Category Archives: Grief

You Can Survive

On re-reading some of the articles I had published on Ezine Articles I came across this one from December 2010.  During that time I was wearing my life coach hat and most of my clients were grieving as was I.   I thought it worth reposting 7 years later just as it appeared.

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When we lose someone we think that we will never get over the loss. We are in the depths of despair and can see no way out of it. We might fall into depression, caring little about what we eat or how we look. In some cases, if this goes on for a long time professional help will be needed.

But for most of us, with the help of family and friends and somebody who has been where you are now, we can survive. We can come through these days of despair and learn to live again albeit in a different world.

When I was first alone after 41 years of being married, I didn’t know how I would go on. I had grown up with my soul mate and was absolutely bereft at his passing.

For several weeks I wallowed in my misery but then I realised that he would not wish that for me. We had talked in a general manner of what to do if one or other of us died. But obviously, these talks were very general and didn’t touch on the actual day-to-day living alone.

I went through all the stages of grief. Resentment, anger and frustration that this should have happened to me (note the me inserted there when in fact it had happened to him); I then became immobilized and couldn’t think, I was fearful and wanted to hide. My family and friends were great support to me through these trying times. How lucky I was to have them.

Then I went through the blocking mechanisms stage. Some people employ alcohol, drugs, sex, excessive spending for me I turned to work. I worked all hours so as not to have time to think of what had happened. I fell into bed every night absolutely exhausted. Of course, much of this was nervous exhaustion.

After a length of time and with the help of friends and family again, finally I could recognise how lucky I was to have had the years with my love, to acknowledge and accept that this awful thing had happened and that I was strong enough to move on with my life.

There is no defined time for ‘a length of time’. It may be weeks, months or in some cases, years after the actual loss. And accepting in no way minimises your feelings of grief and loss. You can go on grieving (as I did) long after you accept the fact that this has happened and now you have to live the rest of your life without that special someone.

If you are suffering through loss and grief I empathise with you. I have been there. When I was first alone I was fortunate in having close friends and supportive family to help me acknowledge and cope with my devastating loss.

Now there is a program to help you do just that.Brittany Watkins has been where you are and will guide you step by step through the healing process.

This amazing program is called Move from Grief to Joy [http://www.griefandlosssupport.com]. It is full of ways to help you move through the stages of grief and live a normal, interactive life again. With this program [http://www.griefandlosssupport.com] grief becomes manageable and you can survive.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Judith_Baxter/221670

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5595313

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Grief Revisited

Like a thief in the night
Grief slinks silently back into my life
Disturbing the peace I have fought so hard for
It is like a fractious child demanding attention
And as the mother with her child, I give in
And am taken back to the beginning
When days were so long and nights even longer.
When I thought there was no way out of this slough of despair
And I am once again immobilised by it.
But I have been here before
Many times since that April night
And I know I can climb out
And once again put grief back where it belongs
Until the next time.
Judith Baxter, Mother, Grandmother, Sister, Blogger and Friend

Yesterday I had a long talk with a neighbour,  His partner of 15 years literally dropped dead in a restaurant a couple of weeks ago.  He had suffered from heart problems since an early age and apparently had an enlarged heart.  The death was quick and painless for which my neighbour was very thankful.

Tekapo

Lake Tekapo where Natu died

Drew, the neighbour, put the link to the video of the funeral on my laptop and I heard him singing. Drew is an Opera singer and to hear him sing If You Go Away to the love of his life brought tears to my eyes.  I have heard many singers sing this song, but none with the feeling of Drew.

And then I went off to the Hospice for a few hours.  Here again, I was faced with death, but they were all expected deaths, none so sudden as Natu’s.

So of course, all this and particularly the Hospice brought back that day in 2015 when my Late Love, The Architect, died.

But today is another day.  Nothing changes; the grief for both of my loves lies just below the surface, ready to spring to life at any time.  But I am stronger than I was and can face the days without either of my loves.

