How Am I Doing? Too Much Solitude isn’t Healthy – #Procrastination and #Grief

It was a year April 7th that I lost the love of my life, my husband, Puppy. And today is his birthday. I’ve been busy painting new rocks to place around his gravestone for his birthday visit. And went over to the garden center to pick up a lovely spring planter.

The sun’s rays were shining brightly in this photo

This past year has been one of The most difficult time of my life. Many days I find myself not coming to grips with anything. When you love deeply, you will grieve deeply. I am on my own way too much it seems and I know with certainty getting away for the winter was my saving grace, being around people – company, always someone to talk to.

Most of my days are spent reading, researching various things from the spiritual to online grief groups, and writing. It may seem I haven’t published anything for quite some time, but the writing has been plentiful and has given me much material to work with from my journaling and the many poems I have written. My procrastination, because of my newly acquired short attention span hasn’t permitted me to do anything concrete with any of it yet, but I’m slowly working on that as I struggle through each day with what feels like a never-ending grief who is my constant companion. I know though, that one day soon I will have much of my writing to share. My grief doesn’t just pop up randomly, but walks with me every minute of the day. Some days I can deflect it off ’till later’ and some days it just gets the best of me. So I continue to live in my mantra of ‘One Day at a Time.”

In my moments of distraction, I find myself running to Youtube listening to angel messages, Mediums, poets, from inspirational things to talks on the afterlife. I’ve been watching a lot of Youtube videos, getting lost in the 70s and 80s lately too. I can listen to that music because it takes me back to some of my most happiest times – the times before I met my husband, so those songs couldn’t set off yet another fresh round of grief. Somedays I find myself having to do anything to distract myself from doing anything productive as my grief is a staunch companion. I find myself always trying to gauge my emotions and watch where my mind goes. If I feel the need to abandon doing something constructive (like writing and getting back to edits so I can publish I book I wrote two years ago), when the weight of my grief reminds its presence, I need to do that in that moment. This is my coping mechanism taking over, and I must listen.

If my soul craves the need to jump over to Youtube to watch a video on the Afterlife, or a music video to take me back to a happier time, I do it. I’m alone much of the time and I thank goodness I’m resourceful because let me tell you, I loved living on my own when I was younger. I had the time of my life in those days with a very active social life. But this time ’round, both the calendar and the couch are equally empty.

I’m okay with music prior to knowing my Puppy, but not yet ready for hearing ‘our’ songs. I passed on the Luther Vandross video – So Amazing, that popped up on the playlist, the one I walked down the aisle to when we married.

I’m getting acquainted with, but not quite used to living alone. Being single in grief at a certain age is nothing like being single in my 20s and 30s, especially when you’re still trying to digest being in the digit ‘six’ club. If I didn’t have my writing to keep me sane, who knows where I’d be. Writing is my sanity, as it seems to have been my ‘go to’ since I was a child. I feel like I’m in a new learning phase of my life where I allow myself to follow my whims instead of putting them on the back burner for tomorrows – those tomorrows that sometimes never come.

But I’m always writing. I probably have enough writing for three new books. The only thing I haven’t yet got back to is my desire to do something with my words. So in the meantime, I keep writing. And I’m actually considering putting some of my writing in podcast that will eventually become part of the book on grief that I’ve been journaling about. The universe will guide me when the time is right. My heart is far from ready yet to reread the thousands of words I have written in these past two years.

My circles in life are considerably smaller. I am grateful for the friends in my life, especially those who’ve ‘stayed’. And equally grateful for my online writing friends here who keep check on me and keep me motivated, informed and entertained. I feel as though I haven’t found a direction yet, so I remain coasting along to whatever the days ask of me without putting pressure on myself. Grief is a strange animal that takes hold of me in a moment’s notice. It distracts, it chokes, it hinders, and somedays it’s just emotionally crippling for me, and it works on its own schedule. Too much alone time is not healthy for a griever. I am trying to work on that too.

I will finish off by saying that procrastination is a well known thing for writers as we often will look for a distraction when the muse isn’t fulfilling. But sometimes, in other aspects of life, procrastination is the very thing that soothes our insanity, and a diversion is just what the doctor ordered.

Happy Birthday to my Heavenly Husband 🧡💔💘

Last of the diehard Toronto Maple Leaf fans – who may just make it this year!

