Monday, May 17, 2010

Today's Journal Prompt

I am a member of an online group called Blissfully Art Journaling. It's a great group of people, and we talk about all kinds of things from A-Z.

Today's prompt was to write about your most vivid childhood memory. I wanted to share my response with you here.

I'm going to write the first thing that came to my mind. It's sort of bittersweet, but it will be good to write it down!
At the end of the school year, when I was in 5th grade, my little sister died of leukemia. She was five years old. It had been a long struggle for my family - the hardest part (I realize now) being that the kids were "protected" from it all by never knowing what was going on for certain.
Anyway, the day of her funeral people were invited back to our house for lunch. Many people had provided food, so there was a lot of it. Our house was full of people whispering, ignoring me but taking care of their own needs, and I could not stand it. I blindly fixed myself a plate and went out to our back yard to sit at the picnic table. As I began to eat, I realized there were PEAS in the tuna casserole, and was immediately grossed out. I did not like peas in much of anything, let alone tuna casserole! So I sat there, by myself, picking the peas out of my food. After quite awhile, it occurred to me that I was still alone. This made me very sad, and I wondered if anyone was going to come outside and hug me. Nobody did. Eventually, I went back inside and stood - invisibly - in the kitchen corner.
It was one of the loneliest times of my life. And it took me years to realize that I just need to be unafraid to telling people what I need. I still struggle with this, even now in my fifties. But when I'm honest with myself and others about what I need, things are so much easier. Many years later I was able to work through my grief over my sister's death. Doing so saved my life, as about six months later our own daughter died very suddenly at the age of seven. If I'd still been hiding my grief over my sister, I'm not sure I'd be here today to tell you this story.
Be true to yourself! Don't be afraid of what others might think of you. Saying things out loud - even to a mirror - is better that letting them eat your tuna casserole!