“Where you used to be there, is a hole in the world,
which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime
and falling into at night.
I miss you like hell.”
Edna StVincent Millay.

Thanks for reading.  Today I am back to being my usual cheerful self.  As we say “PollyAnna is alive and well and living in Wellington, New Zealand.”

 

Grief – The Black Dog

Like a thief in the night
Grief slinks silently back into my life
Disturbing the peace I have fought so hard for
It is like a fractious child demanding attention
And as the mother with her child, I give in
And am taken back to the beginning
When days were so long and nights even longer.
When I thought there was no way out of this slough of despair
And I am once again immobilised by it.
But I have been here before
Many times since that April night
And I know I can climb out
And once again put grief back where it belongs
Until the next time.

Judith Baxter, Mother, Grandmother, Sister, Blogger and Friend

Today my nemesis, Grief, decided to call.  ThAose of you who know me, know that I’m usually a positive, happy person, but just occasionally something drags me down to that terrible time.  Well, both terrible times as since I wrote my poem in August 2011, my later love has also died.

“Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
Who told me time would ease me of my pain!
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
I want him at the shrinking of the tide”.
Edna St Vincent Millay

It’s now 19 years since my Dashing Young Scotsman died and 19 months since The Architect died.   And yes, life is changed, and I’m now making yet another, totally different life.  Soon the grief will move back into the background where it belongs and the sun will rise tomorrow and all will be right in my world.

Thanks for reading.

“Where you used to be there, is a hole in the world,
which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime
and falling into at night.
I miss you like hell.”
Edna StVincent Millay

Related posts

Grief;  Missing You;  Learning to Soar in a Changing World;

 

 

 

Time To Move On, Again

I awoke this morning to a lovely spring day; sun shining; birds singing and this view from the bedroom

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I then picked up my iPad and wrote this as a stream of consciousness.  No editing.  Just saying –

In three weeks
I shall leave this place
So full of happy memories
of love shared
of laughter and friendship.
But now the house sits empty
of those shared things.
What is a house without sharing
It is but an empty shell.
And so now, once again
the wheels of my life have turned
and again, I face the future alone.
Alone, but now even stronger
Strengthened with the memories
of this late love we shared
for such a very short time.
But length of time is irrelevant
You will live in my heart forever my love.

And then I got up and saw this

IMG_0717 IMG_0721

and just knew how I was going to spend this beautiful Saturday.  Isn’t it amazing how much one gathers in a very short time?

And now another quote from Edna St. VincentMillay

“Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
Who told me time would ease me of my pain!
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
I want him at the shrinking of the tide”.

But enough of melancholy and feeling sorry for myself.  I can still enjoy this lovely day, the warmth of friendship and the knowledge that I have so much more in my life than many others.

And now because I’m English and I drink tea 

Adventure

I shall make a pot and think about where I am, where I’ve been and where I’m going.   

toward the sushine

A Hard Decision

Lotte at back door2

Lotte Baxter
Loving friend
Faithful companion
2006-2013
RIP

My darling, beautiful little girl was gently put to sleep late last night.  Her big, brave heart could no longer keep her alive; it was almost stopped.  And so I made the very hard decision to let her go.

I held her as the vet injected her, told her how much I loved her and those beautiful eyes looked at me one last time then she quietly slipped away.

Now through my tears, I console myself with the fact that though she had only a short life, she had a happy one.

So now my love using the same words I used on  my late husband’s memorial cards

“Soar high; Fly free; Breathe easy”

Lotte in bed

So goodbye and thank you for sharing your life with me.  You will be greatly missed my special friend.

