Family Loss

Just this past week, my last living Aunt passed away. No more Aunts or Uncles left for me on my side of the family. The next generation arises to the fold in this family, knowing death will take each one of us at a time. It is an odd concept of thinking but here we are.

2c428036-3d43-4f83-b910-b56f01bd07f4-4492-0000010337aa0e55I have had my fair share of family issues in the death of my parents and the estate. Total greed and usually there is just one member or two, as a small gang, to cause strife, discord and feel the need to have one more penny than the others. It is crazy. Or are they crazy? The greed of money is the root of all evil.  Do they think we don’t see their patterns and actions?f5792309-1fb0-4ab9-a0b6-9f1bb63c0141-4492-000001031015c1c7

As I watched and listened to my cousins as they bury their mother, my favorite Aunt, I see the discord within the troops already and the one in my history of hell, raising their ugly head already to get that penny felt due to them. I just shake my head of their lack of respect and gall to feel entitlement. Some just love drama.

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I am thankful that my head is not on the chopping block this time over of the estate but will, without a doubt, be called upon for support and questions. If so, I will be accused of breathing yet again by this one in particular who has no business within theirs. Just because!  Dealing with an estate is a hard job and sometimes hell as greedy people, sadly family, attack verbally, spread lies and rumors.

The Lord will fight my battles. I have had to hold tight to that Bible verse.

I am sure they do not tell of what they have done or said but are readily open to spread verbal garbage to others. Another Bible verse, you will know them by their fruit. 54175218-4ec8-45e7-96c6-179e86aaef82-4492-00000104e8de6653Those that know them, know them. While others enjoy drama, too, and will believe the lies. Whatever. While it hurts to hear and to watch, I know the truth. Keep walking forward and do not lower yourself to their level. Onlookers will not be able to see which is the fool. Stand!

If and when you ever have to deal with an estate, be prepared and just watch and listen. They do not go without incident.  Just breathe!  Trust the Lord and put your faith in His Word and know He sees all and knows all.

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To those that have dealt with an estate, did you experience issues?

 

Forever Ago

C78DC95D-C5B1-4114-8657-F085C3AB879EToday I picked up a photo book I put together of pictures and memories from early on to the end of our dog’s life. Neither my husband or I had a dog growing up so getting one along with having young boys, I was asking for more work. What was I thinking? I remember at the beginning, fifteen years ago, this puppy then followed me around the house, just like a toddler. I remember it driving me crazy. 6718E804-C86A-4ABF-BAB0-7EAA8EF918FBI was done with that stage and yet I am back in this mode. The puppy stage! Yikes. Perhaps ignorance on our part, too, and trusting this animal in my house with wood floors and a potty mishap. I was so done.

FF150D41-49FB-4B34-8820-58A041A3DD5FWhile my husband and boys bonded with this dog, I had not. With the urine accident, a day off work, we had a meeting of the minds. I told this sweet, beautiful dog that this was not to happen ever again. Strangely enough, it did not. It was that day, we bonded. Just like correcting a child, you correct and then you love. Amazing.

Those eyes and facial expressions tell everything and as time goes, you can understand and know exactly what they want, feel or need. Do they train us or do we train them?

Our schedule through the years were around this dog, getting up to going to bed, potty breaks, walks, food preferences, etc. How can you not love them?

This dog of ours was a rescue and I was the one to find it on Petfinder.com. Still I was the one that was losing my patience with it until that one day and everything changed.

Our days in the last fifteen years were filled with caring for this four-legged animal, but she filled our lives with joy, love and laughter. There were times that when things were not all that great in our home, she would lay at my feet or do something to make us laugh to break the sadness.

As the last few months brought on an oral cancer and having it removed, we knew our days were numbered. Still we felt we had a few months but proved to only be a month, if that, as another tumor occurrence returned. No more surgery, no more pain for our selfishness.

