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Life Lately-Living Through Loss

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Life LatelyHello friends! It’s been a long time since I’ve written a new post, much less a personal post. I have taken quite the break from blogging for several reasons. One, I’ve become exhausted fighting the Google algorithm. The amount of work this blog has taken does not reflect the return. To put it simply, bloggers rely on traffic to make an income. For the last 6 years this blog’s traffic has moved in the wrong direction consistently no matter what I do to remedy it. That being said, stepping away was necessary for my sense of worth and well being. 

The second reason I have taken such a long break is because I have lost my father. Some of you might recall that he had a stroke 6 years ago. It left him very permanently challenged on his right side. In October of this year he fell and broke his left hip and left elbow. He ended up in surgery and a hellish month long rehab stay. After all the anesthesia, questionable rehab environment, pharmaceuticals and mental challenges, he passed away on Nov. 20th. 

Losing him is a huge loss for me. He was not my biological father but he is the only father I have ever known. My mother says that when she introduced him to me at the age of 5, it was love at first sight. He was everything a daughter could ever hope for in a father. He has always come to my rescue and I’ve needed rescuing a lot. Everything I have is because of him. Because the stroke left him unable to continue working, he devoted the last 6 years to my daughters and I. He sat on my sofa everyday after bringing the girls home from school. How can he never set on my sofa again? 

We didn’t have a funeral. My dad was very private and internal so my mother allowed me to make the decision on a memorial and what to do with his body. For the first time in our family I felt cremation made perfect sense. His ashes are with me, displayed proudly. Weird I know but I needed his physical remains with me on my land. Funny enough my oldest daughter had a sleepover and introduced her friends to him. Not sure those girls will be back. 😂

Needless to say, the holidays were rough. While I’ve never been a Christmas lover, this year was a new low. I understand why some struggle so deeply during the holidays now. With social media it can be so depressing to watch everyone expressing their excitement and over flowing Christmas spirit while I’m struggling to hang a single strand of lights. I felt so empty and was frustrated with myself that I couldn’t rise above it. I felt like a bad mom. If you struggle, I get it now. 

I felt I needed to address his passing because this blog continues to be an extension of me and his loss alters who I am. I feel that since I’ve shared so much in the past that this loss would be my “elephant in the room” if I didn’t tell you. 

I’m a one woman show. I’m an only child and fiercely independent. I’m also terribly sensitive and other people can effect me deeply. Over the last decade I have moved closer and closer to being reclusive. In that process, I have needed less and less from people. I say that to say, I don’t lean on friends or even a spouse for comfort. It’s 100% internal. However, my dad’s passing has brought up a softening in me. For the first time ever, I have a spouse that I trust. He has welcomed my leaning on him during this time and has providing much comfort. Several people in my life have reached out through flowers, cards and communication and it’s meant the world to me. Those efforts actually provided elements of relief and comfort. 

Because of this great loss, I am moving into 2022 differently than in previous years. I want to get outside of my reclusive self centered world and see where I can be of help or comfort. This year, I want to be thoughtful. Feeling such deep loss and sadness I now have more empathy and awareness of the people around me. I hope I can break out of my hermit shell, rejoin the living and be of service to the people God has placed in my path. I want to take time to look people in the eye and really see them. I want to send cards with heart felt, hand written words. I want to clear my selfish, self gratifying schedule to create time margin so I can say yes to more. 

I just wanted to share that. Despite being so isolated and internal, I’m always secretly looking for a connection so maybe you might connect to my situation and feel the need to reach out to me or maybe my new awarenesses rings a bell in your own life. 

On a happier note, as always, I’m welcoming of a new year. My daughters are healthy and thriving and while my dad is a huge loss for them as well, they are able to shake off the sadness a bit easier then I. My husband is doing well and as I’ve said, been such a help. I think he realized that comforting me is not rocket science. All I need are hugs, a listening ear and grace. He didn’t try to fix me, he just wanted to comfort. My mother is doing well. It’s been an ordeal to figure all the financial business out but she’s taking one day at a time and luckily she has me, the girls and her dogs. I know she’ll thrive very soon. 

We’re still into chickens and planning a new garden. The cats and Yorkie are all intact and definitely living large. 

