sort of connection to the energy of the spirit world. She has visited me in my dreams multiple times and she is absolutely beautiful and glowing, radiating happiness and love. I know that she is ok and that she is still around everyone who loved her. She always said that if she passed first, her biggest goal was to come back and haunt the shit out of everyone!
My energy healer (way better than a therapist for me), Leigh Hurst, has been opening herself up more and coming into her Medium power over the last year or so. At my last healing session, she asked if I would be open to her doing a reading and letting whoever wanted to show up for me, show up for me. She asked for something of Kelsey’s to hold, so I gave her my bracelet and ring that I wear everyday that were Kelsey’s. She warned me that she didn’t want to freak me out because she kind of goes into what I would describe as a conscious trance, and she isn’t in complete control of what she is doing and that the spirits/energies don’t speak in words, they usually just show her things and then she has to navigate what those things might mean with the help of whoever she is reading.
She called to whoever wanted to come with an emphasis on Kelsey since she was holding her jewelry. She said that the room kind of filled with smoke, like a smokescreen almost, like someone was going to make an entrance. Then she kind of startled and jumped and said, “do you see that?” which of course I couldn’t ha ha. She said a huge white feather came down from the ceiling and landed on her massage table with almost a thump, which was weird because it was a feather. She asked if feathers held any significance. I told her that Kelsey’s mom has received a few feathers here and there and she believes they are signs from Kelsey. I had never gotten a feather though. Fast forward to my son’s horse therapy appointment about two hours later, and what floats down and lands right in front of me? A beautiful feather ha ha! It was such a cool experience, and there was even more visits from my spirit team, but that is for another blog.
The Feather…it now lives posted on our fridge!
So, as I enter Year 3 and we pass what should have been Kelsey’s 40th birthday, I am really trying to pay attention…to feel my feelings and not make myself so busy that I don’t have time to feel them. I am trying to be open to receiving the little signs from my spirit team. I am trying to help others around me navigate their journeys and really be there for the ones who need me. I am trying to get to know the Megan that I have become and that I continue to become. I am trying to give myself grace and let go of any guilt I put on myself when I’m having moments that are really hard. I am trying to make new memories and stay present with my boys and my Mister.
I am consciously creating moments and experiences with the people I love most. And yes…I fuck up constantly! I am such a hot mess, a work in progress always, and I can’t even tell you how much I have screwed up with my stubbornness, my pretending everything is ok, and some super shitty choices in the last few years. But, I am forgiving myself, I am recognizing and learning from mistakes, I am keeping my mind open. I am trying to let other people in, letting them hold me up and help me without thinking I need to immediately make up for my less than perfect messiness. I don’t always have to be the mom, the planner, the helper and the strength to hold everyone together. I am also allowed to be happy and allowed to be sad. I’m allowed to have my fall apart moments and I know who my people are that will happily put me back together! I will never stop crying almost every day when the littlest things bring tears to my eyes and that is something that I shared with Kelsey before as well! We would cry at stupid commercials, at seeing cute little old people around town, at any and every animal we came across, we always had high emotions and empathy which was something we bonded over. I will never stop missing my Kelsey Kaye…there is a permanent hole in my heart and my spirit where her physical presence used to be, but I am trying to let her spiritual light show up more and surround that hole with healing.
Happy 40th birthday to my person, the keeper of my deepest secrets and darkest desires since childhood, the sister of my soul, my forever and always Best Fucking Friend, Kelsey Kaye Douglass.