It’s Raining Today

TW – grief

It’s raining today. There’s thunder and lightening crashing all around us, and I can’t help but to think that the sounds of the storm are my not-so-little brother, Max.

I used to be afraid of storms, I would hide in my room with my younger siblings when we lived in Texas because those Texas storms were unmatched, but now, I crave the bad weather. I need it to be Max throwing a tantrum or having fun with my grandpa, our Bopbo. I need the super windy days, the hail, and the blizzards, but that’s the thing about grief though, it changes you. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. This time though, I know Max would want it to be for the better, no matter how hard it hurts.

As someone with unmedicated ADHD, depression, and anxiety all in one brain, it’s really hard for me to process grief (1). In February of 2021, we lost our Bopbo, and my brain gradually declined over a span of nearly two years. He was the first person that I was close to that I lost, and I didn’t know how to deal with it. I wasn’t writing anymore, I didn’t read or draw or do puzzles. Overall, I wasn’t doing the things that I liked doing because my heart knew that I couldn’t call him anymore. It felt as though I wasn’t whole, but I continued to keep pushing. I tried getting my store (Dani Darko Crafts) back up, I tried reading again and pursuing my photography, but nothing ever stuck. I had also graduated college a few months prior, and the idea that I never got to send him a photo of my diploma still sits with me.

A few months later, around Christmas, we had to put our family Great Dane (Daryl) down shortly before his tenth birthday. He was the best boy, but he couldn’t handle the winter storms anymore. I spent the week leading up to the date constantly embroidering presents for Christmas with him, and we never did get to finish our Harry Potter marathon.

Then in April of 2022, we lost our cat, Mamas. I realize comparing a cat (or a dog) to my actual grandpa might come across as some type of way to some, but to those that know me, they know that that cat was my soulmate, and she was also my brothers. She was the mom to the boys I have now, and the first cat me and my husband rescued together. After she died, my brain kept declining. My heart felt like it was ripped out again and I went through the cycle over and over of starting and stopping projects until I finally started feeling better in January of 2023.

In January, I started reading 10-12 books a month. I was ready to start my store again and had all of these ideas planned out and ready. Surprisingly enough, even through my nearly two-week trip to Texas to meet my nephew in the NICU, I still carried the habits with me. My bookstagram (Keeping Up With A Skillings) was scheduled weeks in advance, my blog was backlogged with ready-to-publish drafts, and my phone was filled with concepts I wanted to create.

Then, the end of March came around.

I’m standing in my office, plate full of food ready to be picked at while I take photos for Monday’s posts. I’ve just seen my husband off to work after his lunch break, and I see multiple missed calls on my phone from him. I call him back- and it’s about Max.

A few hours later, after what felt like days in the hospital, we were told that he didn’t make it.

When we got home, my brain had officially felt like it had imploded. Max was the glue, and my thoughts were immediately filled with what if’s and trying to rationalize what had happened.

I went upstairs a few days later and my office was exactly how I left it down to the plate on my desk. It was as if time had completely frozen over. That was two months ago, and even now it’s difficult to be in there without my throat wanting to close up, but it’s that way for a lot of things now. Just going to the grocery store makes me feel ill. That same day I was going down the aisles of Wal-Mart, amazed at all of the new snacks they put out, but I never got to show Max what I got when I got home. Putting together Legos still hurts, seeing cool cars on the highway still hurts. Hell, even being able to put those snacks in the pantry without him stealing them still hurts, but what hurts the most, is the idea that I can’t go bug him at this very moment besides talking vaguely at the sky or towards his ashes.

One thing that has helped me after Max though, was deciding to go where my brain was the most comfortable – my textbooks from school. I ended up finding all sorts of ways that people grieve in my psychology and world religions books, and I related to the Native Americans the most.

As someone who isn’t religious themselves, I wanted to focus more on the spiritual aspect, and they believe that as long as you talk about them and remember who they are, they will be with you always. They don’t believe in heaven or hell, but rather the ‘land of the dead’ where their souls continue to live the lives they were living (3). So, we continue to talk about him.

Now, as I sit here in my kitchen, watching his dog, Diego, pace back and forth while surrounded by memorabilia from his funeral; pressed flowers, his belongings, and a Coors bottle of his ashes, I can’t help but to think when the next storm is going to pass through. I know it may sound silly, but thinking about Max causing chaos in the clouds has helped me rationalize that he still might be here even if he would absolutely hate this weather if he were. Not to mention the day where I saw not one, but three birds hit a window throughout the course of it (2).

The first happened while I was in my bedroom, a grey pigeon hit our window and didn’t make it on the same day my mom had an appointment planned to talk to him through a medium. Then, the following two occurred on the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy and in a cutscene in Stardew Valley. Now, I know what you might be thinking, the latter were obviously prerecorded, but I implore you to think about the odds of me landing on those episodes the same exact day an actual bird hit our window – I mean, what are the odds?

Over the past few years, spring has not been kind to me, or my family. It’s supposed to be the season of growth, but for us, it’s been the opposite. The trees grow green and we end up getting pushed more and more into the darkness.

So, Max, if you’re seeing this somehow, please continue to send those signs. Whether it’s a coin in the Target parking lot, or switching my TV over to Yellowstone when you’re sick of me watching Friends (4). As long as you continue letting me know that you’re right here with me, I’ll continue to keep pushing to be okay, just – please don’t throw any more birds, I’m begging you.

AllBee, signing off.

Resources Used

1- ADHD, grief, and loss during the pandemic. CHADD. (n.d.).,in%20lifestyle%20and%20treatment%20support.&text=Losing%20a%20loved%20one%20affects,challenge%20for%20those%20who%20grieve. 

2 – Garrett, D. (2023, May 5). What does it mean when a bird hits your window?. Chipper Birds.,receive%20guidance%20or%20advice%20soon. 

3 – Hopfe, L. M., & Woodward, M. R. (2009). Native American Religions Ch 2. In Religions of the World (11th ed., pp. 43–44). essay, Vango Books. 

4 – Kessler, S. (2022, June 15). 10 popular claims of signs from deceased loved ones. Cake Blog. 

Other Resources for Signs from Your Loved One

Tafone, E., & Hamlin, R. (2020, May 7). 12 signs of the beyond from deceased loved ones. Guideposts. 


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