Despite the six degree temperatures, the horses and Hector the Mule had to get some family love. There is nothing like a good pony smooch to warm you up on a cold day. And pony smooches are easy to come by if you have apples in your hands and granola bars in your pocket.
Dark stays dark
Light stays away
Maybe it is just the cold, dreary winter skies.
Guess who doesn’t mind the cold. He also would not get caught so I could put on a blanket! Stubborn rascal.
Holidays are tough when you are grieving. I will always be grieving. I try to hold onto the light, the good things – but there is such a gaping hole. According to my grief counselor, I am dealing with delayed grief, or what ever label one attaches. I always feel like I have to be the strong one, the responsible one – so I hold everything in – take care of business. SO – Here I am going through the 3rd Christmas without my son, my only child and – it isn’t any easier for any of us. My husband is hospitalized, so I am holding down the farm. So, I spent the holiday with my animals and a nasty respiratory infection. Finally gave in and went to the doctor. My asthma was flared up and needed a treatment. So I spent my morning in a the medical center, doing a nebulizer treatment – 2 years, 10 months, and 6 days after my son died of a severe asthma attack. Each breath cut through me – I will finally had to admit how guilty I feel – he got the asthma from me, I know it. I feel like it is my fault, my punishment and I don’t know why. No matter how many times I tell myself, it isn’t my fault and it isn’t about me – I can’t stop the thoughts. They attack in waves. I love my GOD so much, and I lean on the GREAT SPIRIT for comfort and healing, and I know HE did NOT TAKE my child, HE received him in love, just like HE loves me.
Still – the thoughts come. My son, a young, successful Emergency Room Doctor just finished a shift saving lives. Why couldn’t they save him? He saved lives. He made a difference in this world. Why is he gone and I’m still here? What do I do? I hate these thoughts – I suppressed them as long as I could – now I have to let them out so I can let them go.
Breathe. I tell myself just breathe and let it go. I needed to lance this abscess so I could get this poison out.
I needed to spend this holiday in my home alone so I could deal with my grief, and not be responsible for anyone else. I don’t have to put on the brave face. I am spending this day in prayer, in healing – just me and my dogs (and hugs on the horses, mule, cat, – and patted the goose). I absorbed their love – pure, honest love.
Maybe, if there is any good that can come of my grief journey – it is to share the revelations – tell someone you love them and give them a safe place to express their grief. Everyone needs to express the dark thoughts without judgement or condemnation or fear of rejection – Don’t hammer a broken person over the head with the Bible. Remember, it is the word of GOD, not a weapon. Instead, Hold their hand and pray with them.
If you are hurting, you have to breathe and let it out – scream it out – curse it out – even break something if it helps. But the abscess never heals unless it ruptures. I hold onto my big Ol’ Charlie Tarheel (My German Shepherd) and I cry and I pray. Strange as it sounds, I believe he is my spirit animal, sent to guide me to a closer spiritual relationship and a stronger faith. That works for me. I pray everyone in pain finds what works for them, to bring healing. Please, don’t give up. Continue the journey.
OK, remember the fairy tale of the kindly shoe maker? At night, the good little elves would come out and do his work and tidy the workshop. Well, I think I have elves too – only these elves are EVIL!! I dust, sweep, mop, and tidy during the day. While my husband is in the hospital, my dogs and I are the only ones in the house. I have a severe cold or flu or distemper or something, so I am not doing any crafting or baking or much of anything. In fact, I keep coughing and sneezing so much, it activates the clapper. The lamp is going on and off all day.
But when I wake up, the house looks like there was a frat party here last night!! There is laundry and dishes and dust and muddy paw prints and clutter – and how did the trash can get full!! Come on!! How is this possible?
So I tidied up again. I made up a cup of tea and curled up on the couch with Baby Dawg. I glanced over at the kitchen floor and there are two hair balls laughing at me – mocking me!! When I catch one of those elves, he is in for a whomping!!
Despite the cold temperatures (dipping under 20 degrees), Gertie Goose still insists on her morning bath routine. I keep two kiddie pools for her, with several spares in the garage – so she will always have clean water. She followed up her bath with an ear of corn (not easy to find this time of year but she does so love it so well worth the expense).
Gertie must be over 20, as she has been here on our farm for 20 years. She and two others just showed up one day and decided they would like here. Gertie is the only one left and despite her bad temper and snippy disposition, we love her.
I have been letting Hector the mule into the pasture with the mares for a few hours every day. I was so excited to see them all peacefully munching hay together!! OK, I know they are not best friends yet, but they are bonding!
I love my husband very much. My husband is a good man with so many good qualities. He also is very “high maintenance” because of his disabilities, depression, and addictions. This is the third Christmas without our child, and my husband is hospitalized. Believe me, Time does NOT heal all wounds.
I hope this does not sound wrong, but sometimes, I feel invisible. When loved ones call, they are always so concerned about my husband and rarely ask about me. My husband needs care and treatment, and sometimes gets so concerned with himself, he doesn’t ask how I feel. He needs me to run errands and support him and give understanding – but doesn’t understand when I say I am tired.
Let me share a recent conversation:
Relative speaking to me: “He is just going through so much – holidays are difficult. I just cannot imagine what he is going through. He lost his son.”
Me: Silently thinking, He was my son too. I’m right here – in pain.
Relative advising me: “Well, you need to be strong for him.”
Me: Silent once again
After the relative left, my husband and I chatted.
Husband: “You need to call my friend so he’s not worried.”
Me: “Honey, I called all your family to keep them up to date about your care and situation. I am just really not up to more conversations today.”
Husband: “Well, he’s going to be worried. He knows I was struggling and yesterday was Christmas…it was hard. You need to call him.”
Me: “It was hard for me too and….”
Husband: Interrupted with attitude, “Just forget it. I will call him when I get out of the hospital.”
I know he is a good person, just struggling with his health issues. I am glad he cares about his friend, and does not want the friend to worry. But there are times I just want to scream, “Strong people break too! They break on the inside where no one sees. I am tired of being strong. I hurt too.” But, instead, I am silent. Maybe because I am just too wounded to speak up or maybe I don’t believe anyone is really listening. I’m not really sure anymore. So I go through the day, invisible. No one really SEES ME – they see a functioning avatar, an imaginary person – but not me.
But GOD is good and HE sends comfort, spirit helpers. My animals, they see ME. They hear ME even when I am silent. GOD SEES ME – HE sees all my flaws and all my sins and loves me anyway, especially when I feel unlovable. So, If you know a “strong person” maybe check in with them. Maybe they need a hug.