I Am Not Dead

I haven’t blogged in over 3 weeks!  That is the longest I have gone without writing since I first started this blog 2 years ago.  Don’t worry, I am not dead.  I have just been letting myself bleed awhile.  Let me explain:

When I was a teenager, my mom had the stupidest quote posted on our fridge. I remember the quote going like this:

“I am not dead,” Sir Andrew cried, “wounded, but not slain.  Let me lie here and bleed awhile and then I will rise up to fight again.”

I read the quote often but didn’t get it. Who was Sir Andrew? Why was he bleeding? Why is he such a wuss? And why is he telling us all about it? I remember routinely harassing my mom for what seemed like such a lame, random quote.

Fast forward a few years and I went through a divorce.  As the pain and magnitude of the circumstance hit me, the quote clicked for me and I finally “got” it.  I knew what it meant to bleed. I could understand what it meant to not be dead, but not be ready to face the world either.  The quote grew in significance for me and actually comforted me on especially hard days.

Fast forward even more years and as my friends went through divorces, I would write this quote down for them in little cards.  The quote had helped me understand my own grieving and healing process, and I wanted them to feel free to grieve and process as well.  I would tell my friends to take as much time as they needed to bleed and be confident that they would one day rise to fight again.

My mom and sister also used the quote to help friends who were struggling with trials, so they asked my brother, Tyler Stenson, to make a cute graphic they could give to their friends to put up on their own refrigerators.  Tyler obliged and here is the final design for the quote:

You can download and print this quote here.

But as I eluded to earlier,  I have even applied this quote to less tragic things in life…like my summer.

I have had a busy summer with Girls Camp, family in town for the 4th of July, Crew’s baptism, and a Family Reunion.  I have been occupied with all the planning, prepping, crafting, shopping and thinking that goes along with these kind of events. I have had to keep going whether I wanted to or not.

But when we got home on Wednesday and every event was behind me, I told the kids I was just going to bleed awhile.  I didn’t even unpack. I just went to bed.  I literally laid around for an entire day and a half watching TV and sleeping. I didn’t cook, clean or require chores. We ate cereal for breakfast and lunch and fast food for dinner. My counters and floors were covered with suitcases and clothes and dirty dishes. I didn’t put pressure on myself to blog or work or plan or accomplish anything. The kids were just as worn out, so they did nothing as well.  We just let ourselves bleed.

We finally patched up the wounds last night and got unpacked, and we plan to actually leave the house today.  We didn’t need to bleed long, but we needed to bleed, and now we are ready to rise to fight again.

I hope that you think this quote is lame and stupid just like I did. I hope you don’t get it because that means you have been lucky thus far in life and haven’t experienced life’s deepest sorrows yet. But if  you do “get” the quote to your core, print it out for your fridge or a friend’s fridge.

Let’s all bleed when we need to, fight when we can, and confuse the heck out of our teenagers.

5 thoughts on “I Am Not Dead”

  1. I’ve never heard this quote before, I wish I could’ve said, “What?” but I “got” it. I saved the graphic as my computer background.

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