My name is Carolyn Osborne. I grew up in and still live in the Pacific Northwest. I was the oldest child of 3 kids and always very shy, and always an artist. However, I always stepped to my own drummer, which was not really popular in my family. One thing I never wavered on: I always wanted to be an artist “when I grew up”. I worked in criminal justice for 12 years and left it to become self-employed. Being self-employed has always revolved somehow around being creative. (sign maker, painter, glass artist, Sacred Embers). For the last 8 years, I had a gift shop/gallery that was in a fancy hotel. My shop only supported local artists. It was a fabulous childhood dream that came to fruition and sadly, due to the covid shut downs had to be closed.
I raised a beautiful daughter that has very recently made me a grandma! I love animals and was already a grandma to my daughter’s fur-boy Frites. And now life has become so much sweeter! My being self-employed for almost all of my daughter’s life has been a journey of ups and downs but in the end it taught my daughter to have a great work ethic and the ability to think and see outside the box. As she goes through life’s adventures it is lovely to see things that she does or says, knowing she learned it from you. And I have learned so much from my amazing daughter throughout life.
I just returned from meeting my grandson. Today is actually his 1 month birthday! I cannot tell you how beautiful it was to see what amazing parents my daughter and her husband will be and of course, I totally fell in love with my grandson, Enzo. He’s so handsome and beautiful and soft and ……my grandson!!!!! My heart is bursting! I told my daughter that if I died tomorrow, my life is complete.
It does make you think about the people that are not here to meet Enzo in person. My brother would be so pleased……….I miss those jokes he would make and the wisdom he would share. He adored my daughter and I know he is so thrilled. My grandmother, Enzo’s great-great-grandma, would be over the moon in love. I know that they are still with us and visiting in their own ways.
See, I told you this would ramble. I am a kind, very sensitive person. I tend to be me at all times. I feel that is important. I am one of those people that has a few very dear friends but am perfectly happy spending time by myself. I love helping people with Sacred Embers, but of course love working on all of my creations to include commission paintings. And from now until forever I will have Enzo on the brain.
If you ever have questions for me, just reach out, I am happy to answer.
When a person experiences the death of a loved one, whether it is a person or a pet, people always seem to have expectations of how they should feel. Often times, those around them also have expectations of how long it should take someone to “get over that death”.
Be kind to yourself. Have NO expectations. You will not “get over” your grief. There is not a right way to grieve. There is not a time frame or time limit. There is not a proper way to grieve. The emotions that you will experience will run the gamut. Different memories may bring sadness, smiles, laughs, tears…………and they can literally come at any time. Even years down the road. Your love has no expiration. You will always love them.
And it’s o.k.
Do not ever allow anyone to make you feel bad for your feelings. No one is allowed to minimize the depth of your grief or how it will manifest itself.
It never gets better, only different.
Sending peace to your heart.
It really doesn’t matter if the person or pet in your life dies and it was an unexpected but expected death, the pain is excruciating and filled with so many feelings.
I remember when my Grandma was dying. It killed my heart every day to see her not able to get out of bed and be the magical little being that she had always been. She was miserable. The one little bit of joy that came to her in the end was the birth of my daughter. Oh the smiles! She was waiting for her birth and she quickly spiraled after she got to spend some visits with her great grandbaby. It was heart wrenching. I wanted her to die. She wanted to die. We talked about it. She was done. I just wanted her to have peace and to be with the love of her life again. Her death was expected….impending. And it finally happened. While I was devastated I also was so happy for her. She had an incredible life (until the last several years, but that is another story), and she got to spend time with her great grandbaby girl. But none of that erases the pain left behind. I want her here to spread her unconditional love that is so hard to find these days. I want her to hold her soon-to-be great, great grandson! Thankfully I know she is still around………..nope, it’s not the same. And to this day, 30 years later, I miss her and still shed tears for her.
When my brother was dying……….I never felt he was dying until the last year of his life. In the end though, it was VERY expected and I wanted him to die. I wanted him to stop hurting and trying to put on this strong game face every fu*k&ng day. Yes, he had an incredible life……….but it was so very short. He was very young. I have never seen someone fight cancer so gracefully, but one can only do that for so long. When he died, I was relieved. I was also pissed that the medical system didn’t catch the cancer sooner, but as David always said, “Carolyn, they’re just doctors, they don’t know what they’re doing………..that’s why they call it “practicing medicine”. He thought that was funny. I’m still experiencing a myriad of feelings about his death. But I am still happy that his suffering did not continue. And again, I know that he is still around. He lives on through Sacred Embers……..afterall, he was the catalyst for me to start Sacred Embers. But I still miss the hell out of him.
I know others that have experienced unexpected death………and expected. The feelings are all very much the same. There is anger, hurt, panic, relief, peace, anxiety, denial, blame, remorse of things said or not said, sadness, even happiness. There is not a right way to grieve or a wrong way. Grief is a GIANT ball of emotions that play pinball within your head and your heart……………daily. At some point it will ease. And some days it will seem so very fresh and raw.
As I always tell my Sacred Embers clients, “It never gets better, only different”.
The month of August is My Brother’s Month. It was the month that he was born and the month that he died. I have had a few other deaths in my life, but my brother was so young and had so much more to do. I miss him. I feel good kinda dedicating the month to him. I’m sure he would think that it’s overkill…..but there’s nothing he can do about it!
I think that it’s good for people to have a period of time dedicated to someone important to them that has died. It helps with the grieving, no matter how long it has been and it keeps them “alive”. It is honoring them and that it important. I’ve witnessed people wipe (figuratively), someone out of their life because they have died. And while I do agree that there is not a set way to grieve a loss, not speaking of them or bringing them up is not healthy. Our society needs to be more comfortable with death and loss. It happens. Every day. But the one common thread is that your love for them is not gone. It is not wiped away. Out of sight, out of mind does not apply. I know that I think of my brother every day. I talk about him with others. Mostly I can do this without tears now, but sometimes the tears come out of the blue, but that is o.k. As I tell my Sacred Embers clients; It never gets better, only different.
