Tag Archives: Ben Schone

Coping skills.

Just though I’d share a quick update on some of the ways that i’ve been coping with the death of my friend, Ben Schone. For the past two years, I’ve been seeing a great therapist to help me grow as a person and to work through issues that I believe have held me back from being all I can be. Needless to say, I’ve really appreciated my time with him since this has all happened. I know my self well enough to understand that this definitely wasn’t going to be something that I was going to be able to just hide deep down inside and not deal with. I chose early on to confront my sadness head on and try to learn from what my emotions and pain could teach me. That being said, here are some of the ways that I’ve found effective in helping me honor my friends memory and move through my grieving process.

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First, I bought a pair of shoes that reminded me of him. Chuck Taylors. I was already considering buying a pair for the summer, but knew this would be a way for me to remember him daily as i got dressed and to say a prayer for his family, our friends, and to seek ways to honor his memory that day. 

Second was to listen to music that reminded me of him, and to check out music that I remember him wanting me to listen to. Ben was a huge Muse fan and so I’ve listened to more of their music. I’m also very excited  that Muse will be opening for U2 when i see them in concert in October in Atlanta. I look forward to enjoying my favorite band and his together in one great night of music. 

Last has been watching South Park. Although I have found bits and pieces of South Park funny in the past, I’ve also found it to be in bad taste from time to time and so never really became a fan. One of the things that I remember Schone doing was impersonations of characters from the show. In particular Cartman and Jimmy were two that he could really get me laughing with. I watched the episode called Krazy Kripples the other day and smiled the whole way through. It was like hearing Ben sitting next to me again, doing his impression of Jimmy.

I know people deal with grief in many different ways and with much different timing. Hopefully in some way this can encourage all who have lost loved ones to find ways to remember with fondness the people who have left us too soon.

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Life as normal.

 

It’s funny to me that i’ve been somehow trying to convince myself that I’m back to life as normal. The truth is i haven’t run, read my books, or journaled or blogged for three weeks. I’m not the same as i was. I know i don’t need to be, but i’m not totally ready to accept it. 

Three weeks ago i was really high on life. Whether it was work, sports, running, or relationships, i had something to be excited about. Having had two wonderful retreats with my students, enjoyed many visits with friends from out of town, enjoying spring campfires with great friends, and watching exciting news about all of my favorite sports teams. I was training for a half-marathon and felt like i was going to run a better race than i had previously. All these things suddenly held significantly less meaning. 

I can, in reflection, see how numb i’ve been, but still i don’t know exactly what to do about it. Some days i feel very equipped to understand and celebrate life, and other days i feel that I’m drinking the dregs of life and am not sure when a heartfelt smile will come again. 

Ups and Downs, that’s how life goes right? C.S. Lewis said that undulation (a wave pattern) is really the way of all things. From our spirituality to even our closest relationships. There are highs and lows and to take all these in, well that’s life. Rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. For everything there is a season. I am in a season of loss. And I’m learning to be okay with it, asking my emotions to help me understand them and what they want from me. To not ignore them, but asking them to not overwhelm me. 

I remember hearing that Rob Dougan  was dealing with some personal loss while making his album Furious Angels. I knew that it could be felt in the music. Today i feel the music even more deeply and am reminded of traveling to Chicago Bulls games. A song called Clubbed to Death was on the CD i would play on the way to games and played it when Ben went with me to a Bulls game. The song is very intense and is played usually during time outs of the game to get people excited and bring them into the passion of the game. I never heard the pain in the song till now. 

I really hope that people that read this blog won’t feel like I’m becoming a downer. Know that my blogs won’t always be melancholy, but for today, I needed to express some of my sadness as a way to continue to grow and heal. Life will never be the same, but that doesn’t mean that life will always feel like this.

Today, I put back on my running shoes…
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The passing of a friend…Ben Schone.

My friend Ben Schone has left us as of April 7, 2009.  I guess when someone you love goes in such a tragic way; it is always scary, haunting, and shocking. As I think about his death I really want to get some ideas out. I’m writing this mostly because I feel like many people will be asking questions that pertain to this and also because it is helpful for me to write it.

When someone commits suicide do they go to hell? First of all to be completely honest, I don’t know. I cannot give an answer to that question no matter who the person is or how they die. What I can give an opinion on is according to my faith, does someone who commits suicide go to hell because of the act itself. My thoughts…suicide does not mean that someone will go to hell.

The idea that suicide is a damnable sin has come from the idea that life is to be valued and that we submit our lives to our creator. It’s thought that when someone commits suicide that they are in fact, by their actions, saying “screw you God, I don’t trust you with my life” and then ending their life. In this way the person would be defiant and turning their back on God.

For any of us who have lost someone in this manner, I highly doubt that this is ever the case. Usually, from my experiences in life, suicide is someone feeling overwhelmed with emotions and circumstances and finding themselves not able to deal with them through typical coping skills. Chemical imbalance is much more often the cause of someone ending their own life, not someone being defiant of God. 

A second part of the idea that if you commit suicide you are going to hell comes from the fact that it is a sin to take a life even you own and so if it’s your last act, you aren’t able to receive forgiveness and would be damned. I strongly disagree with this as well. God isn’t limited by our mistakes. Imagine if you were falling off of a cliff on accident and on the way down cursed God out of loose lips as you were panicking on the way down. It’s a sin to take God’s name in vein; do you think you would go to hell? I certainly don’t think that God’s ultimate judgment of my life would have anything to do with a slip of the tongue being my final act before death. Neither do I believe that doing something as harmful as suicide as your final act would lead to damnation.

I guess I’m saying all of this to ease people’s minds and to hopefully help us to focus on what I believe we should focus on when someone that we love passes. I believe we must focus on moving through our sadness and cherishing the life of the one who has passed. To take what that person has meant to us and be sure that it never dies in us. Make sure that the person lives on in the way that we live, love, and relate to others. May the beauty and wonder of our friend Ben Schone live on in us.
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