Mexican memories

Love of my life

©DGKaye2022

Death Anniversary – Twenty Years – The Bite. I Love You to the Moon and Back for One Thousand Lifetimes

I love you to the core of my soul.

When you asked me to marry you, my heart held all the joy in the world.

Yet, the fear of the future and concern about how I’d deal if I were to lose you because of our age difference, it frightened me to my soul.

I weighed the odds and decided that another love like ours could never be.

I hugged you in true laughter, and said yes, but I made you promise me at least 20 years.

What a fool I was, short-changing myself and not asking for thirty.

Your promise gave me 22,

That fateful fear that’d sometimes niggled at my mind, came back to bite.

No amount of years would have ever been enough to have to let you go.

I love you now, still, and forever.

I love you forever into the beyond.

God gifted me you, but only on loan. Because he wanted you back.

You were my lesson on love.

I tasted true unconditional love,

A gift that many have been denied the privilege.

You’re a gift that will blanket my heart for the rest of my days.

I love you.

Puppy grave
In my heart forever

One year ago today, I lost the love of my life. I can’t even fathom the thought it’s been one year. It still aches like yesterday. My heart is still heavy, and the missing is a continuous gaping hole in my heart.

Today I will visit my husband’s grave, our grave, and lay a new rock upon the headstone. Although I feel the need to visit his grave, I feel him more when I’m home, or wherever I go, as though he is with me. He sends me lots of signs, so I know this much.

The only thing I’ve learned about heart-wrenching grief, is that it never subsides. Each wave that comes over me is like a fresh wound. It doesn’t get easier, I just learn to dance around it when it hits. I don’t suppose it ever goes away because as long as there was love, there will always be grief for the giant loss that resides in my heart.

Next week I will begin planning a celebration of life for my Puppy, the one Covid restrictions denied him; just like the Covid hospital restrictions that added to his demise. I still carry a lot of anger inside for that.

Ours was a true love story, and such as grief is, the more we love, the harder and longer we will grieve.

In the past year, I watched my husband die daily before my eyes. My heart was ripped, yet I had to carry on taking care of him because it was all I could do. I cast my brokenness aside, held back my tears and wouldn’t even admit to myself that my other half was leaving me. Until he did.

I packed up 25 years of our life together, gave things away and moved two months later. I don’t even know how I did it all, I just felt like I was on auto pilot going through the motions.

It was my friends who got me through the difficult days, allowing me to speak about him, about the pain, without any interruption or words of empowerment. Grievers don’t need all those foofie condolences, they need love and support and an ear to blanket the soul, for there are no solutions. Grief is just a process that one must journey through alone. But ears and hugs go a long way to comfort. So I thank my wonderful circle of friends, both here and at home, and all of you here for your love and support and for giving me back some of the ‘normal’ I need to continue on.

Beloved Puppy

I’m a longggg way from healing, but I’m doing and showing up, and taking in all the moments of gratitude along this painful road. And the only thing that keeps me doing so is believing my husband is still always here with me.

I came across the perfect word while reading things in one of the online grief groups I follow. There is a Portuguese word called ‘Saudade’, pronounced ‘Sodahd’. In the article I read it talked about this being the perfect word for which there isn’t a perfect English translation. But the gist of the word is it means a deep emotional state of nostalgic or profound melancholic longing for something or someone that one loves despite them being gone. It’s akin to the term ‘bittersweet’, a longing for something or someone that will never be again. I too now feel it is the perfect description for my grief. According to Dictionary.com,

saudade

soh-dahd; Portuguese soh-dah-juh ]

noun

(in Portuguese folk culture) a deep emotional state of melancholic longing for a person or thing that is absent:the theme of saudade in literature and music.

I love this new word, it describes well the indescribable longing of grief.

Big Puppy
My Puppy

I haven’t published much in the last few years, during my husband’s illness and his dying, and subsequently, after. But don’t be fooled. I’ve been writing like a fiend. I’ve written many poems, conversations, observations and soul searching thoughts through this journey. Turns out I’m 30K words into a book about grief and love, although written in drafts. One day, when my heart can take it, I will put that book together. For now, I would like to share one of the poems I wrote for my husband:

IF

If I’d held you tighter and never let you go,
When God took you, I’d be there with you now.

If there wasn’t a Covid, and my pleas were heard,
You might have still been here with me now.

If I faced my fear of losing you and told you all I knew of your fate,
Would it have scared you more?

If I had a trillion more days, I couldn’t love or miss you more.

