Tuesday 25 December 2012

"For Doug"

Well, it's been awhile, hasn't it? Twenty-two days since my last post. When I last wrote, I spoke about the importance of not weighing ourselves down this holiday season with "must-do's" and to focus on "want-to-do's". I love writing this blog. It gives me great joy. It's definitely in the latter category. But I simply have not had the energy this past month.

December was a mixed bag for me this year. Lots of happy and fun things - good times with family and friends. But it also had its share of not so great stuff. Work has been non stop for the last six months, with no real end to that pace in sight. But that's OK - I can handle that. The most difficult thing to deal with was the diagnosis just a few weeks ago of a member of our work family with terminal cancer.

I have never experienced the sadness and quiet that has hung over our office for the last few weeks. Cancer is a demon that has impacted almost everyone in one way or another. It seems to be the diagnosis that people most fear and for good reason in many situations.

I am a sponge. I absorb energy around me like nobody's business. It's something that I recognize and am hyper aware of, especially in a situation as serious as this. Why is that important? Because I have often walked a fine line between being mentally healthy and mentally ill. So how do I manage this? How do I allow myself to feel sad and yet not let myself become engulfed by the sadness? Balance, moderation, support, sleep, and laughter.

When I first heard the news, I spent a day pretty much in tears. The kind that seem to softly roll down your cheeks in a constant stream. I let myself think about it, cry my tears, and talk about it. Putting emotions away in a compartment doesn't work for me. To move forward I need to sometimes stop for a moment. Then I can keep going.

My colleagues, many of whom are truly like family to me, have been amazing. We have all been able to hug each other, tell each other silly jokes to take our minds off things, and just be there for each other. And, I am not going to lie, I did eat lots of carbohydrates - my go-to feel better food!

Amongst the sadness, there has been opportunity to reflect on what really is important at this time of year and in life. Our colleague and friend asked us to focus on family and not to be sad. And that is what I have done.

My Christmas this year was much simpler and quieter. I told my family and friends that I love them. I didn't think about things that I want - I focused on what I have and what I am grateful for.

As I ponder the coming year, I am also reminded that life is kind of just on loan to us. We aren't sure how long we have so we might as well do our best to live our truth and to aspire to reach our true potential. Each of us has the strength within us to face life's obstacles, learn from them, grow, and move forward that much stronger.

Our friend left this world yesterday. He lived his life doing a job that he truly loved and built a family that he loved even more. He was, quite simply, a lovely human being.

Doug, this post is dedicated to you. Thank you for all that you contributed to life. We miss you already.

KB xo


  1. Thank you for reminding me, through your posts/comments/blog, that life IS on loan. I appreciate the ongoing reminders to keep focussing on what is before me and what's real. Love you KB.

  2. Kristin, I know that Doug is smiling down on you. You are simply amazing. Big hugs.

    1. Thank you, B! I thnk he is smiling down on all of us. xo

  3. I relate so much to your post. I too am a sponge. I too struggle with this. And, a few years ago I too had a colleague die from cancer, way too young. As I sit here I am crying, for your loss and for mine. At that time, there wasn't much I could do for the people around me, but I did vow to live my life the best way I can. I am reminded often of this, and your post is another one of those. I don't know you, but I am sending support and hugs your way anyhow.

    1. I am truly touched by your comments, Danielle. Some things are just universal in life and touch all of us regardless of how much money we make, where we live, or what kind of person we are. I do believe that to honour those who have left us, we have a responsibility to live fully. And I am sending hugs right back! :-)

    2. Funny how virtual hugs from a stranger puts a smile on my face. Thanks.

  4. This is such a beautiful post Kristin. My heart feels a bit better now after reading this. Much love and hugs to you.

    - Mari


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