Looking back and forward

Bouts of grief come and go with me. For some reason driving in the car seems to bring them on. That makes no sense. Grief is always that way. It comes in waves often without warning. Sometimes people don’t realize that it isn’t just a death that we grieve. Any kind of change can bring it on. We grieve for what has been even if we are looking forward to what is to come.

Having moved many times in my life I expect to be sad about what I am leaving but settle well when I get rooted in the next place. In some ways it is refreshing to think that this big downsize means that we will be getting some new furniture of the inexpensive variety. Moving lots of furniture is more expensive that buying new if you are wise about what you buy. We will take things that we love but that is mostly art work and personal items.

A lot of our furniture was passed down from my family and is not necessarily what I would have bought. Even though it has links to the past I have no regrets about letting it go. An estate sale agent will handle that.

It is almost like a new start and a chance to try some different styles that can be modified easily.

Life changes when we least expect

This is a difficult post to write. Since my husband has been recently diagnosed with dementia our life has changed. We will learn and adapt as we go but some major changes will have to be made.

Our home is one that requires us both to be able to help with its maintenance. It is really too much for me to manage on my own. It is time to move forward and find the right environment for both of us. This will be heart wrenching and particularly hard on my husband but we need to do it now and get settled for the future.

My aunt ( who was really quirky) always said that if you do all the things you CAN do at the moment then you can stop worrying. This is my plan. We will be taking one day at a time. There are still some medical issues to be resolved and the virus hasn’t helped getting those done but we will get there. God is with us.

There have been lots of ups and downs in our life together. This is just another down to get through and look forward to the next up. On the 9th of June we will have been married 58 years. A wonderful journey.

Grief for the hatred

I am almost struck dumb by hearing about another incident with a black man. The first one was in a place I have been many times and had no idea what was under the surface. We suffer from blindness that must go away. Why is the hatred so strong? Have we not changed at all? I grew up with a father who lived out that everyone was created equal. He never tolerated looking down on anyone. He was much loved by all who knew him.

The daughter of one of my best friends (the friend sadly is no longer with us) is married to a Lakota Sioux. I have seen through her eyes and that of her family the same kind of selective justice that their people have suffered. It continues.

The Massacre at Wounded Knee

When will we being to see people as human beings….no different than us. Is it going to take DNA testing everyone to prove that in today’s world odds are we all have DNA in common?The world has become very small. Is it going to take invasion by aliens to make us see our commonality instead of our differences?

Surely this virus has made us see it is no respecter of persons. Everyone race, creed or color is at risk. Can we not move past the hatred? I grieve for those hurt recently and those hurt in the past. Not just here in our nation but in the whole world. We can’t seem to learn.

Scary things

Today I am again using the Dragon software so forgive any grammar errors.

This has been a quiet day. I did have to attend the funeral of the young man with children who died. The funeral was a real tribute to him. There must’ve been at least 300 people there. Sad though it was his funeral was a celebration of his life.

Grief-1480

There is always something so much sadder about the death of a young person. We feel as if there are things that are unfinished. Someone told me many years ago that in truth the death of a young person is not a life unfinished. That each of us has our own lifespan. It is a lifespan set for us alone. For some reason that gave me comfort.

Death is something that we all come to. It is something that we all have to face. Many people fear death. For me death itself is not frightening. It is the dying that we don’t look forward to.

There are so many things in life that can frighten us. For those of us who suffer with anxiety it seems that we can be afraid of almost anything. Although I think each of us has certain things that trigger our anxiety. I know that some things that might disturb me might not be bothersome at all to someone else. I think each of us has to discover what are the things that set us off.

consistency
Over time with help we can learn management of our own triggers. The thing is we have to practice and keep up by exercising those tools frequently. If we think we can just use them when we are in a panic it won’t work. I think that is the hardest part. Reminding ourselves daily to meditate or pray or whatever it is that works for us to use it. Consistency is the answer.

No matter what we have to keep on going, keep on working, keep on hoping, and keep on living.

God’s creatures

butterfly-effectThis morning as I was driving out of my driveway I saw what looked like a small creature lying beside the drive. As I passed I could see it was a small, possibly baby, raccoon. It lifted its head and shook in fear as I went by. It was obviously hurt. I assume it was hit by a car. As I paused and watched it gave a last breath and was gone. Sitting for a moment to be sure he/she was gone and then went to my appointment.

This quick incident really bothered me. I felt so much empathy for the poor creature that tears were close. It had such a short life. I really saw it as one of God’s creatures and said a prayer for its passing. I saw the same imagery as with the dogs and pictured it moving over the rainbow bridge. I can’t help experiencing grief over any creature I see in pain. I wish I could have helped but there was nothing to be done. We will give him/her a decent burial.

Rainbow-Bridge-heaven

I can’t help but see all of creation being linked and the death of one creature, flower, tree, insect being part of the whole. I know I am epathic and can feel pain for the smallest thing but we all should feel that loss. It is what we have ignored for too long.

Go little raccoon, over the rainbow bridge and join those who have gone before you.

 

Tears fall

I am sad. Lucy has not been found yet. I am sad for my daughter and her family and sad for Lucy. This is not the end anyone wanted for that poor girl dog. She had such a bad life before. These things happen in life and I think they remind us that everything does not always go the way we want.

