Set Fire to The Rain

How do you rise from the fire when you’re still in the flames? 


I am hurting so much right now, it’s nearly unbearable. I’m not just in the flames, I am the flames. I am a raging fire of anger and pain.

Every time I say, “How much more can one person take?” Or, “How much worse can it get?” It gets worse. I get handed more shit. Yes, I am fully aware that there are 300 million people in the world who probably have it a lot worse then I do. But, right now, I have had three years of intense struggle, pain, and loss, and some days I just wake up and think, “I don’t know if I have any fight left in me anymore.”

Today is the one year anniversary of Kayta’s best friend’s death. For that, and so much more I’m dealing with right now, part of me would like to cry and scream all day.

There are two songs I’ve adopted as personal anthems lately. Adele’s Set Fire to the Rain and Kelly Clarkson’s Stronger. I keep hearing, “I set fire to the rain, watched it burn on your face,” and, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

I want to set fire to the rain. I want to be great. I want to be stronger. I want to rise from the ashes like a phoenix ONCE AGAIN.

But, right now, I just want some peace. I keep trying to meditate because I know that’s where I can find peace but when I’m this angry, it’s really hard to get quiet and go within. It’s almost like I don’t want peace, like I’d rather hold on tight to my anger. Maybe for the moment I am content to be angry. Maybe I just want to be a raging machine for a second.

My friend told me the other day that a word I beg for often, “Reprieve,” is actually a word for a stay of execution right before death. 

I pondered on that for second. Then I thought, yes, that’s actually quite fitting! I do want a REPRIEVE, because my life has been all death, loss, change, struggle.

Here’s the thing, I will come out the other side of this, like everything else. But right now, I am accepting what is – remember my infamous Eckhart Tolle quote that has been the soluble solution of my life?

“Freedom from suffering is accepting this moment as it is.” 

Well, right now, I am accepting this moment as it is, in part at least. I am accepting that I am angry.

Thich Nhat Hanh says, “You should cradle your suffering like a baby.” So, I’m trying to be kind to my suffering and not judge it or try to get rid of it.  Just look at it, comfort it, and say, “I’m sorry you’re suffering.” I’ve got ten posts almost written on this topic because I know it’s so important. But, it looks like I need to start taking my own advice in this moment…follow my own steps.

First step to dealing with anger/pain/sadness/grief?

“Any negative emotion not fully expressed in the moment it arises leaves behind a remnant of pain.” ~Eckhart Tolle

I didn’t need ole’ Eckhart to tell me this. I have freaking LIVED it for over a decade now. I don’t want to be struggling and suffering, and I know I’m the only one who can change my perspective to see the beauty of life around the pain again. But, I can’t get there ’til I get my anger and sadness expressed first.

So, I’m angry. I’m hurt. I’m sad. There ya go. Tomorrow, I may be a vision of peace again. But today, today I am a vision of pain, and that’s o.k.

I came on here and found two comments from a new friend today and it just busted me open and finally, I let down my tears into a swelling river and felt at least a bit of release, and now a bit of peace. That’s why I’m posting today. Because, it’s been my habit to self-sustain – not to depend on anyone else for help in times of need, not to “need” anyone or anything, to put on a brave face and get through it on my own.

But, a good friend recently taught me the beauty of asking for help, and so I’ve been trying to do it more.

On my first big “out me” post, Grim Reaper Girl – Part 1, many of you said, “I’m so sorry, I wish I had known…I would’ve…” One woman’s comments on that post stuck with me. 

Now, I keep coming back here to the blog thinking, “Ok, wait, maybe I don’t always have to be a vision of strength, maybe sometimes, I can be weak, and just ask…for…well…a reprieve.” 

Maybe the only reprieve I need to get through all this to find the “gifts in grief” again, is to be reminded I’m not alone. To hear, “I see you, I care.” I don’t want to “need” that. But, my own living truth is the words, “Why are we here? FOR EACH OTHER!” So, I’m living my words. I’ve given this blog as my gift to you, but you are a gift to me, too! 

I think I had this idea that I should always be a vision of strength for you. That showing my hurts and struggles would make me look…WEAK. But, actually, I’m remembering that it’s been my goal to emulate DEALING with pain. I don’t want to teach you to just put on a brave face and say, “I’m ok” when you’re not. I want to teach you how to express your hurts, cradle your suffering like a baby, reach out and ask for help, give yourself empathy for the pain you are facing, and then…THEN…after all that, we’ll start working on the “GETTING THROUGH the pain to the gifts on the other side” part.

(Wow, I feel so much better now! LOL! I guess I did just need to express it! First step is always “Express it!” Geez, Megan, haven’t you figured that out by now?!!!) 

Thanks for listening. I feel Stronger, and I think I’m starting to Set Fire to the Rain.

Please let me know you were here today?