If I wasn’t so broken, I could reminisce our happy times,
Instead of just seeing your pained face and body, in my every thought.

If I could stop this biting pain, I could breathe.

If love could have saved you, you’d still be here with me now.




©DGKaye2022


Sunday Movie Review – The Father – Anthony Hopkins, Olivia Coleman – #Dementia

The Sunday Movie Review – this movie caught me right out of left field. When I saw that The Father was released on Netflix starring Sir Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Coleman (The Crown), I couldn’t wait to watch it. I’ll also add that I had to put on my big girl pants to watch this heart grabbing story, but felt compelled to watch it, accompanied by a box of tissues.

 

A masterful performance by Anthony Hopkins in a heartwrenching role of The Father of Anne, played by Olivia Coleman.

 

My 5 Star Review:

 

This powerful story takes place in London where Anne has already taken in her father after realizing he shouldn’t be living on his own any longer, despite his stubborness. But Anthony (real name and movie name) still comes across as witty and intelligent – until he drifts into a lost person.

 

This is a heartbreaking character study movie, so don’t be looking for big plots and action. The premise is real and frightening and Hopkins gives the performance of his lifetime portraying a father with dementia. We get an internal look as we stand outside this box of grief and fear. The grief is what we feel from what we witness as this man continues to go back and forth from reality to his lost world of dementia and the grief we feel for his daughter Anne who remains compassionate, despite her moments of wanting to throw up her hands.

 

We take in the moments where Anthony’s fits of anger strike because his confusion annoys even himself. His verbal distaste for going into a home when suggested by Anne so she can take her opportunity to move to Paris, will have you, tugging at your own heartstrings.

 

The movie contains mostly dialogue and will have us the viewers just as confused as Anthony at some points as he trys to decipher the reality from his own dementia. The ending will rip what’s left of your heart out with Anthony’s vulnerability.

 

This movie portrays the brutal and raw realism of dementia, how one lives within himself with it and how those who are the caregivers live a living grief.

 

 

Most heartwrenching quote by Hopkins as he questions his own sanity:

“I feel as though I’m losing all my leaves.”

 

 

From IMDB :

Storyline

Having just scared off his recent caregiver, Anthony, an ailing, octogenarian Londoner gradually succumbing to dementia, feels abandoned when concerned Anne, his daughter, tells him she’s moving to Paris. Confused and upset, against the backdrop of a warped perspective and his rapid, heart-rending mental decline, Anthony is starting to lose his grip on reality, struggling to navigate the opaque landscape of present and past. Now, as faded memories and glimpses of lucidity trigger sudden mood swings, dear ones, Anthony’s surroundings, and even time itself become distorted. Why has his younger daughter stopped visiting? Who are the strangers that burst in on Anthony?Nick Riganas

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A fantastic half hour interview with Sir Anthony Hopkins on the making of this film, how he felt in the role and how he prepared for it. Note: He played a man his own age of 84.
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Has anyone here seen the movie? Thoughts?
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©DGKaye2021

 

Sunday Book Review – Healing A Spouse’s Grieving Heart by Dr. Alan D. Wolfelt

The Sunday Book Review highlights Healing a Spouse’s Grieving Heart by Dr. Alan D. Wolfelt, who is a noted author, educator, and grief counselor. This book is a great companion guide for those of us who’ve loved and lost someone. It offers 100 practical ideas to help cope with grief.

 

Healing a Spouse's Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas After Your Husband or Wife Dies (Healing Your Grieving Heart series) by [Alan Wolfelt]

Available on Amazon

 

Blurb:

Helping widows and widowers learn how to cope with the grief of losing their helpmate, their lover, and perhaps their financial provider, this guide shows them how to find continued meaning in life when doing so seems difficult. Bereaved spouses will find advice on when and how to dispose of their mate’s belongings, dealing with their children, and redefining their role with friends and family. Suggestions are provided for elderly mourners, young widows and widowers, unmarried lovers, and same-sex partners. The information and comfort offered apply to individuals whose spouse died recently or long ago.

 

My 5 Star Review:

Comfort for the grieving spouse’s heart told in bite-sized, often one page chapters. Easy to digest as a complete read through, or as a night table book where you could keep it handy to open a page for a bit of inspiration.

The book offers short and comforting words and suggestions and short to-the- point topics and advice to live by. An easy read that had my head nodding in acknowledgement to much of it. This book offers good tools to help wade through the grief journey.