Life can be challenging. There are times of joy and times of sadness. Both are important because they are joined. There is not one without the other. I don’t think we would understand how important our good times are if there were not bad times.

The older I get the more empathy I feel. Tears come easily but I don’t mind that. Tears can be cleansing.

rain drops

Tears

Tears fall easily

their drops wash

my face

 

Etching the sorrow

my heart endures

as they fall

 

washing some

of the pain

from my soul

 

each tear

offers solace

and cleansing peace

 

Can we learn soon?

In Iroquois society, leaders are encouraged to remember seven generations in the past and consider seven generations in the future when making decisions that affect the people. 
-Wilma Mankiller, the first female Chief of the Cherokee Nation

I have always admired the insight of Native Americans. Their wisdom seems to reach a depth not always found in our society. When I look around at what we have done to the earth it is apparent that we don’t look ahead at all. Too often it is all about money and/or power. Two things that are so transient.

World.in.our.hands (2)

To nurture the earth will allow human life to continue. If we don’t we don’t survive. I was talking with someone recently about “Mother Nature” and how she always seems to bite back. If we find an antibiotic to cure a disease it has the potential to change to something that we can’t fix. Eventually the earth itself will kill us off. Either as a direct result of what we have done or by what has evolved because of our hubris.

The Episcopal Prayer Book calls the earth: “this fragile earth, our island home.” The earth is fragile and I weep for what has been done.

I still have hope that people will wake up and change. In my experience we often wait until such a crisis occurs that there is no option but to change. I hope we don’t wait too long. Whatever is in our future I hope that we will learn, change and care for the earth. It is our only home.

 

Nightmare and grief

Do you dream? Do you remember what you dream? I dream a lot and I often remember the dream…at least for a while. The bad part is that sometimes I have nightmares. I had one last night. Mine are not about monsters chasing me or falling off a building. I wish they were. I could deal with that better.

dream

My nightmares have to do with trying to help my mother and my aunt. (both deceased) The dreams are sad and frustrating. I struggle to solve whatever is going on with no success. It makes me wonder if this is some leftover guilt for something I regret not doing for them. I cared for them in their last days and was with each of them when they died.

Brian-Tracy-Quote-Never-Regret-You-Past

As a part of grieving we tend to guilt ourselves for being human. Of course I have regrets but my care for them was the what I was able to do. I did all that I could. Sometimes we just can’t let it go. I remember crying hysterically in the dream ….so frustrated that nothing I tried worked.

Now wide awake I have to understand that grief comes in waves when we least expect it. This time it surfaced in my nightmare years after both of them died. It is still there and will crop up again. Loss becomes a scar but sometimes the scar hurts. That is normal.

Stupid words

words can hurtThis is a re-blog of something I wrote a while ago. It came up recently and so I thought it needed to be said again.

 

People can say stupid things. It is amazing to me that they don’t really think about what they are saying. When I ran a grief support group I heard some goodies.

 

You can have another baby (to someone who just had a miscarriage)

God needed another angel in heaven ( to someone who lost a child)

 Your husband wouldn’t want you to be sad (to a new widow)

I’m sure things are better now (to someone whose wife died a few months ago)

God never gives us more than we can handle (to someone who lost two teenagers in an accident)

Everything will be alright (to someone diagnosed with a fatal illness)

Sometimes when we don’t know what to say we can fall into the trap of saying something stupid or offensive. We may not mean it that way but that is how it comes out. When people are going through tough times they don’t need to hear these kind of answers. They need to hear

Can I bring dinner by tomorrow?

I’m going to a movie tomorrow can I pick you up?

I am so sorry

I will call you soon (only if you really will)

Give a hug

Cry with them

Solid concrete help is what is needed. Only say what you mean. If you can help try to do something specific. Don’t just say “how can I help?” Instead ask if you can pick up children, run an errand, offer a day out. Each individual needs different things. You have to gauge what will help.

compassion-is-a-verbMost importantly offer compassion and love. Nothing is more needed. If you have suffered a similar loss you may understand better what they are going through but don’t assume it will be exactly the same. Just being there is critical. Don’t just say something…..do something!

 

My friend

I don’t know how many of you have good friends but I sure hope you do. A good friend, a lifetime friend is a treasure beyond compare. Most of us are blessed if there is one such person in our lives. Some people in our lives are friends and they may be kind a caring but they are still not the one who would back you up if the whole world was against you.

thomasaquinas1

I have been thinking about this because three years ago in January I lost one of those friends. We knew the good and bad about each other and it didn’t matter. We didn’t live close for quite a while but on the phone it was as if we had seen each other the day before. Nothing ever changed the link we had with each other.

During her illness I was blessed to live close enough to help her and was with her when she faced her death. She was the kind of person who drew people to her and many mourned her passing. She, like me, was not perfect but she was my friend.

Following are some excerpts from Proverbs that have to do with a wife but they apply to her friendship with me also.

Proverbs 30

A good wife who can find?
    She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
    and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
    all the days of her life.

 20 She opens her hands to the poor
    and reaches out her hands to the needy.

25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
    and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
    and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

29 “Many women have done excellently,
    but you surpass them all.”

RIP Deirdre