25 thoughts on “Set Fire to The Rain

  1. Megan,

    I could have written your words – I feel like my life has been a living hell starting with the sudden death of my husband last March from a congenital heart condition we only found out he had two months earlier. The mountains that I have been forced to face the last 10 months have at the time seemed insurmountable. But I have had no choice but to get up each day and keep breathing.. . . even when it is agony. Some days are excruciating. . . .Some days I feel I am in a constant fight to hold on to everything I value . . everything I believe. I refuse to lose but in order to win I have learned that I must be honest . . . with myself and with God. I have to choose to share it all. I have to choose to believe . . . to trust. I so appreciate your honest . . the way you opened your heart and let me see your agony . . .and your hope. I believe this is how we will get through ! Thank you.

    – Joy

    • I’m so happy you’re here following alone, lovely, and that my stories are speaking to you. Thank you SO much for taking the time to comment regularly and give such insightful feedback.

  2. Megan, you have a beautiful gift. Your writing and your insight truly are a rare talent. I have subscribed – I look forward to reading more. You are simply amazing. xo

    • I am so happy to have you here! I just love that we stumbled onto each other through one post you shared on a similar topic. Thanks for being here, and for believing in me so much – it really spurs me on!

      • I’m grateful for that chance meeting as well! I’ve truly enjoyed reading what you write!
        Hey- a few days ago I sent you out an email, to the addy that showed up when you commented on my post. I’m afraid it might have gotten lost…did you receive it? ❤

      • Hi! (And I’m sorry, but what is your first name?! I searched your blog for it!) No, I didn’t get it! I sent an email to you with a good addy to reply to and added you to my contacts so your reply won’t go to junkmail. Send it again? Thanks!

  3. There are a thousand trite and compact things I could say, but I’ll just say I know what you mean, I do. I’ve been through the same things, for a couple of years, and I’m just now getting to where I can deal with those things myself. Those days that you just cry out for a moment of respite, for one second of escape from everything. Those days you just want to be. So yes, I understand what you’re saying.

    Like I said, there are a million things a person can say, but sometimes the best thing is to know that you’re not alone, there are others. And though they don’t share you’re unique pains, they do share the same feelings. And the same desires.

    It isn’t easy, ever, but you find your ways. You find those brighter days eventually. And that does truly come from just letting what you feel you have to hold inside go. Letting it out. Sharing it. With anyone, and everyone. In being exposed to that light I think it somehow loses it’s power. It was a tough lesson for me. It cost me a lot. But at least now, I know. And it has less power over me every day.

    Great post. And thanks for your wonderful thoughts.

    • Joe, I went to your blog and read your story. I love your honesty and commitment to change, and it looks like we share a love of Kahlil Gibran. His words are on my homepage they are so crucial in my life. I really felt in your words this presence of “not being alone” just like you said, and you remind me of both sides of why I’m blogging so openly and honestly here – because it gives us a chance to validate each other, find strength in each other, be inspired as we witness each other’s unfolding. Your words, and others, just inspire me and make me want to come back here and just keep giving more and more and more. I wish I could write it all in one day! There’s so much to say! LOL! I loved the line you shared “in being exposed to the light, I think it somehow loses its power.” I actually deleted a line just like that in this post to keep it short (I’m working on keeping my posts at a readable length, because I’m a book-writer and I like to go on and on!). It was: Pain is like a dog. It just wants a little attention and then it’s happy to go lay down for awhile. Doesn’t mean it’s not there anymore. Just that it’s not aggressively dogging for you to feed it anymore. —I was afraid it sounded insensitive comparing pain to a dog because pain is so real, but I was really just speaking to what you said – giving our pain attention lessens it’s power over us. I’m so proud of you for all the hard work you are doing to move through your pain instead of burying it or just trying to go around it. I don’t think you’d be having such success in your journey if you just stuffed the pain down and tried to ignore it. Like the dog, your pain would still be there dogging for your attention, bugging you and seeping into your life in many ways. Seems like you know that, truly, firsthand. Thank you for being here, and taking the time to share – people like you make this all worth it.

  4. Megan-I lost my Mom in March of 2011. I never thought the pain would ever go away. Ever. But, I had to continue on. Work. Family. Life. In your first blog post, you wrote about feeling validated. I too walked around the grocery store in the weeks after my Mother’s death, looking into the faces of anonymous strangers and thinking to myself “YOU have no idea what I’M going through. NONE. How dare you go on with your own life, filling your grocery cart with goodies for supper, when I am DYING here. ” Then, I realized we all have our own battles to face every day. What if THEY were going through something horrific and heartbreaking? That one random thought changed my entire perspective on life, death, and the ones left behind.

    I will continue to read your blog. I will subscribe to your writings, because you are talented and honest. Heart wrenching-ly honest. Godspeed.

