Monday, 14 May 2012

Enough Already!

I feel more like my old self this morning.
Waking up after a good 8 hours to early morning sunshine always helps I suppose.
But my mind and mood does feel somewhat lighter than it has done.

Grief for an animal is a knotty subject for discussion.
Not here, of course, as those country and animal "lifestyle bloggers" that frequent this blog will of course understand fully, that dogs especially can worm themselves deep within a psychi and therefore will often leave a gaping hole within a person when they shuffle off this mortal coil.
No, it's others than may just think that a day's upset is quite sufficient thank you very much, now pull yourself up by your bra straps and " get on!".......
Perhaps the answer lies between the two camps.....
Having said this, even this morning, when I know I am feeling brighter, I still missed the ugly and somewhat blurry eyed bulldog face demanding her first snog of the day.
Bulldogs leave a big hole when they leave you, they surly do

I won't dwell on me today ( that's a bloody change eh?) my thoughts really lie with my brother's wife Jayne, who is only 22 weeks or so through the journey of her grief.
22 weeks.
It's nothing is it?
But after the initial "adrenaline rush" that always follows a death, I think, there evolves a time where everyone has a need to get back to normal, and this need for the mundane and the secure often leaves the partner, wife, husband or carer in a kind of limbo land where the obvious grief that is always there, and not magically healed by a few long weeks of distance and the delivery of a few sympathy cards.
Like I said my thoughts are with Jayne today.

I saw Auntie Glad on Saturday afternoon.
Chris spied her first and called out
"scone delivery! as the diminutive white haired figure, tottered around the front of the cottage where she tied a bundle of goodies to the front doorknob before marching back up the lane towards home.
I caught her as she passed the back door, and we chatted for a while.
The Trelawnyd Carnival Committee had  asked her to be the Jubilee Queen this year, which tickled her pink, even though she felt she had to decline the offer...
"They wanted me to sit in a car and wave my handbag" she laughed.. "at my age!"

In the 1960's Gladys lost a daughter of 17, tragically and senselessly.
I remember her telling the story to a somewhat open mouthed newspaper reporter a year or so back, and the way that Gladys finally managed to get over her awful grief is something she has shared generously many times since.
Gladys ( 2nd from right) at the memorial Hall in the 1950s

Gladys went into a deep depression. She showed no interest in normal things, she retired to bed, and as the weeks pasted, I am sure that her family was at a loss of how to help her.
Eventually the family GP took things into his own hands and informed Gladys that she needed to "get going " again, she needed to get out of the house.
She needed to live again.
Did he prescribe her sedatives?
Make her up an tonic?
He simply found her a job,
and he told her plain and simply that she was to start work the following Monday.... no ifs, buts or maybes
and according to Gladys, that no small feat saved her life.

As a nurse, especially one that works on ITU, I see a great deal of raw, painful grief.
Over the last 22 weeks I have seen and experienced my own family's raw grief
and of course had the complication of the loss of a pug nosed bulldog......for me (and I can only speak for myself) it is a time to lighten

If I was  a Jewish Mother ( and believe me there ARE similarities!) I would wring my hands and say
"enough already!"

Off to plant my onions


  1. Mr.Richard was up at 4:30 this morning to leave for a business trip...showers dresses...dashes downstairs for breakfast ...when I hear...." God. *#+!?' bloody cats *+%#......!!!!". I yell down...". New socks?". " white one......"
    As my dear dad experienced this many times at Seaview mother would always say. " Start each new day with a lovely cat throw up!!! ". We usually do....

  2. For some people the "pull yourself together" is enough, for others not... we all deal or not with things differently. A member of my family is still living in the past on something and not coping with the grief of something from sometime back - we've all moved on - she thinks we've betrayed that person, she is so wrong we can't sit by the grave (metaphorically) wringing our hands and weeping - I also don't believe for one moment that is what that person would have wanted us to do either... but as I say easier for some than others

  3. I always think its not about getting back to normal, but getting used to what the new normal is. I think Glady's doctor was inspired to throw her into something else so new too. xxxxx

  4. Anonymous1:31 pm

    Work and laughter....can get us through almost anything.

  5. Off to plant your onions - very sensible. There's no simple response to grief, it takes everybody differently and only the person concerned can work out how to cope with it. Well, not always I suppose, considering Gladys' GP. Luckily that suggestion was the right one.

  6. I agree with Diane, you have to learn what the new normal is, much as you might not want to do so.


  7. The new normal and having something to do. I can't imagine getting through any of my early losses without something to do. Sometimes it's been as terrifying as needing to take care of my children "normally" while understanding why my brother took his life. What a lot we go through getting from one end of life to another. New normal; something to do.

  8. "Off to plant my onions"...Is that a euphemism for visiting "the rest room" which is itself a euphemism for lavatory?

  9. The BEST therapy in the world is to start digging in the garden and get LOST for a few hours! It has worked for us over the years and that is where I am heading as soon as I put in a '.'

  10. What a good thoughtful post. I was just searching the other day for a description for that intensity of feeling immediately after death - adrenaline rush sums it up. And then the marking of time, the noting of changes in how you are managing - emotionally and physically. And complications. It seems that nobody really gets a nice tidy year of grieving to themselves. There's always something else to muddy the emotion. For me it was earthquakes and for you it has been Mabel. I'm glad to hear that you are feeling bouyant for now. The business of planting onions is great therapy!

  11. THank you for that reply.... I find it interesting for this post I had 9 comments and to the more frivolous next one I had loads.... go figure...
    I would not dare compare my feelings to those suffered in the earthquake but the general principles I guess apply!
    thank you my friend

  12. I don't think people don't fully understand or appreciate the power of grief until they've experienced it first hand.

    It's difficult to "get back to normal" when your life is completely, forever changed. I lost my sister to a drunk driver 16 years ago and I haven't been the same since.

    And I recently had to put my little old lady cat to sleep and it hurts. There's a void now in my heart that no one will be able to fill.

    You're in my thoughts.

  13. Wow there's a lot to this post John. I'm glad you're starting to feel more like yourself again. They say keeping busy helps although I'm sure that's easier said than done in most cases. It worked for Aunty Gladys eventually. All the best to your sister in law...I hope she finds something to help keep her busy too. I hope you have a wonderful week working in your garden and with your menagerie. Maura :)

  14. Anonymous4:00 am

    My dear John, as I don't have a garden at the moment I feel like planting onions. Instead of which I let a garlic clove sprout. In water. It's lovely. Green on top, roots at the bottom.

    Grief. Dear dog in heaven. I still grieve for someone who died more than forty years ago.

    Can I have Aunt Glad's doctor's name? Please.

    And, yes, gaping holes will be left. Big ones. Not least by bulldogs.


  15. May your onions be sweet.

  16. Grief is a treacherous cow, and lets go when she is good and ready and not before. Sending good wishes to you and your family just the same.

  17. You're spot on - that initial period can make you think it's all too easy to get through it, and then there's the brick wall to climb over.

    Stick with the onions...

  18. Hope you got your onions in. We're expecting rain today.

  19. Garden therapy is always helpful! ANd you finish grieving when you finish grieving, be it for people, dogs, cats, ducks, chickens... you've had a lot to deal with as of late, so don't rush yourself.

    Enjoy the onions! And good thoughts coming for Jayne.


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