Remember the day I said we had a meeting of the minds and then the facial expressions, too?  The day we scheduled to put her down, I had been trying to take pics of her and I wanted one so bad of me and her together.  I swear, she looked at me and as if she said, Enough!

AC464BFD-5638-4784-941F-812108BDF853I looked at her and said, okay, no more. It was time.  I knew she was then ready although we were not, yet we were for her.

Today, is one month and to pick up the photo book from the store, then realizing it is the one-month anniversary, tears rolled and still.  Only four weeks but feels like forever ago.  I sure miss that dog. A6060541-60D2-4B17-B333-95FB74CF9D46

Who rescues who?  ❤️

 

It Comes In 3’s

0294DFE6-AADA-46DB-ACC4-7FCF0367B23EAll of my life I have heard that things, whether it be appliances breaking down and deaths or other things, too, comes in threes.  I felt yesterday that this is all about to hit. While I brace myself, I also fight fear of the unknown.  The third one?

My Aunt is near death and hanging on for dear life, it is just not her time yet.  Our sweet fifteen year old dog has been going down hill but this past month, more so and now another cancer spot on her tongue.  Everything is going to hit at once.  The grief ahead right now slaps one cheek and the other as I wait for a big fisted hit in the nose. BAM!

Knowing another day has passed and my dear Aunt remains in a hospital bed in an induced sleep to keep her pain at bay, with nothing more to do for her, we wait.

Yesterday with confirmation from our veterinarian, finding out our four-legged baby is dealing with this issue once again.  I do not feel that another surgery should take place but my husband probably would. Her legs are failing her, she is in pain but …

While I think I have him convinced, I feel like a heartless person knowing he will have anger toward me, which is typical of grief.  I do not want this sweet dog to suffer anymore although my heart will break and tears will flow, too. I pray that she falls into a deep sleep as my Aunt will do and be pain free before we go for the dreaded appointment on Saturday.

In knowing of these two, who is the third?  That is when fear sets in with me.  No matter, I cannot dwell on the third and hope it all passes and we get through this period.

E24597A1-07D1-474E-95F3-E67B84783C01I find it strange that I have heard that saying all my life, seeing it happen and how there is a heaviness that hovers.  I am sure you have heard of this, too.  It causes anxiety in me and I do not like it.  I have dealt with enough fear in life that today I want to dismiss this thought of the doom and gloom.  So BAM!  If all these years, it was all bad, let’s turn that around and usher the good in instead. DDC5895D-E390-4852-9B27-AC855671E447

Whatever today holds, tomorrow or the next, my faith BAE116EC-985F-43FB-9231-069BA71D4A62and trust must be in the Lord and whatever comes before me, I face it with Him and because of Him, I can make it.

I may never see my Aunt again here on this earth again but in Heaven, I will.

While I give my sweet dog her space today as I clean as she rests, I tell her how pretty she is, I love her and all that dog talk we do as owners. They know us.  They are pretty smart.  I believe she is ready to go.

To grieve means we loved. ❤️

 

 

Goodbye Baby

38433AE9-810F-447D-A975-77BAF78D1921In just over twenty-four hours, three of us will be walking in for a dreaded appointment but only two will be walking out. Our precious Baby will be crossing The Rainbow Bridge. My goodness, how hard it is to make this decision and to carry it out. While I know it is the right thing to do, I hesitate and think well maybe one more day, one more week. The same result will come. It is time.

I have held my sweet cats when this was needed many times through the years but never a dog. These silly animals can wreck havoc on the hearts of humans. Their eyes tell you so many things, they wag their tail with joy when they greet you, bark when you leave as to saying take me with you or maybe it has been goodbye. It is so 6E4A7C5E-8F65-4F81-8F72-6B104DBEAE79hard and will be so hard to not see or step over or around this bundle of love.

Our Baby is old so she has way outlived her years more than most. Just this year, oral cancer has been aggressive even after one successful surgery and now weeks later again it returns. I cannot do another surgery. It’s not fair to her and selfish for us to try desperate measures to hold her here.