As many of you know Sacred Embers was born because of my brother's death. So with every Sacred Embers that I create I also feel that I am honoring him. Bittersweet, yes, but special. That is why I call Sacred Embers my heart work.
While throughout the year I have mini celebrations of my brother in my head or when I “cheer” him when I sip that glass of wine or thank him or ask him what would he would do, August is extra special.
So, this month, I will think more of David. I will have an extra glass of wine in his honor. I will have my own personal little ceremonies. I will celebrate his birthday. I will celebrate his death day. But I will always love and miss him. He will always have a place in my heart and my life.
Have you ever considered your own mortality? (And by the way, I want to preface this with the fact that this may be a bit of a rambling post. So I apologize for that).
For some reason I was thinking about my own mortality for a really long time last night. It made me think about my brother. I remember when he died. All those people at the public memorial! SO MANY! He touched so many people as a person and with his work. There were friends, family, work people……….from everywhere! Even knowing my brother I did not realize the incredible impact that he had had in his short, magnificent lifetime!
Do you think about how your death will touch others? How the world will go on after you are gone? Over your lifetime have any of those thoughts (if you thought of them) changed?
The truth of the matter is that life will continue on after you die. So, until you get there it is prudent to live your life well. All those “Golden Rules of Life” truly do have meaning! I found this on www.upgradereality.com How wonderful it would be if we all lived by this!
10 Golden Rules to Live By
1 – Do unto others as you want others to do to you.
Maybe you believe in karma and maybe you don’t. It’s my experience that you reap what you sow or “what goes around comes around”. Treat others with kindness and respect to get the same in return, but treat others like garbage and then you can be pretty sure it’ll come back to you (although maybe only much later and not the same people you did it to).
2 – Treasure your body for it is the vessel that guides you through your life.
You may think that money or success is important, but nothing is as important as your own body. Without it you can’t live. Make it a habit to eat a healthy and natural diet, be sure to exercise regularly and above all get plenty of sleep. Also try to keep your life as stress-free as possible, stress makes you age faster and makes you old before your time.
3 – Be honest and always tell the truth
Honesty is the best policy and it will do you far more good than harm. Be honest in your relationships, with your business ethics and with your personal morals. Although honesty is usually the better option, there will be times when a white lie is necessary to prevent hurting people’s feelings.
4 – Success requires hard work, persistence and a little creativity.
The best advice I can give you if you want to be successful is to not hope for a quick fix but to be prepared for the long haul. Real success with anything usually takes months and even years to achieve. Believe in yourself and believe in your dreams, keep learning and never give up. Try to find yourself a mentor to speed the learning process up. Sooner or later you’ll achieve your goals.
5 – Make a difference to at least one other person’s life.
I believe that we’re all on this planet together. Life isn’t meant to be completely selfish, we’re here to give to and help each other. Right now there are countless people who could use a helping hand so why not give back a little? You don’t necessarily have to give money. You can give some of your time or experience to help someone else with something you’ve already overcome. Helping someone else is one of the most rewarding things you can do.
6 – Admit when you’re wrong and apologize.
Nobody is perfect and everyone makes mistakes from time to time. It’s perfectly okay. Even if you screw up and waste money, or time or hurt people’s feelings. But only if you admit you were wrong and apologize. You’ll be amazed how understanding people are when you’re humble and modest enough to admit that you made a mistake.
7 – You can learn something from everyone.
Don’t think you’re too good at something to listen to someone else. Don’t think that you’re better than someone else. Just as you can learn something from the successful CEO or entrepreneur, you can learn something from a homeless person. Everyone has something that they’re good at, so don’t be too quick to dismiss someone as having no value.
8 – Don’t be scared, go through life as fearlessly as possible.
Fear is an emotion designed to keep us alive. In our primitive days it kept us aware of our surroundings, suspicious of harmful situations and weary of unknown territory. Fear also holds us back from following our dreams, telling people how we really feel about them, and it can force us to stay inside our comfort zone for way too long. Ask yourself, “Would you rather play it safe to not risk failure or would you rather risk failure to really live and do what your heart tells you that you should do?”.
9 – Smile and laugh every single day.
A simple smile from a stranger can light up your entire day. Laughing makes your worries disappear. Make it a habit to laugh and smile as much as you can, because life is just so much better when you do. Positivity is contagious, and you’ll find that people will like you a whole lot more if you’re always happy compared to being grouchy and cynical.
10 – Count your blessings and be thankful for all the good things in your life.
The past is history, the future is a mystery and right now is a gift, that’s why they call it the “present”. You have no idea what tomorrow will bring, so be thankful for every single moment that you’re alive. Be grateful for your family, friends, freedom. Be grateful for the food you eat, for the fact that you have a warm, dry place to sleep with a roof over your head. Soak up every single drop of life you can, because all you’ll ever have is this moment, right now.
When I die (I hope it is very far in the future) I hope that those that know me were glad to have known me. I hope that my daughter is proud that I was her mom and that my soon to be grandson (and any other future grandchildren) remembers me for great love and great moments of happiness. Many experiences, joy and learning. Sure, I would like to be known as a great artist……but I’d like that fame before I go. I’ve tried to live my life well and like everyone, I have made mistakes along the way. But with luck those mistakes are dim compared to the rest of my life and what I have contributed to this world.
Each day, live it with purpose! Leave positive energy in your wake when you depart!