Saturday, September 28, 2019


This wasn't the blog post I had intended to write this morning but that's how life goes.
Things change.
A little while ago I found out my mother-in-law's cat passed away yesterday.
I didn't expect her death to hit me as hard as it did.
But even now, the tears are just around the corner.
Friskie's journey was a long one.  She started her life living with my in-laws in Texas. After John passed away, my mother-in-law's health deteriorated rapidly and I brought her - and Friskie - out here to Arizona.
Mom went to live in a beautiful assisted living home nearby and my plan was to make Friskie part of my family that already consisted of 2 dogs and 3 cats. John and I had promised Mom years ago that if anything ever happened to her, we would take care of Friskie forever.
But Friskie had other ideas. She hated not being an only cat so, after a few months of vainly trying to change her mind, Friskie went to live with a friend who offered to foster her for me.
And then a few years later that fell apart and Friskie found herself back in my home.
By that time, Mom had passed away and my heart was heavy. I needed to make this work.

Friskie said No again.
So, I reluctantly sought the help of a cat rescue here in town.
They promised me they would find the best home for Friskie and, if they couldn't, Friskie would live out her life in their care at the rescue.
But life had good things in store for Friskie.
One of the volunteers at the rescue immediately fell in love with her and adopted her.
Friskie once again was an only - and very spoiled and loved - cat.
She thrived in that home and I would occasionally get updates on how she was doing.
Until this morning, when the sad news came that Friskie had gone over the Rainbow Bridge.
She lived a long life and she was in a wonderful home when she passed.
But still I cried. Maybe because this was another link to Mom - and John - that is lost now.
We lose our loved ones in so many ways - when we give away their possessions, when we move out of a home we shared - and yes, when a beloved pet that knew us dies.
I'm happy Friskie was loved by so many people.
I'm grateful for the rescue and the volunteer who gave her a home when I couldn't.
RIP, little one.
You are with Mom again.
2002 - 2019

Friday, September 13, 2019

Sad all over again

Death by a thousand cuts refers to an old form of Chinese torture whereby a person would slowly die as he bled to death from a thousand little cuts.
Grief is like that.
Yes, death gives you an initial gut punch that brings you to your knees.
But after a while, the shock wears off and you assimilate the loss and continue to live.
But the grief, the pain of losing that person you love so much stays with you and day after day, month after month, year after year, you bleed.
I bleed when I turn over in bed at night and caress John's empty pillow.
I bleed when I make coffee for one in the morning.
When I heat up a frozen dinner at night instead of making a delicious meal for two.
When I watch the sun rise in the morning and John is not here to share it with me and I see another day before me without him.
Grief robs you day by day, cut by cut, tear by tear, loss by loss.
I don't want to sound morbid or pessimistic.
Life does become "routine" again, if you will.
Gradually I have incorporated losing John into my new life and I have learned to band aid the cuts and soon they scab over.
But they never really heal.
Anything can pull that scab off.
Sometimes I am surprised by the renewed hurt.
Sometimes I understand what did it.
A song.
A smell.
A noise.
I was taken aback by the sound of the the pool man one day as he dove under the water to fix a pop up head. For a split second, it sounded like John was back in our backyard. John who loved our pool and dove into it every day after work to cool off. For a split second my soul felt whole again.
And then...
And then it bled all over again.
There is no rhyme or reason to what can make a grief cut bleed again.
Today is the anniversary of when John and I moved into this house we have now in Arizona.
After driving for 5 days with 1 dog, 3 cats, and 1 parakeet, we entered our new home.
Now I am here alone. Different dog. Different cats. No bird.
And no John.
Tomorrow the bleeding will stop. Again.
But today I am cut all over again.
Such is grief.

Thursday, September 5, 2019