As for me, I’m continuing to heal daily. If it weren’t for taking walks and reading I don’t know where I’d be. I’m still on the V.C. Andrews kick-I mean, there’s nothing like getting lost in someone else’s family drama. At least I didn’t grow up in a shack with no running water or electricity only to be sold at the age of 13 by my father then abused by my new “parents” only to find out my filthy rich step grandfather got my mother pregnant so he’s actually my father but before I figured that out I fell in love with who is now my uncle. LOL-you can see why my books of choice relieve my own reality!

I can’t map out what will become of this blog in the future. I still adore blogging. It’s my favorite thing to do. I’m not sure if I need more of a break in order to renew and heal but I will continue reposting and revamping older posts and possibly sharing more Life Lately posts. My daughters now read my blog so it’s nice to be more personal. 

My Etsy shop is where I’m focusing my energies on in 2022. It’s definitely the more sustainable income. 

Feel free to comment on this blog post. I love comments. I’d love to know about you, or even what you’d like to see from me this year. I do enjoy sending out 2-3 emails a week highlighting DIYs and letting you know about sales and new posts. If you’d like to keep in touch that way you can leave me your email HERE

Hugs, Jenni

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Jennifer Phillips

Jennifer Phillips worked as a licensed aesthetician for over 8 years before creating the green beauty blog, Jenni Raincloud and her natural skin care line, J. Raincloud Organics. Jennifer has been blogging full time for 9 years and loves to gain and share knowledge on how to achieve beautiful skin the natural way.

30 thoughts on “Life Lately-Living Through Loss”

  1. Jenni, I’m sooo sorry you lost your Dad. It’s so hard, I know. He must have been a wonderful man and I’m sure you’re extremely grateful for that. So glad you have a nice hubby to help you through it. Isolation is not good and with all the Covid stuff it’s becoming a real problem for many people, including me. I’m normally not that way but I’ve been “off” for awhile. Quilting keeps me really excited and interested. My sewing room is my happy place.
    Sending you lots of love,
    Sue K

    1. Sue-Thank you so much. He definitely was a great man and I was so lucky to have had him as long as I did. My mother is a quilter too! Covid makes things so tricky-I wonder if we’ll ever get back to normal! Thank you again for your kind words!!

  2. Oh Jenni! My heart cries for you in the loss of your Dad. I don’t know the pain of this loss (thankfully – both parents are with me and healthy at 84 & 82), but I have what my mother lovingly calls the “curse of empathy”. I am so sorry your heart hurts, and will pray for healing. I can also relate to your need for isolation, having suffered from depression all of my adult life. I commend you for taking a fresh look at life in 2022. There are incredibly kind people out there! The more you allow yourself to be vulnerable, the more people come forward saying “I see you”.
    I love you DIY recipes! I will check out your Etsy store today!
    Blessings to you! Michele

    1. Michele-That’s so wonderful that your parents are healthy!! My dad was not so it was very hard to see him suffer and in a way his passing was a relief because I knew it was his time and he was done. I think I have the curse of empathy too! I definitely cope with my anxiety by isolating but can see that often it is not the answer. I appreciate your kind words and prayers! Thank you for commenting and go hug your parents for me!

  3. I am so sorry for your loss. I understand what you mean about the holidays being hard. I also have experienced loss during this time. My mother then 4 years later my father. It isn’t easy but leaning on others in your life will help! I love getting your blog emails and trying your recipes. Don’t be discouraged. We all appreciate all you do. Take care .
    Julie

    1. Julie-Thank you. I’m sorry for your losses as well-Do you ever get over the loss of a parent? I feel I’ve traveled a long way since he died and I think it’s because we had to get through the holidays! I feel great relief now that they are over. Thank you again for your kind words.

  4. I am so sorry to here of your loss. I personally haven’t experienced a loss quite that close, however I can still empathize. I want you to know your blog has been such a blessing and learning place for me, and I truly appreciate the time and effort you put into it. You will be in my thoughts and prayers! God is sovereign and He Knows our hurts and pain. He wants to be your strength and your Comforter. ❤️

  5. Last night lying in bed trying to fall asleep, I realized that I hadn’t received an email/blog from you in a while. I made a mental note to check my spam filter, worried that somehow my email filters started blocking you as junk mail. Low and behold I woke to one of your emails! I was so relieved…. until I read your Life Lately. I am so sorry about your loss. Losing a beloved parent is such grief and worse right before Christmas.
    I was very touched by your childhood story of meeting your dad at the age of 5. What a beautiful story of closeness. How wonderful that God brought you the earthly father you needed. You are blessed to have that legacy and that your girls got to experience it as well. I hope and pray your healing continues.
    You have been such a blessing to me, encouraging me toward health and education. Most recently you have inspired me to get back
    into reading. Curling up with a good book on a wintry day here in the Pacific Northwest pulls me into a different world full of imagination, beauty, and mystery.
    Thank you so much for all you do for us!