Dr. Wolfelt offers us 100 Practical Ideas in one page chunks as he shares a common issue mourners face with uplifting advice on how to deal with those moments. I will share quotes I felt poignant, and I’ll add my own thoughts from my own experience in response:

“The death of a spouse tears through every layer of your existence.” – Fact.

“You will grow to learn that you can mourn and live at the same time.”–  I’m beginning to learn this.

“The loss of a partner is among life’s most wrenching and challenging experiences.” – 1000000%

The doctor tells us “The journey of grief is a long and difficult one. It is also a journey for which there is no preparation.” – Fact!

We’ll learn that feelings of shock, numbness, and disbelief are nature’s way of protecting us from the full reality of the death of a loved one. Yes! Thank God for the numbness and denial! We’re advised to reach out to someone when we need to share our pain. Good advice for sure, but for some like myself, I don’t like to reach out and burden others. I wish some would pick up a phone and check up on me – if nothing other than common courtesy.

Reminders about who we are now after we are left as half from one. The arduous and painful work will begin when we assume our own new single identity.

Here’s a bigee for me: “Widows often tell me how surprised and hurt they feel when friends fall away after the death of a spouse. I found out who my friends really are,” they say. – This is my number one glaring headlight into my new life – the very, very few who are now in my life. Death surely tells a whole story.

“Caring for someone who is sick is physically as well as emotionally draining.” – Understatement! There is no pain like watching your beloved die before you daily.

I’m pretty sure I’m here: “You may not know what to do with yourself now that your days are no longer consumed by caring for your spouse.” – Yes, not only our world has been shaken, stirred and turned upside down, but now we’re also out of routine, another sense of loss – that we are no longer needed.

“Many people have lost touch with the gift of family. Your friends may come and go, but family, as they say, is forever.” – I’m sorry, but this part actually made me laugh. Let me rephrase that: Your family may come and go, but friends are forever. I’m a living testament to this.

“If you harbor bad feelings about your partner’s medical care, find a way to express those feelings.” – Oh I’ve expressed my feelings loud and clear. Covid killed my husband and he didn’t even have it. He couldn’t be assessed in hospital during Covid, so like the many more who died because of Covid, without having Covid will be numbers we will be receiving in time. My husband was a victim of not being able to get assessed early enough in hospital. That is Fact.

“Being without someone to hug and hold is often a big part of their grief. You may have kissed and hugged your spouse every day. You probably slept side by side. Losing this kind of physical intimacy can feel devastating.” – No kidding! The good doctor hit the motherlode here. We hugged and kissed many times a day. Of course we slept not always side by side, but spooned and tucking my always cold feet under his legs. There is no replacement. It’s loss upon loss us grievers will continue to endure.

“It’s not unusual for mourners to save clothing, jewelry, books, locks of hair, and other personal items. You may even want to wear your husband’s old sweatshirt or sleep with your wife’s robe.” -Some of the small comforts in my own grief. I gave away most of hubby’s things and kept what was most sacred to me: Special photos, his gold chain, now worn with his wedding ring hanging from it. His slippers by the bed. His favorite sweatshirts. And his love that is always around.

“Should you still wear a wedding ring when you’re a widow, or shouldn’t you?” – Naturally, there is no one answer. But if you’re asking me, I will be wearing my wedding ring til the day I die – no matter what may come.

“Griefbursts” – This is a perfect word for the unprepared for moments where merely a kind word, hug or song can set off the waterworks.

Throughout this book, the good doctor shares some good advice on things to do to get back into community, suggests when it may be time to talk to a counselor, join a support group, among many other suggestions.

Another quote I found resonated big-time with me was: “You may lack the energy as well as the desire to participate in activities you used to find pleasurable. The fancy term for this is ‘anhedonia,’ which is the lack of ability to experience pleasure in things you previously found pleasurable.” – I’m so there. I don’t like to be out long, and like to dash right back home when out for a time. What I need is a holiday away from my environment.

“If you choose to marry, know that you will never get over your grief for the spouse who died. You will always love your previous spouse and, even years and decades later, you will always feel some grief over his or her death. This is normal and necessary.” – I absolutely couldn’t agree more. Real love never goes away. Why would I even consider remarrying? My husband filled my heart and soul. That doesn’t go away. Marrying anyone else could only make them second best, and who would want to be that?

If you are grieving, read this book.

