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Beginnings, Middles and Endings…

I recently started a new job. For me, this has been a culmination of many years of hard work and after being off for 2 months I was thrilled to join the world of the working class once more. I didn’t fully realize how much of my self-worth I place on being constantly busy and engaging with people daily. For the most part I have been holed up at my house with my two furry babies and catching up on some much-needed rest, Netflix, and good books. (Although, I did end up throwing a couple of trashy ones into the mix as well.) I appreciate that I am at a point in my life where I can have moments of stillness, but I admittedly get restless and need outside stimuli to keep me from becoming comatose.


Yes, a new job. A new beginning, and all the excitement that goes along with creating oneself again and taking what I have learned so far and sharing that knowledge. How cool is that?! I must admit that I am elated to be working with the team that I am, as they have been so friendly and welcoming to silly me the past week. Fun times to be had! Just wait until they really get to know me…. That’s right, I have been somewhat subdued. LOL. Watch out ladies, Jenny 2.0 will be released soon! Bwhahaha.


On a different note, as you may know, I have recently found Instagram and started following close friends, family, and people/organizations that I admire or that interest me. One of these such people is Darren Criss. I really enjoyed his work on the tv series “Glee” and “The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” and figured I’d check out what he has been working on recently. Today I read a post of his that was so incredibly written and heartfelt that it moved me to tears and caused me to think on so many things.


He recently lost his brother and allowed his followers the gift of a glimpse into what he is going through and paid tribute to his brother in such a powerful letter. There were many things he touched on that spoke to me personally and I’d like to share a few with you and also encourage you to read this beautifully written letter for yourselves at https://www.instagram.com/p/CanA3DPul7T/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link


He discloses that his brother has recently taken his own life and states the following at point in this letter:

We truly do not know all the intricacies or the private inner workings of others that drive and influence their lives individually. Not even close.


This made me think of a time many years ago when I found myself standing beside my baby brothers hospital bed and praying that this would not be the last time, I ever see him. I received a call from my understandably distraught Mom advising me that it was unclear as to what the details were, but that my little brother had somehow overdosed, and I needed to come to the hospital immediately. I remember getting up from my desk at work and just leaving and going straight to the hospital. I was completely unprepared for what I would see and find when I arrived, and even less prepared for the emotions that would bombard me soon after. This brilliant, funny, magical, talented young man was laying in an emergency room bed completely still and almost lifeless. I was mad and horrified and grief stricken and confused. I could not imagine what the hell could have happened to bring this about?! What was he thinking? He was so young. He was married to a beautiful and kind woman who loved him, and he loved her. He had a family that adored him and would do anything to help him. So, what events led to me having to stand there, watching doctors fight for his life, when he may have wanted that life to be over?!


Luckily, he did wake up and I was able to ask him all those questions and more. I was given a chance to get mad at him. To cry with him, to hold him and to share some of what he was going through. Not so many years later, when he did pass away from Cystic Fibrosis, a disease he had fought his whole life, I was able to say my goodbyes knowing that he knew how very much I loved him. I was given that gift and I am grateful every day for it, knowing that others have not been given that chance.


For anyone who has experienced something like this, you are not alone. And your thoughts and feelings, whether anger or horror or sadness are all valid and real. We don’t get to choose how we experience all things. Sometimes we are struck down by a million emotions at the same time and sometimes we are in a period of peace and restfulness.


We cannot know everything about the inner workings of our loved one’s minds. From what I know and what I have experienced personally, all we can do is be there. Listen. Give advice if we are asked or if you feel it is necessary. And we can educate ourselves on mental health issues, ideas and coping techniques. We can research, read, and speak to professionals who are there not to judge, but to help. There are so many incredible resources out there and there is no shame in admitting we are lost sometimes. Those thoughts and feelings are real and if we have not been taught or provided tools on how to cope with our imperfect and chaotic lives, then how can we fully understand what other options are out there?


I recently listened to an incredible podcast of “Inside of You” which is hosted by Michael Rosenbaum and his guest that day was Zachary Levi. (Yes, same actor I owed an apology to in a previous post) They spoke openly regarding mental health issues and Zachary introduced the idea of “radical love” and acceptance not only for others, but for ourselves as well It was so refreshing to hear two men discuss these types of ideas and issues that historically have had a sort of imagined stigma attached to them, but it was also insightful and heartwarming to realize that they were using their celebrity to promote wellness in many areas.


There are so many great people out there, whether famous or not that are sharing some amazing ideas and opening themselves up to create, what I hope is someday a world and community of support and belonging. Imagine what that world looks like and how it feels to be a part of that community and chosen family?! WOW!


Sending an enormous thank you to all the people in my life who show me that anything is possible and gift me with their ideas, words of love and empathy.


And to Darren Criss, I am incredibly sorry for your loss. Thank you for the beautiful words you shared with your fans.


Much love.

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1 Comment


jcramp1954
jcramp1954
Mar 03, 2022

Thanks Jenn. Beautifully said.

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