>Dealing With Loss: Part 2

> First, let me say thank you to those of you who emailed me after reading Dealing With Loss: Part 1. It was touching to see that I made a connection with you and that you could relate to what I had written. Now let’s go into part 2 picking up where I left off and delve deeper….

Once again I was hit with what felt like a ton of bricks when my paternal grandfather, “Papa” passed away. The pain grew tremendously but once again my coping mechanism was “being strong“. I can recall seeing him at the funeral home and how we tried to remove his jewelry from his hands because we didn’t want anyone robbing his grave. I remember my dad’s family arguing over whether to cremate or bury him. That was such a trying and emotional time.

I can still remember his funeral, the sound of the guns being shot at his 21-gun salute (he was retired Air Force) and how I jumped each time I felt the blast. I didn’t understand why they had to shoot their rifles. I can still visualize the flag being folded and handed to my grandmother…. I recently found a letter that I wrote my grandfather the day of his funeral. I remember staying by his burial site (after everyone else walked back to the chapel and to their cars) to read him my letter. My dad stood by me as I sat on the grass and bravely kept my composure. I was so young, but so resilient.

When my paternal aunt (my dad’s younger sister) passed away soon after I could not understand why so many people were passing away around me, but once again I had to be strong. My dad reminded me that my aunt would not want me to cry. I never saw her at a mortuary or anything like I did my grandfather and great aunt- but I felt her presence as though she was right there with me.

My family flew to Northern California and we followed her husband as we drove to the Pacific Ocean to spread her ashes and say a prayer. It was all so surreal. I began analyzing her death trying to figure out how and why. She was so young, only in her twenties…passed away after working out and swimming at the gym…being young and upset at losing someone that I loved dearly I initially, yet quietly, blamed her husband for not calling the paramedics sooner.

Then it seemed like everyone around me started passing away like flies…

A great aunt on my mom’s father’s side of the family passed away. The small church in Dustin, Oklahoma couldn’t hold all of us so I never got the chance to go inside to be seated. I instead stayed outside and kicked the dirt around, and played. The experience was not the same for me as the previous “passings” because I wasn’t that close to her I guess. I was saddened but also disconnected from the overall experience. However, I was amazed and intrigued by the history of the family cemetary and the grave stones; and how far back in time many of them were dated.

Are you noticing a common theme threaded throughout my childhood up to this point? Share your thoughts and my next post for Dealing With Loss: Part 2 we’ll see if you’ve hit it on the nail.

Until the next time we connect here on Paradigm Life I wish you the best in all that you do and all that comes your way! Take care.

Warmest wishes!

>First Time Homeownership Woe #1 Part 2


Now let’s look at these variables shall we…
We’re told to not apply to too many credit card companies…what’s too many? What is the cut-off number before the amount of inquiries on your report become “too many”? At one point if a person had four inquiries in one month it was a mark against them- I guess you have to play the odds with this. How many people with “bad” credit land an account with a low interest, low-to-no monthly (or annual) processing and administrative fees? Uh, can you say none?!?

Okay and let’s really talk about rebuilding credit with a department store credit card…didn’t I just say that we’re supposed to avoid high interest fees? Well department store credit cards may have an introductory interest rate that is low but please understand that after the introductory period your interest rate is going to skyrocket through your roof…and right now you can’t afford that repair cost either! The same applies to gas cards- and nowadays it’s rare to find an oil company that will extend credit to someone with “bad” credit…besides, you’re supposed to be avoiding bad habits and we both know that this may be a stickier situation than you would want to admit.

With secured credit cards things sound simple don’t they? Not so. Secured credit cards are often-times initiated through your credit file before you can use your own money as collateral. Yes, you read that right…you’re putting your money on a card which you’re supposed to pay back to yourself (technically), while having on-time payments reported to the credit bureaus; but before you can set up this arrangement your credit report is checked and if you’re not deemed “credit worthy” your application can be denied. Additionally, you have to do your homework and make sure that just like other credit cards, your secured card does not have high interest rates, administrative fees and processing costs- all of which eat up your money.