    • Wow, your words give me chills even re-reading them. Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so sorry for the loss of your Mom. My Mom is one of those I know I will mourn the most one day so I truly can only imagine your loss, but I see and hear your pain. Did you know that physiologically we are designed to feel other’s pain as if it’s happening to us ourselves? They’ve done studies that show our brains read other’s pain as if the pain is happening to us directly. So, in reading your words, I feel like I can hear your heart through them, and my heart fills with heaviness and hope all in one. I can see you’ve walked THROUGH your grief to find the gifts on the other side, like I have. I know it can be a dark place to get through, but you are living proof that death can open us up to living a fuller, richer, more abundant life.

      I hear what you were saying about being validated. I have learned a lot through all my experiences to start asking for what I need but I have a hard time giving myself permission to be “in need.” I mean, I’m working on being evolved/enlightened/un-attached/immune to pain here, right? Shouldn’t I be past this by now? LOL! But I’m really learning that pain is part of the human experience – it is what makes us human. The fear of losing our loved ones shows how much we loved them to begin with – that’s the beauty of our humanity! I liken it to a woven tapestry – on each end of each thread there is a joy and a sorrow tied to that person. What brought us sorrow, first brought us joy. What brings us joy, will bring us sorrow, too. It’s empowering to me to see that joy and sorrow are one in the same in that way. You miss your Mom because of all the joy she gave you in her life here, right? So, inasmuch as you feel sorrow for her loss, you can also think back and feel abundant joy, right? That joy is not gone – it will live on. In the physical form, she may be gone. You can never hug her, hold her, kiss her, touch her again. And that hurts. But the joy of her life still exists in you.

      The freedom I have found in my grief, once I’ve gotten through the initial hurt of it, is that the more open and willing I am, the more I see that my loved ones are still with me. I can’t tell you how many experiences I’ve had to confirm this. Right after my Grandma passed, I felt her so strongly in the room, and still feel her just as strongly now. I talk to her all the time. In fact, I feel closer to her now then I did in her life. I think that realizing this and allowing myself to feel into it, has eased my suffering greatly, because the hardest part of death is feeling separate from that person, and in thinning the line between life and death, I no longer feel that suffering quite so deeply.

      I hope you feel your Mom with you all the time. I can feel her hovering through your words, even, and I think if she could, she would reach out and hug you. Much love and thank you so much for being here.

    • I had a LONG reply written to this yesterday and lost it when my internet stopped working randomly! I’ll try to remember everything I had written.

      First off, I’m so deeply sorry for the loss of your Mom. I can only imagine your pain. My Mom and I are extremely close so I know I would be shattered if something happened to her. The pain of your loss, and that feeling of permanent separateness from our loved ones is so hard – it hurts so achingly deep. First you have to get through that part, then you can move on to the gifts, and it sounds like that’s just what you did.

      I love your epiphany after her passing, and it’s just poignantly graceful to me, that you found such a gift in her loss – such a beautiful little awakening in dark of her passing.

      I hope you feel your Mom with you now, still, and give yourself to carry on with her/speak to her just as you did in life. I kind of consider all my angels more of “Saints” that I can call on like a Catholic would. I feel like I’m actually pretty lucky to have so many angels watching over me now.

      Thank you SO much for sharing your heart. I could feel the pain in your heart in your words and wished I could hug you through the computer screen. It means so much to me to have you here sharing with me on this journey, and I’m so glad that anything I said could speak to you in a time of such difficulty. I know next month will probably be really tough for you with the 1 year anniversary. I will be thinking of you. We just celebrated the 1 year of my daughter’s 5 year old best friend – we turned it into a day of celebration. I told Kayta it was like MLK day where we celebrate someone who died. We put her friend’s tiara on her, and waved her wand, and went to a beautiful local chapel and lit a candle for her. 🙂 It was BEAUTIFUL. Just a thought for you, as you come upon your own anniversary. I’m sure it will bring sadness, and feel like it just happened yesterday all over again…but maybe you could find some expression of honor and love that gives you a tangible way to forge through that day, too? That always helped me. Much love to you.

  5. The courage to grieve out loud, I admire. No one can tell you how to feel or how to deal. Thank you for shining a light.

    • I love that, making it courageous to grieve out loud – how beautiful, thank you! And for saying I’m shining a light, you have NO idea – that’s the best thing you could say to me!

    • Thank you, I always appreciate prayers. I am trying my best though, not to live in the space of suffering. Like I said, I believe that freedom from suffering is accepting this moment as it is, and in accepting whatever we’re feeling, we are released from the experience of suffering, even if the pain still exists. So, no suffering here…at least not permanently – I try to make it a temporary fixture in my life when it arises!!! 😉

  6. Meg,

    I will be 10 years this March 15th. Still hard to talk but Xmas was a start. Your words here have continued the process. Thank you.


  7. I am here today. I’ve read your trilogy today and posted it in an online support group for daughters grieving the loss of their mothers. ait is a closed facebook group or can be googled for the website, with an email forum. It is called, “Tapistries of Hope” and is based out of Southern/Central New Jersey. All can resource this webpage.

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