    1. Kirstin-Oh wow-that’s neat! We must have some kind of cosmic connection! Thank you so much for your comment. I’m so excited I have inspired you to get back into reading! That’s so fun and kind of random! I’m all or nothing with reading. I either can’t stop or I don’t pick up a book for months. I’m trying to find balance because it is such a good thing to get out of your own head. Oh and I love the Pacific Northwest. I’ve been several times and want to plan a trip with my daughters. I always say that God spent a lot more time creating your neck of the woods than mine-lol! Blessings to you and thank you again for reading my blog and taking the time to comment!

  6. I am so sorry for your loss. I couldn’t even get through reading your story, but I will soon, because it brings back the pain and tears of losing my father. I had just gotten out of the hospital from a long quarantined ICU stay. I was still recovering and was so happy to speak with my mom and dad which I have always done on the weekends, but missed the last couple. We ended the call with my dad telling me to get well and he would see me in “a couple moons”. We were stationed in Illinois at the time and my husband came in from work to tell me he got word my dad had passed away. My whole world crumbled in an instant and a day has never gone by I don’t miss him. I was never able to say good by but none of us were as he had suffered a massive heart attack and was gone in an instant. It has taken me years to overcome my dad and my mom passing as I was a momma’s girl and a daddy’s girl. My heart aches for your loss and you are in my thoughts and prayers.
    I also want you to know I love your website and all of your diy recipes. They keep me busy trying new things for my family and myself and keeping me encouraged to try new things. Thank you for so much time and energy you put into your blog. I hope you can keep it going or at least let us know if your going in a different direction. God bless.

    1. Mary-I’m so sorry for your loss as well. I lost my grandfather instantly with no warning but with my dad it was a slow burn. I’m not sure which is worse. Death is so strange because so few of us get to say goodbye. I saw my dad the morning of having no clue it would be the last. It’s heart wrenching. Thank you for sharing your story and I hope for healing for you too. Thank you as well for your encouragement and kind words! This blog means so much to me so I can’t imagine ever just stopping. I’m just working on a reset for my brain! I’d like to get back to really enjoying creating and organically sharing rather than thinking about algorithms and pumping out content. I’m quickly getting to a better mindset! Hugs to you.

  7. Oh I am so sorry, you have my deepest sympathies. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. It’s a hard time (I have lost both my parents), but you have grace and strength, you have a good attitude, and while you know it’s hard, you will come through stronger. Thank you for your site, I love your products and am glad you are back. Blessings and virtual hugs to you!

    1. Patricia-Thank you so much for your sympathies and prayers and kind words! I feel like I’m part of a new club-losing a parent is a whole new experience that many won’t understand until it happens. Virtual hugs to you too!

  8. My Dearest Jenni…How very sorry I am to read of your Dad’s passing. Reading of your close relationship was endearing and let us into your world to be able to pray for your healing. Noone can feel your exact hurt, but we can empathize and keep you in our thoughts and prayers. You are a beautiful light, as noted in your eyes and writings and mission. Give yourself the healing time needed…Be Still And Know That He Is God…and you will revive in the proper timing. Thanks so much for your research and DIY info. I speak for all of us in that we appreciate you for your openness and allowing us to be part of your journey. Love and Blessings, Ally

    1. Allison-I so appreciate your words. Thank you for saying these things. I feel so dull at this time but your sweet compliments help me feel like I get back to normal. Thank you for commenting. Your support means so much!

  9. I am so very sorry for your loss. I lost my dad a year ago November and while it gets easier with time, there are still days I cry at just the slightest thought or memory.
    Prayers for you and your family.

