The holidays….they can go either way..
I have heard my friends lament about the sadness they feel especially when viscerally injected with holiday cheer bouncing off every wall, ceiling, music speaker and Christmas tree. It doesn’t really matter whether you are a reason for the season person; your ethnicity doesn’t matter, sleeping on the streets or in a mansion…you are either living through or celebrating the holidays.
I especially mourn with people when a loved one transitions around the holidays. I don’t think I’m hanging crepe when I say that The “holidays” will never be the same for them. This happened to me…my dad had a heart attack on Christmas Eve and passed the day after New Years. Moving forward when the holidays roll around the reference is always that day, month, year before dad passed and after dad passed.
A good friend of mine told me that I should accept the holiday feels by feeling the emotion, letting it pass through and if you feel like a thorough holiday sob, just let it happen. Stop fighting it.
There really are no rules…the holiday is the holiday…one hour, one day you may feel festive and full of love and joy…and the next hour or day, you may not.
Death of a parent can really screw with your life. For anyone who has had a wonderful, deep, loving relationship with a parent that has died, I know the pain is so great that you really wonder if you will survive. The immediate overwhelming grief is incompacitating. Sometimes after a parent has passed, intellectually we can feel relief that it is finally over and I’m speaking of long, painful or difficult illness and dying process. Somewhere you grasp the reality that you love them enough that you are thankful they are finally without pain and fear!
But there are others of us out there who do not have the wonderful, deep loving relationship with a parent. These relationships are colored with many different crayons. The reasons are many and very personal and obviously painful. Death in these kind of relationships are difficult because the survivor’s grief is all wrapped up in the fact that this is the end….there is no turning back, or fixing the relationship mixed in with the emotion of not feeling anything at all. Yet a devastating understanding that this is not how you are supposed to feel…knowing full well that your memories of the life you shared negates any real emotion you have about the death.
……my answer after my mothers death was to dig deep and work and work and work to find some peace within myself…understanding that she did the best she could do with what she had to work with. Understanding that mental illness is not just an excuse but an actual disease. Letting go of the painful negative and remembering the positive memories that are now able to be recalled. 8 years ago today, the healing began. I still don’t feel a lot of grief in her death but I am able to feel some affection for the woman who raised me. R.I.P. Mom.
Until next time.
It’s been a very trying week. Baxter has been sick and at the vet all week. We think he is going to pull through from whatever ails him…..either a virus or bacterial infection or both.
My son in law’s grandmother died and was buried on Thursday. While it was very sad, there was also peace knowing that she was ready to go to be with her beloved.
It has taken me all week to find my words.
And then there is Saint Dana. She adopted the name from our family because of her never tiring commitment to taking care of my very difficult mother and very difficult aunt in the last years of their lives. Dana was an elderly-caregiver and loved the old people under her care. She was the 37 year old daughter of my BFF and sister-in-law, Gena. We actually lost Dana a couple of years ago after a stroke robbed her of everything except the parts that kept her heart beating, This time has been emotionally devastating for her mother and 3 children. She passed from this life this week the way she lived her life….her own way in her own time.
On the way back to Kansas City tonight, I reflected on the words spoken about her at the memorial service…live, love and laugh….dance in the car to your music, do what you love to do and live your life right now.
I marveled at the beautiful sunset when we were at the Bethany exit and my heart opened up and felt happy and full when we rounded the curve outside of Liberty….the lights…all of the lights.
As we live our lives from day to day, often we fail to appreciate what is going to have an impact on our soul years down the road!
Until next time…..
My friend, Tracy, put this on Facebook this morning.
The first 3 likes were from people who have had a cancer diagnosis. This is so true with all joys and pain we go through in life. When our friends and family step up to say “I’m so happy for you” or I”m so sorry” it helps, it makes us feel loved, it reminds us that we are not in this life alone and love actually does help us to heal! Whether you believe in prayer to God, or just the energy raised up to the universe, there is healing power!
