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

 

 

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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Give Me Wings

7DD93F9D-AFF6-4033-8F57-39878479ED16
I wish I had wings like a dove.
I would fly away and find rest.  
Psalm 55:6  
Good News Translation 
Ever feel that way?  Sure you have.
Thinking back, I remember when my father was alive and had a feeding tube.  I had to go to his home four times a day, starting at 5:30 a.m. At that time, I had two active boys under the age of six, at times worked at the church, and watched other children in my home, not to mention the other things that came caring for a home/family.  I was exhausted.
Walking up to my Dad’s home, about two blocks away, I often looked up at the dark, clear sky seeing all the stars and would say, if I could just fly away.  Thankfully, buying the house several years before, was a definite God thing because I could not have done this otherwise; to care for him daily, his home and my own.  As tiring as it was, I have no regrets taking care of him, just wish I had more time.
On top of all of this, dealing with grief from my mother’s recent death, my marriage was dying.  I knew it deep within but had to function as best as I could in the roles before me.
Each day turned into the next and you just make the most of it, I know I did or I at least tried.  It wasn’t long until my father died and then the estate and sure enough family issues.  There is always somebody that causes discord within the family and this in-law did just that to cause division.  Does it ever end?
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Even today, thinking back of everything that I endured, I really do not know how I did it.  But God…..  He saw me.  He heard me.  He collected my tears.  He had heard all the nasty lies about me.  If it had not been for Him, I would not be here today.  It took its toll on me and family issues with estates are pure hell.
T9BD1EC50-D334-4E56-9301-6F1E881275B3oday, as I do my job and watch the clock ready to leave the office, I am tired and ready for a vacation, which is only six weeks away.  I am so ready.  I found myself saying, if only I was a bird, I’d fly away, which brought back years of memories.
Sometimes life can get overwhelming in so many areas to where you’ve had enough.  It’s at those times, you pray that the Lord uphold you with His right hand.  Cover you with His wings and shelter you and give you peace.
Trust Him 9EACD893-AD30-4D74-8677-32D9F42E2707

Another Dead Box?

7A0A61F6-70A2-4336-B5CD-7C83579C9A26While I am not a hoarder, I do keep things; each matter in their own box, somewhat organized and stored in the eaves of my attic.

Through the years of dealing with the estates of my parents and brother, they each have their own box of what I wanted and needed to keep after their passing.  Sadly, this is all that is left of their life, a dead box of memories, keepsakes and possessions.  There is guilt that comes of that but you cannot keep everything, you have to let go.  I had to.

I tend to keep my notes, journals, calendars, etc., and have since a child, never knowing why I held onto them. They have proved to come in handy and really do not take up much room, just a few storage boxes, of my own life.

With mine, I had to dig deep within them this last bout with my counselor, back to my childhood.  With that, I learned a lot of what I had lacked as a child and how it has and is affecting me today.  Sometimes, I thought it would be easier to keep my head in the sand just knowing something was not right than poking at it, which we did, but deep down I wanted to understand me.

Putting names with areas of emotional distress (attachment, abandonment, trauma, shame, childhood emotional neglect, just to name a few) opens up areas I never knew before.  They are all real and felt.

As my counseling ended recently, there is an overwhelming feeling of many of those emotions being triggered.  To the point of wanting to run and put my head in the sand.  Perhaps like a test.

B2A81AF4-884E-42BC-AC09-C84360FA0F85Realizing before, I felt this way or that way but to now understand, have a name for what I am experiencing or feeling, I am thinking it has been harder.  I am aware and the intensity of the pain has been quite disturbing at times.  As I was exhibiting this or that and to my dismay, I recognized what was happening.  It’s a new way for me, to recognize, express, name and grasp to hopefully heal in these areas.

So through the pain, just the feeling of the abandonment being more intense, I could grasp that is what it was.  It was safe for me to cry and to give myself time to grieve and I will for awhile.  I can say, too, that I am angry with the way it ended, as I feel it could have been handled differently, basically more respectful, especially her knowing me.  That’s rough to say but truth.  Now leaving me with several questions that may never have answers.  Feeling all of these emotions, naming them is good but not easy.  It’s normal to grieve a relationship lost.

As much as this situation hurt, I feel I am coming through it easier just knowing and realizing what is happening, how it is affecting me and what I am doing.  Being mindful.  Tears come and they are also normal.

536CF7B6-D31E-4899-8895-5AAB8B9390F1While I have a storage box full from our years of counseling of notes, etc., it sits untouched right now but still in my sight, not stored.  There was too much invested in my life through her.  Some but not all healing in me is complete to put this box aside and ignore.  I know in time, I will and can still go through the many notes, copies of research done, open up and remember our sessions and still grasp many golden nuggets to continue for growth and healing.

F5B28577-7295-4887-B8A9-1575BBD83E09Maybe I need to name this box a Treasure Chest instead of another dead box because of the time spent in the many hours of counseling over four years. Even through the pain now, I’m thankful and feel blessed to have had her in my life. Everything within that box has brought me to where I am today and I believe it was orchestrated by God.

Grief

8FF8D233-A8E5-483E-BADD-69136FB3D93DSometimes words are not audible.  There are times our eyes say it all in their sadness and tears may fall or are always welled up within them. Our throat may tense as we take a breath and hold while trying to hold back an outburst of sobs.  Everything within is crumbling while you do everything to appear normal on the outside.

I have been through enough grief in my lifetime and I am sure you have, too.  Grief of actual deaths and of losses in relationships.  No matter, grief is grief.  Each new one will bring intense pain that seems to outdo the last one.

The mental and emotional torment takes its toll and then slowly, a daily realization comes that a new normal exists.

Have grace for yourself in the midst of the pain, as often as you need it.

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