 

©DGKaye2021

 

 

Moving – Closure and Erasure, and #Grieving

I recently did the big move two Saturdays ago. It was a horrendous journey from the getgo. Barely two weeks had passed after my husband’s death when I was informed there was a one bedroom coming available in July. I probably wasn’t in my rightest mind, but I did know I didn’t want to pay exuberant rent living alone in the big place, so I agreed to take the early departure.

 

But before any packing could be done, I had to go through a lifetime of everything we owned. I had to downsize to at least half of everything – furniture, clothes, shoes, and other assorted big things taking up space. I barely had time to mourn over the seperation of the so many things that have been a part of my life, our life, for decades. But there was no choice. And there was barely a helping hand to help me sort out our life and condense it into boxes and smaller spaces. Trauma teaches us just how many are really in our life, and how many actually give a shit. I found out – not many.

I was referred to the clown movers by ‘a friend’ in my building. My good friend Vinnie had brought me over a large moving trolley a month before the move, telling me to use it to transport stuff downstairs as soon as I got the keys early. I did many loads and unloads, alone, and by the time moving day came, it should have been a four hour deal. Only, the mover guys came with no moving tools, didn’t bother taking a shower before coming to our air-conditioned building that was working overtime with some of the worst humidity from a temporary heatwave that hit on moving day, making the breathing more unbearable – even through a mask. These clowns needed me to guide and babysit them, so there was no way I could be down in the new place doing anything constructive. You may be wondering, so no, NOBODY came to help me on moving day.

After over ten hours of moving, scraping, dragging my furniture up and down hallways, I fired them at almost 9pm. My bones all felt broken, and I fell into a very dark place. It wouldn’t be until the Monday, two days later that the cavalry – my good friends Vinnie, Tonie and Alison showed up to help turn my place into a home. There were a few more visits over the last two weeks from my lovely friends, as everyone is busy and has their own life issues to deal with, but I learned a lot. And I couldn’t help thinking about a famous quote from Maya Angelou – “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.”

Through my journey of grief, I haven’t been working on a book, heck, I haven’t been writing regularly, but I have been writing. I found myself writing snippets of life and what I learned and felt through the days of my husband’s illness, through his dying days, and the emotional fallout afterwards that I continue to live daily. Late at night is when my inspirational moments of recall become crystal clear, and I write these thoughts down in one Word doc that will surely become elaborated on and condensed into a book – eventually – when I regain my balance and begin to stomach rereading the enormity of my life this past year. But in the interim, I will share snippets of my thoughts, here on my blog:

 

Closure Erasure

I scream at the top of my lungs when the pain gets too much. I have to release it or I may just spontaneously combust. Since the day you went away I have been running on auto pilot. From the shock of your death to making funeral arrangements, to burying you, to trying to swallow the five lonely weeks you lived from your death edict diagnosis.

The paper work, the banks, investments, will, and income tax to be done too, kept me in a tailspin between tears. Then, the last thing in the world on my mind was moving, yet, I knew I had to. We had planned to move in the early fall before we even knew how very sick you were. What I really wanted to do when you died was lay in bed with covers over my head, for however long I wanted to – days? Weeks? Who knows how long I’d allow myself. But it was as if you intervened when I surprisingly found out in gest there was a smaller unit in the same building. I truly believe you made that happen. But in the midst of the madness of preparing for this 180 degree move for me, it felt more like a total 360.

Life was a merry-go-round of fun, spontaneity, and love. We traveled, we laughed, and we loved, and we had a great life. Once again, I’m suddenly on my own and moving back to a one bedroom apartment, like I did when I left home at eighteen. Only then, it was exciting and freeing. This time it’s painful and lonely.

I’ve given all your belongings to your family, as I was forced to take on the ‘cleaning out’ process as half our stuff would not fit the new place. In the span of my life taking a 180, losing you, and clearing out our life, every picture, sock, piece of furniture, had me and you all over it. A monumental task that I still to this day, do not know how I had the strength to keep moving through while my heart is shattered. But I did. And often I felt I wasn’t even in my own body. Like some invisible force was keeping me going – like a friend calling to offer a hand just at the right moment -like my bestie Zan who still calls me twice a day from the other side of the world, because other than you, my love, there is nobody left living on this planet earth who loves me to nth degree and unconditionally, but Zan.