  10. Dear Jenni, I have to echo what others have said, so, so sorry for your loss of your dear father. I lost my Mom at just turning 16 and then my dear Dad at age 20. They both died of breast and colon cancer, respectively. I loved my Dad very much and still miss him. You are grieving and it’s a process that is so normal for you to be experiencing You have been through a lot and no doubt that deepened the wonderful bond you already had with your Dad from a young age. The good Lord knows our needs and our fragile hearts and loves us through all these things. I’m so glad you have your husband and your two beautiful daughters. They are gifts from God to you especially right now! I also don’t enjoy Christmas as it is so commercial, but love the food, more at Thanksgiving. My family is small and has always been estranged, I’m divorced but have a dear brother in Florida (I’m in Idaho). I also had my grandparents who were looking out for me and my brother after my parents died. So am thankful for that. So give thanks that God has given you all those years with your beloved Dad, as it truly was a wonderful gift to you. And I love your blog, reading your thoughts on life, and love your recipes. You are a precious lady. May the Lord guide you how to proceed with your blog, and I, like so many, hope you continue if you have the peace of mind to continue it! Much love and grace to you!

    1. Elizabeth-Thank you so much for your encouragement and kind words. It must have been so hard losing your parents so early. I am trying to stay on the thankful side of being so blessed with a dad like I had and for as long as I had him. I think that’s the key to getting through loss. Thank you again for taking the time to share your thoughts and your personal story. It warms my heart!

  11. Hi Jenni,
    Sorry for your loss..I pray for your strength during these times. As for the blog, I think it is one of the best blogs with great recipes, I have been trying out most of your recipes and they work wonderfully well. This was the first blog that got me into trying out making my own lotions and I still come back to it for reference. I wish you the best in 2022 and look forward to reading more of your posts!

  12. Hi Jenni,
    I’m so sorry for your loss and very much appreciate your heartfelt post. I know what it’s like to be so engulfed with grief not even the brightest of Christmas lights can bring you joy. It is painful entering into others joy while your heart feels only pain. I’m praying God brings you the peace and healing only He can do. He is truly kind to the suffering.
    I do love your blog, please keep writing! Our “success” in life may not always look like we had planned, but often the Lord knows better. So many in our world need your natural healing ways, for their body, and more importantly their heart. I will pray God continues to give you clear direction this year. Much love!!

  13. Pišem Vam iz jedne daleke prelijepe mediteranske zemlje i pratim Vas već godinama. Osvijestili ste mi čišćenje lica uljnom metodom po Evi Loom, svakom to preporučujem jer zaista ima efekta. i vjerujem Vam sve što napišete. Puno nam značite i čuvajte se emotivno, i ja sam jedinica i izgubila sam obadva moja roditelja i jako mi nedostaju i volim ih sve više i više. Sada sam postala svjesna što su roditelji. Dok god su oni u našim mislima njihov duh je sa nama i sretni smo jer kada pomislimo na njih osmjeh nam je na licima. Plačite kada Vam se plače ,odlazak na rijeku ili more pomaže, priroda općenito. Handmade isto tako, ja sam otkrila neke moje skrivene talente i pobjegnem vrlo rado u taj svijet. Nemojte odustati od svog Bloga, jako Vas trebamo i volimo to što radite. Namjerno sam pisala na hrvatskom da malo potražite gdje je ovaj biser na Mediteranu, imate translate. Hvala puno na svemu, mi smo Vaša podrška kao i Vi naša. Pusa iz Hrvatske
    Valnea

    1. Translation:I am writing to you from a distant beautiful Mediterranean country and I have been following you for years. You made me aware of facial cleansing with the oil method by Evi Loom, I recommend it to everyone because it really has an effect. and I trust you with everything you write. You mean a lot to us and take care of yourself emotionally, and I am a unit and I have lost both my parents and I miss them very much and I love them more and more. Now I have become aware of what parents are. As long as they are in our thoughts their spirit is with us and we are happy because when we think of them a smile is on our faces. You cry when you cry, going to the river or the sea helps, nature in general. Handmade too, I have discovered some of my hidden talents and am fleeing very gladly into that world. Don’t give up on your Blog, we really need you and love what you do. I deliberately wrote in Croatian to look a little where this pearl is in the Mediterranean, you have translate. Thank you very much for everything, we are your support as well as you are ours. Kisses from Croatia

      Valnea-Thank you so much! You are so kind. I’m sorry for your losses too. It is a strange feeling to lose parents. I agree with you-nature is very healing. I wish I lived by an ocean. Thank you for taking time to write this to me. I appreciate it.

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