What if after all the research and submitted applications you’re told that you’re not credit worthy for any type of credit card, not even the super duper high interest “bad” cards, what do you do then? I didn’t want to ask my close associate what they would do if after all the time and effort they invested they got another door slammed in their face…I didn’t want to seem like a sourpuss.

Goodness, with all of this nonsense you might as well pay a visit to some type of financial advisor (who won’t charge you an arm and a leg) who can walk you step-by-step through the process of re-building your credit; and for heaven’s sake don’t trust any so-called assistance program that has a hand-written sign (or any sign) on the side of the freeway/highway or street! Please be leery of the hundreds of credit-repair companies you see advertised in just about every publication, online, and on the radio and television.

I will let you know how my associate fairs with this dilemma as they inch their way one day at a time towards home ownership.

>Dealing with Loss- Part 1

>Have you heard the saying, “it gets easier with time” (when referring to the healing process associated with a loss or death)? Do you cringe every time you hear those words? Who came up with it and have they ever lost someone that they love dearly? If you have experienced loss as much as I have you find ways to channel the pain based on varying degrees of closeness you have with the loved one who passed. But is pain channeling actually healing or simply a temporary coping bandage?

I can recall my first loss; I had two gold fish- Timothy and Sarah when I was around five years old. It may sound funny to you but at that age it is a devastating experience. It’s like the Earth stops rotating. Timothy and Sarah’s death was my fault… I overfed them…something I should have never been guilty of doing since I wasn’t supposed to be feeding them without my parents assistance anyway…yes, I was a hard-headed little girl. The pain from losing them was bearable to an extent because I could comprehend why they passed away.

When my great aunt Florene (my paternal grandmother’s sister) passed away I was bothered by it but I promised to be strong because that is what she would want. I comforted my mother who was close to her and I sat by my cousins who openly mourned losing their mother. I didn’t know what it meant or felt like to lose a parent. I couldn’t conceive of the total weight of this at such a young age. I took this time to reflect on the good times I shared with aunt Florene. I took this time to wish that when I became an adult I could have long finger nails like her and have the same raspy voice. I didn’t want to think of losing my mother or father. Losing her made me cling to my parents even more.

It felt like I was hit by a ton of bricks when my maternal great-grandfather passed away (basically he was murdered by my great uncle who set him on fire). I was sad, angry and eventually numb to the fact. All I could do was recall fond memories of him and try not to choke on my words. He showed me how to collect eggs from his chicken coop; he was so nice yet had a presence that commanded respect (because you didn’t want to test him). I didn’t go to his funeral- so I’m not sure how I would have been affected by the emotional roller coaster ride that I’m sure occurred that day. It was difficult being around my mom because he was her grandfather and they were extremely close; it was also difficult because I couldn’t comfort her. I was in first or second grade at the time and there was only so much I could do except make sure I was a good girl and stayed on mom’s good side.

Now when my great uncle Larry (who caused my great-grandfather’s death) was murdered in prison I was saddened but also perplexed; he did a bad thing by setting my great-grandfather on fire, but he was still my great uncle and I loved him. I felt bad that I didn’t mourn him more. I was torn because he was also the reason I no longer had my great-grandfather who in my opinion still had another good 10 years under his belt to live. I also knew that I had always had a weird relationship with my uncle because he was so aggressive and odd that I never really wanted to have a close bond with him like I did with other family members. Both men left behind children…families that loved them dearly, both died too soon. Just like my great-grandfather I also did not attend this funeral.

When do we learn about death and coping with it? At what age should a child be taught about (physical) death? How extensive should this teaching be? Although we speak about eternal life do we ever really believe in our loved ones living eternally since they aren’t doing so physically beside us? If we truly believe this, then we should never mourn them leaving this level of existence, but rather we should celebrate their lives and know that they have gone on to a better existence. Maybe it’s our selfishness that makes us hold on tightly to their memories and possessions. Maybe it’s our selfishness that makes us mourn “losing” them. This post does not end here; I have much more to share as we continue in Dealing with Loss- Part 2 next time. I’m supposed to share this blog posting next week, but I may have to share Part 2 much sooner. Share your thoughts and stay tuned!