Erasure and closure everywhere I look. Bare walls embedded with leftover nails sticking out the walls from photos and mirrors now sold or packed away are what reflect back to me now. I think about how many homes we’ve built and sold and downsized each time, yet, we kept so much, like the huge two shopping bags full of every card for every occasion we’d ever given each other in our almost twenty-five years together. When I was getting rid of a lot of things, someone remarked to me that I should toss those bags too. I told her what they were and she remarked they’re no good to me now. Did you hear that? They are ever more important to me now. And one day, when my heart is ready to smile about our good times, I’d like to look back at those cards and smile in my heart again.

 

©DGKaye2021

 

“You’re allowed to change your mind about the people and things you want in your life. You’re allowed to adjust your values and preferences as you get older and wiser. You’re allowed to evolve and be a different person today than you were yesterday. This is your life.” ~ Unknown wordables.

 

 

D. G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships – May 2021 – The #Grief Process | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Well it’s been a very long year for me, and my thanks to Sally Cronin for keeping my spirit alive while I’ve been living the very recent loss of my husband. Sally has been generous with her resharing of past articles while I’ve been mostly absent from blogland and not fulfilling my monthly contributions to her Smorgasbord Blog Magazine. So in staying with the current theme of my life this year, my recent article is about Grief and touching on what one can expect on this journey, through my experience.

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – D. G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships – May 2021 – The #Grief Process

Hello to my wonderful Smorgasbord family.

I’d like to first say thank you to the so many of you who’ve been sending light, love and condolences with messages, emails, cards, and even some unexpected gifts. And a huge thank you to Sally for keeping my spirit alive here and beyond. Undoubtedly, I have a lifetime of stories to write about, and I’m not here today to write specifically about the 180 my life took not even two whole months ago, when my husband seemed to be getting sicker by the day and a palliative doctor came into the hospital room to talk to me about his ongoing care, before we’d even had confirmed results back from an oncologist. This was the beginning of the end.

 

Grief

 

But today’s article isn’t about all that what went down with my husband’s end of his life, but more geared toward the topic about what this series represents – Realms of Relationships, not just about relationships, but also about situations and emotions that we endure and or encounter in life in relationships, and how they affect us and how we deal with them.

So, for today, I’d like to share a bit about what I’m learning about how this grief process works, and since I’m currently living the nightmare, who better than me to share with you my experiences, straight from this proverbial horse’s mouth. And always remember, everybody’s own grief is unique, but one thing is for certain, there are definitely the same steps and stages involved in the grief process, and possibly a bit overly cliché sounding, but it is the old standard – the five stages of grief – Denial · Anger · Bargaining · Depression · Acceptance, which are, and will be components of the journey, no matter how one grieves. Yup, they’re real. There are variations for sure, which I’ll get into later. But suffice it to say, there are no shortcuts with grief.

 

despair

 

Books on grief are typically not our first ‘go to’ genre. Let’s face it, how many people want to read about end of life? But ahh, how many who’ve lived through a heart wrenching loss wish they had someone to help them understand the inner torment grief brings to the table, wishing they knew more about what to expect?

As I grew myself up by reading self-help books about growing self-esteem, reading true stories and situations about people and how they handled their hardships, it paid off helping me to learn what I needed to better myself. In the same circumstance, wanting to reach out and look for some way of relief from the grieving process, books and gatherings with people who’ve walked in the shoes, really can help too.

Now I’m not saying reading books about grieving will help us get out of our grief, but they can do several other things such as, allow us to feel with another who has walked in the same devastating shoes of unbearable grief; it’s almost like a feeling of camaraderie, like when we shake our heads as we read something that resonates, as if to affirm every single emotion and stage we’re going through as we read. It’s a natural instinct for us to want to connect with others who are familiar with all the new emotions we will go through.

Truly, I believe that only someone who has lived the journey can write these kinds of books, and you can be sure, somewhere down the road, I’ll be writing one of my own – one day, when the stinging rawness of my unacceptance at willing to face all the music I keep locked up in a compartment in my head so that at present, I can function and get on with the grueling things that demand attending to during my hours of grief, like, arranging funerals, Covid restrictions, two religions dilemma, and fulfilling my husband’s wishes, all in the same moments while my very own hell in my heart resides within. I will write a book.