While I understand this task and grief in past pets leaving, actual family members passing and just relationships ending, the grief is intense. My husband is a basket case and will be, never having close connections in death or experiencing such. I will grieve and he will grieve but this might bring out a part in him that he is unsure of and me, too. I know in such situations, you take life day by day and when that is too much, hour by hour.

Our sweet Baby will never be forgotten and we will for a long time be ready to let her out to potty, take a walk, get her favorite treats, remember her sitting in her favorite spots in the yard only to be reminded she is no longer here as tears may flow.  Adjustment. A new normal for our home.

A rescue animal. Who rescues who? ❤️75C2D0C0-A77F-4950-AA68-1E9737457111

 

 

870 Days

652B2586-29F0-48E6-A4E4-AB1FB25A3117I can honestly tell you, I dislike a part of the code of ethics between a counselor and client relationship.  I totally understand that the counselor’s personal life is private while the client shares their life and deepest, darkest secrets.  That’s fine because that is why you are there in counseling.  

While I do understand the boundaries during the process of counseling, I also understand it after counseling has ended between both but I just don’t like it.  The connection is no more, as if it never existed.

As I started counseling over four years ago, it recently ended due to health issues of my counselor.  Jokingly, although some seriousness in me, I have wondered maybe I caused her to have burnout. Possibly!?

With our time together, I found her to be one I could confide in and be honest with and that is exactly what you want in a counselor, a connection. While she maintained boundaries in her profession, I still considered her closer than my own sisters. I could talk to C16F158F-ACF3-4CF3-B616-32E1C8C0E1E6her in complete confidence, truly feeling she cared for me not only as a client but as a person. To be listened to, heard and understood, brings healing.  I have to say, she was one of the best.  I feel blessed to have had her in my life, when I needed her the most.

The word, had.  I had her in my life. Now I don’t. It’s that code of ethics that comes into play. Again, I really do understand but I really don’t like it. Okay, I am having a temper tantrum, and I’ve had a few.44590330-BB3A-43DD-86EE-727802A14440

At one time, a brief comment was made between us that no friendship relationship while counselor/client. Okay, fine. It was when she made her decision to close her office, it all became real and quite upsetting. Hoping now, at least we can become friends on Facebook to stay connected, was my hope. Nope!

Okay, now with that, a real temper tantrum because not only can we not be friends on Facebook, but no contact for three years. Three years!  As of today, that will be 870 days, but who is counting? Ha 6062824E-20AB-4CA3-93C2-A01347B364F0

Again, I do understand and I respect her in this matter. I just don’t like it. It’s like the song, ‘It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to.’ Well, this is my blog and I’ll complain if I want to, while working through it all and having fun, too.  Getting through the grief.  It would not surprise her to know I have a countdown timer on my iPhone.  I also have one of my retirement date, which is definitely more days than I want to be reminded.  It works for me.

In three years, I guess the reasoning is that the facts spoken within her four office walls will be forgotten, she will forget me and I will forget her and life goes on as if we never knew one another.  Can that really be true?

For me, not possible. On my end, she will always be a part of my testimony. While I am adjusting to the abandonment part of this situation, I still have my moments of grief and missing our talks.

So, perhaps this will help somebody know of what to expect when considering counseling.

Even though we both go our separate ways, I feel the Lord led me to her at the right time. He prepared her in this area for me, others clients also, but He knew I would need her many years before I even entered her door.  That’s God!

8E1FED02-9CEB-4A34-A7AE-D82DB646EA89The Lord knows and will put the right people in your path.

I really miss her.  Sometimes I hope she reads my writings, perhaps to know I care and appreciatative but be encouraged, too, because she helped me be who I am today.

