Help for Healing

Bitter & Sweet, living daily with grief


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Yes, I accept it.  I’m fickle. Emotional.  Changeable.  Whatever you want to call it.

This is Dave’s third year in hockey.  His brother takes him 90% of the time to practices so I have plenty of help.  I go to all the games.  One kid.  I’ve always been grateful that he never asked to try out for a travel team or a spring league.  It’s expensive, time-consuming, and a very long season as it is.

Til this year.  His coach asked if he wanted to try out for the “select team”.  Didn’t realize that meant travel team.  ANOTHER $350.  He was asked.  How can I say no?  My step-son tells me if he makes it, he is just too burned out to take him five times a week to the rink so I will have to step up.  How can I say no?

My dad stresses me out.  He calls and asks “Is this going to cost more money?”  I say yes, but don’t tell him how much.  He asks if we are going to have to drive a lot further and more often.  I say yes and cringe.  “How are you possibly going to do that?”  I tell dad that we just need to see if he even gets selected.  Then I will see who else gets picked.  There are two families I know that would help manage transportation if their kids get picked too.  I am irritated at my dad.  My son lost his dad.  How can I say no?  But deep down, I know he’s right.  It will stretch us in every way imaginable.

Inside, I am praying he doesn’t get in.  That way I don’t have to make the decision.  Too much money, time, stress.  But how can I say no?  He tries out Sunday and we are supposed to find out Wednesday.  He gets ready for school and tells me I need to let him know the second I find anything out.  I prepare him that even if he gets in, we have a big decision to make.  He says he understands, but how could I really tell him no?

I have to work most of the evening.  I come home, greeted by my step-son.  He informs me that Dave didn’t get picked.  He said he was taking it very well and had a friend over to play so that was helping.  Wow, prayer answered.  I don’t have to say no and feel like the bad guy.  I don’t have to say yes and stress us all out in every way.  Phew, right?

No, I cry instead.  I’m so sad for him.  Then I’m mad.  Those asses.  Obviously they don’t know a great skater when they see one.  Dave handles it much better than I do.

Fickle, I admit it.

Author: Help for Healing

My name is Darcy Thiel. What people say they appreciate most about me is my genuine nature. I utilize my professional and personal experiences to increase my understanding and compassion to help others. My career has many faces, so let me tell you about a few. I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in NY State and am a couple and family therapist. As an Adult Planning Specialist and End of Life Doula, I take my experiences with my parents’ and husband's illnesses and passing to help others navigate the crazy, complicated medical world we live in. This dovetails with the books I have written. Bitter and Sweet: A Family’s Journey with Cancer, the prequel to Life After Death, on This Side of Heaven is an honest and raw perspective on coping with the diagnosis and subsequent loss of Tim, my spouse. I have done extensive speaking on the above topics through live audiences, radio shows, and an occasional TV spot. For more information, see my websites at,, or Copyright Help for Healing by Darcy Thiel © 2012-2019. All rights reserved.

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