I’ve read books all my life to try to better myself and learn, so naturally, and despite the fact that I haven’t been able to read for pleasure at present, a single page of any book since my husband began deteriorating, Only after he passed I had a hunger to devour books that could make me feel I wasn’t alone. I felt compelled to read a few books about grieving. I needed to know how people got through it all. I needed to learn about all the other goodies (sarcasm) I had to look forward to.

 

 

I was immediately drawn to Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s work as a psychologist and her own experience with grief, and her work with people who’ve had near death experiences and came back to tell, which I’ve recently read – On Life After Death. . . .Please continue reading at Sally’s Smorgasbord.

 

Source: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – D. G. Kaye Explores the Realms of Relationships – May 2021 – The #Grief Process | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

 

©DGKaye2021

 

Shopping for One – Life, Love and Loss – #Grief

 

After two weeks of grueling paperwork, phone calls and income tax, and … grieving, I thought perhaps I should run out and pick up a few groceries – few being the operative word. I should have known by the sunny sky I’d spied when I peeked out the window before leaving, the sunshine would be short-lived as it rained down a five minute stunt of chunky snowflakes as soon as I pulled out of the garage. Maybe it wasn’t the right day to venture out into the world in my new singleness.

 

I had zero vegetables left – or chocolates, so that was enough to motivate me to get outside, only my second time out since my husband’s funeral. Still, I felt strange. But I thought it would also be a good idea to just get out. Sure, plenty of times while my husband wasn’t well I’d done the shopping solo, but I was still shopping for the two of us. This time I wasn’t.

I ambled into the supermarket, feeling slightly numb from the combination of half an Ativan and carrying the boulder around as added weight, which feels permanently attached to my heart. I chose what I needed for myself from the produce section and picked up a few red grapes. I stopped myself for a moment in thought. George likes green grapes. I try to explain to him, to no avail, that there are better benefits from eating red grapes – resveratrol, for one. But I’d continue to get him his green grapes, as the extra health factor in the red grapes didn’t excite, and myself the red. Today I only bought the red grapes.

As I ventured up every aisle just looking for a few things, my eyes glanced the many items I’d normally throw in the basket for my husband. Nope, don’t need the almond milk creamer, but thanks again Stupidstore for not having my soy creamer. Again! I grabbed myself a case of fizzy water, and left behind the case of gingerale, which is another staple for George. I picked up my toothpaste, not his.

As I scooted down the refrigerated aisle, I was taken aback when I passed his favorite rice pudding cups. How many years have I bought him those cups? I stood there for a few minutes just staring at the rice pudding, but in actuality, I was staring right through it, far and beyond. Then I went to the chocolate bar and candy aisle – George’s favorite aisle to roam in. I picked up my milk chocolate big bar, and left his dark chocolate one behind.

I bypassed the bread aisle. None required. The same oatmeal box caught my eye as the one I had at home, still almost full, save for that one bowl I tried to feed you again after you ate it the previous day and loved it. But that was that day, every day we’d cross a new challenge.

It was a short shop. I’d had enough. I went to stand in the Covid partroled lineup to cash out. My position in line, directly beside the flower shop. The roses took me back to the roses of two weeks ago, the ones that were placed on your coffin. Let’s go, let’s go, I kept repeating silently within as I could feel another outburst of grief brewing within. I needed to get out of that store. I just couldn’t breathe.

I think it was a bit too early for me to venture back out in the outside world, especially alone. I realized that being locked down in my Covid-free lockdown home is where I feel most comfortable at this moment. There I can be more comfortable in my unacceptance that you’re really gone, like when I’m in the living room, I pretend you’re sleeping. That’s how I’m able to function right now.

I feel the same aching inside every time I open up a cupboard or a fridge door in our home. So many of your favorite foods that I don’t eat remain resting on the shelves. I’ll throw it out someday. But right now I’m just not ready.

 

sad face

 

Triggers are everywhere and in everything. As the well of grief refills itself daily, I learn the simplest of things can set off a tidal wave of tears. Below, I’ll share a poignant passage from Gary Roe’s book – Comfort for the Grieving Spouse’s Heart, which I recently read and reviewed:

 

…My grief is like that. It can make a fool out of me without warning. No way to prepare for it. No way to anticipate it. Every moment, I’m at the mercy of my surroundings and my emotions. ~Gary Roe.

 

©DGKaye2021

Life Love Loss

 

 

Obituary – The Send Off – Love, Loss and Grief

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of an incredible man, a wonderful Husband, Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather, and Brother. George Joseph Gerald Gies passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 with his loving wife by his side, Deborah Gies (Cub).