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Grades of Grief

1CC51986-2CC6-456F-BCB2-98B5AF2690B2     I have had my share of grief in life and no doubt, you also.  It, of course, can come from a physical death of a loved one or friend but grief is shared among other losses and the pain is there.
     Growing up and probably until my own mother passed away, I dealt with deaths and the visitations, funerals and family gatherings afterward never wanting to lose touch with cousins and extended family members, but you do.
     It was when my mother passed that it all became real, the grieving of what was and what will never be.  While we were not the mother-daughter connection as pictures show and memories are made of, still she was my mother.  Sitting at traffic lights looking up at the beautiful sky and seeing the clouds, the tears would flow were my usual bouts of grief.
     Just a few years later, while trying to maintain my own home but also my father’s home and all of his financial and medical affairs, my marriage was dying.  I could feel it, I knew things were not right. I blamed myself as I was being pulled in many directions and apparently neglecting him.  While that was all true of caring and doing for many, I am not to accept all the blame and I will not.  Still, grieving the marriage of what was and what will never be.
F36661FC-75AE-4792-88F7-1F4EFB5ACE0E     Through the years, I have lost friendships for whatever reason by job change, moving, etc. no doubt, you have also.  Realizing their friendship was just for a season, whether it be their season or mine, it still hurts to lose the closeness. Depending how close we were, the grief can become intense, not just uncomfortable for a bit.
     With that I found myself to be distant with some because of the hurt, the grief of losing them. They are still alive but not there. Just recently, I went through this with someone very special to me. Every level of grief was there still and I knew it. Even today, I now teeter between the depression stage and acceptance.  This can last for a bit.  When sadness hits, I cry and then I get back up accept what is. Thankfully the anger has lost its power but it was there and normal.
     Whether it is a person, a pet or whatever to cause your heart to ache, it is normal.  It just shows you are normal and have a heart and love within that you shared.
Looking at the chart of the many levels of grief, I recognize each one and understand when it hits.  One of those, ‘been there, done that’ quotes.  No matter what your situation, grief is hard and exhausting.
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     Understanding the levels of grief in whatever you are facing, it will help you through it.  Normal.  Cry if you need to and then carry on the best you can. Some days you will need to concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other.  Normal.  Will life be the same?  No.  A new normal will form and you will adjust.  One day, your experience will be encouragement to another; you made it and they will also.
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Nothing!

0518437e-e078-4127-b784-db8ae8dcfe70-4006-000002db793c0401Here I am alone in my office and no desire to finish my work that can really wait until tomorrow, so I write for a bit.  The quietness in the office space far from everyone in the building, hearing the HVAC motors on the roof above me makes me feel as I am on an airplane ready for take off.  Anytime now, the flight attendant will be at my door offering up those yummy cookies.  Hey, I can dream.  Dream to take off in flight to somewhere exciting and yes those cookies. cb2b0a80-d041-46e4-877a-cb3a7c4cf0a9-4006-000002dbad019654 Tick tock tick tock, as I have two hours left to maintain this status until I can leave.

Even then, the boredom of life exists.  I joined classes and get regular exercise but my energy level and joy is depleated, as I just fall into bed.4b4d5133-5fef-4f5b-925d-25af21d5693f-4006-000002e1177629f6

Depression, perhaps.  Exhaustion, perhaps, Grief, perhaps.  Loneliness, perhaps.  Put those things and probably a few more it becomes overwhelming.

I know to keep moving and doing and not be isolated, but that comes so easy.  Vacation time is nearing so hopefully that will help, to get away.  A change of scenry, shopping and laughing with a dear friend although tears will fall, too.  Just to get away from nothing here and probably nothing there to really gain but a brief change and there’s nothing to lose.

a4f22023-0749-45cb-bf53-147ea2129562-4006-000002dc8f2ccc3aOh Lord, I need you.  I need your loving arms to hold me.  Only You know me like no other.  Give me strength to keep moving forward and be kind to others and to share your love and your mercy and grace. My focus needs to be on you, as you know my name and where I am when I do not even know myself.

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