Yesterday afternoon, we finally made the decision to have Billy put to sleep.
The decision ripped at my soul. It was agony…when he was finally at peace, I went to the parking lot leaned on the truck and let the pain and agony release in my sobs. If you have ever loved an animal and had to put them down, you know exactly what I’m talking about. The words from friends on Facebook were healing..each was soaked into my soul so the healing can begin.
But there was a little guilt. My friend, Tam, just lost her son…she left me a message of how sorry she was for my loss. I don’t even have words here. Tam is reaching out to me and has empathy for me for the loss of my kitty compared to the recent loss of her boy….no words.
….so today, I must buck up. I know for awhile I’ll walk into the laundry room and expect to see Billy laying on the dryer turning on his back so I’ll give him some loving. Every time I walk by the pantry cupboard, I will notice the scratch marks where he would scratch to let us know he was up there and deserved a little belly rub. I will miss him from the bottom of my heart. But I will heal and I hope I can send healing energy to someone else in their time of need. I know it works!
Until next time….
We took my car in for service this morning so when he picked me up we just drove further into Lee’s Summit to pick up Jaxon. In my non-talkative morning funk, I was deep in thought looking at houses…thinking about the big picture…there are people and families in those houses that I don’t know. The people probably have similar problems and worries and love….what a huge humanship we are part of. One house we passed gave me a totally different “feeling”. The house didn’t have a soul – I realized as we continued on that there were no curtains at the windows…obviously the house was empty.
This is not the first time I’ve had this feeling but it is the first time I have been able to define the emotion I was feeling. On my twice daily walk down Hidden Valley Drive, I walk by a very nice house – very well maintained – lawn is mowed, flowers in beds along the front, curtains at the windows…but I have never seen any activity – including no lights on at night or evidence of cars in and out. I also feel this house has no soul. I’m quite confident that the number of scenarios I’ve entertained could make a readable mystery novel.
I’m listening to Papa and Jaxon playing downstairs. I love to hear his sweet little voice as he explores. It’s a bittersweet day though as he and I are about to lose our senior cat, Billy aka Bill Clinton. In December of 2007, I finally wore him down and he agreed that I could adopt a cat. Billy and I connected – although at the time, the ARL had named him Mouser. He was beautiful and sweet and gentle. His welcome to our home involved me getting out of the car carrying him in his cat carrier – he took quite a tumble as I slipped on the ice and he was air born. Through his life with us, he accepted 3 dogs and 4 other cats…but he was always the main man! Earlier this year, we had several mast cell tumors removed from his body and learned that the cancer would be back. He’s lost a lot of weight but kept his personality until the last couple of days. He’s not eating – not even sneaking people food. He walks away from his beloved cheese. We have seen the light go out of his eyes. We are just waiting now. I stayed up with him for awhile last night just willing him to stop breathing so we don’t have to have him euthanized. *tear. If you have ever loved an animal, you understand the pain. So.
Until next time…..
When he died back in 2001, I felt that grief that takes your breath away…that pain which reaches so deep into all of your muscles and nerves that you are pretty sure you will never feel alive again. His death was the most important thing that has ever happened to me. It changed me from the person I thought I was to the person I am. I called upon all of the stubborness and determination and a little of the eccentric personality traits learned from him to change myself from being a victim of my life to being in charge and having chutzpah (which I like to refer to as balls) to stop the insanity.
After the initial grieving, I was relieved that his life was over – I knew my dad and I knew that my dad was ready to go. I now know that he suffered severe bouts of depression. He verbalized many times to Phil and to me that he wanted out – I know and knew that he really wanted away from my mother…but I will not crucify her in this blog…this is about my dad. His mind was finally quiet…it was over…and this is exactly what he wanted. My love for him was able to allow me to be happy that he was finally dead!
We all have those outline bullet points or the A.1.a. in the outline of our life or the events which we always refer to as before this happened or since this happened. My dad’s death is the capital A in my life.
Onward and Upward.
Until next time.