 

Things we see and say that stay

 

The hardest part is getting over the visuals of you drifting a little further away from me daily. And looking into your eyes as they wanted to say so much, as pieces of you disappeared daily. I know your beautiful smiling face. I know that face that lights up whenever I’m in your presence. I still knew that face that could no longer speak, but you spoke with your eyes. You know I always knew what you meant, even if you couldn’t articulate it properly to me. I read your pain, I read your sadness, your fear, and your undying love for me remained always in your eyes. When your voice left us, I asked a million questions that you could still nod yes or no to. Until the day you died, when you couldn’t even do that anymore.

You couldn’t speak the last week you were here. I still scream and cry when I think about every little part of you God took away from me, a little each day. At first you could no longer walk, the very next day, you could no longer speak. But then I remembered our little hand signal we made up for each other. I still can’t remember how it came to be, but I think it was me who once said – as a joke- that in case something ever happened to you or I and we couldn’t talk, we had our own secret hand signal for ‘I love you’. I pulled that old trick out of the bag and would make that signal to you and you did the same back to me. You see, after all, my silly little games did come in handy.

You ate your last meal six days before you died, the day you came home from your last hospital stint, six days before you would die at home in our bed. I know I got lucky one morning after and fed you oatmeal. There was no more after that. I fed you your juice, water, gingerale in short sips, til another day passed and I’d cut the straws to help you sip the liquid your constantly dry mouth yearned for. The next day you blew bubbles in the glass, no longer having the strength to suck up through the straw. But I was well-armed with ideas. The next day I fed you water by teaspoon, like a battered little bird, mama bird did her best to get liquids into you. The next day I was resolved to dipping the sponge sticks in water to get some liquid into you. Eventually, you couldn’t suck on that anymore either. I kept putting Vaseline on your parched lips, intermittent between my kisses. I lost count on how many times a day and night I told you, “I love you Puppy”. I never felt it was enough. I never wanted you to forget. Kind of like one night only two weeks before when we could still converse and even make the odd joke. You stirred in your sleep that night and woke over a dozen times calling me, “Cub, Cub.” I snapped my head up in fear and asked, what’s the matter honey, and you’d reply the same thing each time I asked.

“I love you Cub.” Maybe it was two dozen times, I didn’t think then to count, but I’ll always remember that night you felt compelled to tell me you loved me, many times over, as though urgent that I know. But I know. And I knew. I always knew because you never ever let one day pass without kissing me, hugging, and telling me how much you loved me. In my worst and ugliest moments, you had the face to still call me your ‘beauty queen’. I was the luckiest girl in the whole world to be so loved by one man. And now I’m only the loneliest girl in the world.

 

shattered

 

I held your hand in your hour of passing. I shared your pillow and wrapped my arm around you and kissed your ashened, boney face – the face that was once full chipmunk cheeked with an always rosey complexion that had become a mere little boy face. You struggled to breathe as the fluid was drowning your lungs. I knew God was taking you away that morning. I never left your side. The gurgling brook within you stopped, I felt your heart flutter for an instant and your throat appeared as though there was a golf ball in it. And you went silent. Only then did I give you permission to leave. I jumped off the bed and opened the window wide and set your soul free to be taken by the angels. And that was the last moment of US.

There are no other words to describe the boulder that resides in my chest now. The boulder that is crushing my heart and making it difficult to breathe so many times a day – and night. Is it any wonder I don’t eat? Who can eat when they’re perpetually full – full of heartache, crushing pain filling me up where the digestion system usually alerts to feeding time. I’m blocked in head and heart. And the pain is unrelenting.

sadness

 

I’m so far from acceptance as I still talk to you and hug your pillow anytime I walk into our bedroom. The loss of you will never be filled by anything or anyone else. I love you too much, as I know you loved me. You know I always worried about you, and that doesn’t stop. Or, it won’t stop until I receive a sign or visit from you, so that you can let me know you’re all better and in your new life, and perhaps you could leave little signs that you are around and you will watch over me. Just maybe then I can stop playing those movie reels of your sufferance over and over in my mind if you come back and let me know you are in peace. Maybe then my own hell will begin to ease, and with patient baby steps, I may finally reach that bridge to acceptance that you are really gone.

 

I love you to the moon my Puppy.

Your forever Cub. 💕

 

@DGKaye2021

 

Miss you