Category Archives: Grief

Where Did My Wagon Go?

Take a look at the picture above. Look closely. See me anywhere? C’mon! Really look!

Nope. I’m not there on account of: 1. I’m old, but I’m not that old, and 2. I fell off that wagon several miles back, honey! All kinds of falling off the wagon been going on here.

As you know, last week was just a hideous one and I fell off the healthful eating wagon. I ate a lot of garbage during the week and managed to mess up the healthful choices I made by either eating too much of them or eating them with a dressing or cheese that negated the good the nutritious foods were doing me. If I were an alcoholic, I’d have been in the gutter. I binged in the same way, particularly when I realized that it was time to let Trey go.

A few times I caught myself eating things that didn’t even taste good to me and, in fact, kind of made me feel sick to my stomach. But, I continued eating them, anyway. It was almost as if I was using the food to punish myself in some way for not being able to help my old friend. I remember doing something similar when I would quit smoking, but fall off the wagon and have one. Often, I would then smoke so much that I would literally make myself sick – give myself nicotine poisoning – to punish myself for failing. (Am I the only one who does this? I’m pretty sure I’m not; but, if I am, don’t tell me, okay?)

This morning, I’m paying for that. I feel awful. I feel like I’ve got the chips and salsa sweats. My whole system feels clogged. My sinuses are wrecked and I don’t know if that’s from two weeks of sobbing, emerging airborne allergens, or food allergens. Maybe it’s a little of all three. Whatever the cause, I’ve worked up a roaring case of vertigo. Yep, I ate a bunch of garbage and now I feel like it.

As I’ve shared with you before, I believe very strongly that it is crucial that we allow ourselves to feel our grief and to work through it. Although there are varying opinions on the number of stages of grief, most agree that there are at least five: 1. denial and isolation, 2. anger, 3. bargaining, 4. depression, and 5. acceptance. Gorging like Henry VIII is part of my stages one through four. Making myself sick is actually part of stage three for me. Although progression through the stages is never smooth or one-way, I am moving closer to acceptance. In acceptance, there is the continuation of the life that does go on.

So, for that life, today I will buy new walking shoes, then Ellie and I will go for our first walk without Trey. Where we all once walked several times a week, we haven’t walked in many months because of my work schedule and Trey’s hips. It’s time for us to start that part of our lives again. It will be sad for me and if you see me walking at the park, I’ll likely be crying; but, life does go on and we – and our wagons – go on with it.

My wagon is my will and it’s been with me the whole time. While I didn’t ride it or use it, it never left me. Now, as I choose to adjust to a new normal without one of my fuzzy children, I’ll climb back in that wagon and ride it awhile.

The Ringing in My Heart

The first singer I ever saw in concert was Elvis Presley – don’t hate. I remember my ears ringing after that concert and after every one I’ve seen since. The music is always so loud that it’s like my ears turn down the volume themselves to get some relief. In all actuality, the tips of the hairlike stereocilia in my cochlea have been broken by the sound and continue to send false information to my auditory nerve even after the noise has stopped. After about 24-hours, the tips repair and the false signals stop, ending the ringing. While the damage is repairing, however, it’s harder to hear the real auditory input for all the garbage.

The last couple of weeks have been like that. I’ve taken several pretty serious emotional hits that have left my emotional ears ringing. I’m having a great deal of trouble at this point hearing much of anything. Anything, that is, except, “I love you.”

I have heard that through the ringing from friends, from family and from some people that fall into both categories. I haven’t been able to respond well; but, I’ve heard you. I have heard some of you especially clearly.

There are friends who say, “Let me know if you need anything,” or “Let me know if I can help.” Those friends are sincere and are valuable. However, there are also friends who say, “Here’s what time I’ll be there,” or they just show up, or they call or write because it’s all they can do at the time. Those friends are invaluable.

I have far more of you than I deserve and I am so grateful.