September Morning

Yesterday, on the eve of 9/11,  we watched a movie reenactment of that September day in 2001 when the world as we knew it changed dramatically.  Some of the survivors were depicted by actors and their comments were interspersed throughout the movie and some family members of those who were in one of the buildings but didn’t survive were also asked to comment.  It really brought the whole terrible day back into focus for us.  And the heroism and determination of the firemen and ordinary men and women was amazing.  I marveled at the heroism shown by one man – he stopped to help a perfect stranger who was not able to keep walking down the stairs.  He did manage to get him down to about the 35th floor when the building imploded and they both lost their lives.  And the contracts manager who just kept on looking for others to help and in doing so forfeited his own life.  And the fireman leader who wouldn’t leave the woman behind and so many other stories.  I wonder how brave I would have been in those circumstances.

I have only just discovered Dana at A Serene Scribe and her post  sums up the only thing in our minds today.  Please click here to read her post – September Morning.  I did try to reblog it but for whatever reason it went to a blog that I no longer use.

Our thoughts are with all those who were touched by that dark and evil day.

 

How Lucky Am I?

“When we are no longer able to change a situation,
we are challenged to change ourselves.”
Victor Frankl, 1905-1997
Austrian Neurologist and Psychiatrist

I am  constantly amazed at the fortitude of my fellow bloggers.  When I read of the hardships and abuse many have suffered and overcome, I wonder at my luck of having been born into a loving and caring family and then having the good fortune to meet and marry my ‘Dashing-Young-Scotsman’ at an early age.

I tell people that I have lived a blessed life.  If you have read any of my earlier posts, you will see that I had a long and mostly happy life with my DYS; I have two children whom I love and whose support I can rely on and whom I love and appreciate.

My family is rounded out by four strapping young grandsons all of whom seem pleased to see their Granma and offers of help are often forthcoming.

Of course, no life is perfect.  I left my family in the UK to follow my husband in his move up the corporate ladder which entailed us moving around the world.  My children therefore, missed out on the companionship of cousins that I had when growing up.  And they saw their grandparents on rare (bi annual) visits home.  So they were very much part of a nuclear family – the four of us in a world far removed from home.

I am also very lucky to have two sisters, one in London and one in Los Angeles.  Could we have landed any further apart even had we planned it?  While they are not within easy visiting distance we still are in regular contact by phone and now of course, the internet.  Aren’t we lucky to live in this technological age.

Mother and girls

Mother with her three daughters

There have of course been bad times in this long life of mine.  We lived in Montreal for a couple of years and I absolutely loathed it.  The French Separatists were very active and almost daily we heard of their actions against the English speaking population.  My children’s school was bombed and that coupled with the police going on strike, made the decision for us to leave and return to our adopted home, New Zealand.

This time we knew that it would be a permanent move and that family and friends in the Northern Hemisphere would see us only a rare trips home; but we made the decision in the knowledge that this was where we wanted to raise our children – on the beach in Takapuna, Auckland.  After a year my husband was transferred to Wellington, the capital city, but that’s another story.

I wrote about a time when I was in danger of losing my leg and a black day when I wanted to Stop the World, but my blackest day was 14 years ago when my Not So DYS died and the colour went out of my world for some time.  But living and moving on doesn’t come with a choice and so I am in the next phase of my life and most of the colour has returned.

So daily I give thanks for my life and know that I wouldn’t swap it for anyone else’s.  Oh yes of course, there are parts I would gladly change.  Those that are shared in this post and others but mostly I say thanks to god, the Universe or whatever power is above us for giving me this life.

And above all I thank my fellow bloggers for being so open about their lives, in all the ups and downs and for sharing with us how they have overcome.  In reading about their problems I have come to realise just how lucky I am.  This is their gift to me.  Thank you thank you!

As each day comes to us refreshed and anew, so does my gratitude renew itself daily.
The breaking of the sun over the horizon is my grateful heart dawning upon a blessed world.
Terri Guillemets
, U.S. quotation anthologist, 1973 –

Associated Posts:

Just Another Thursday

“Death crept quietly into the room
Where once there was laughter, talk and tears
Now it is no more
Silence reigns
Death has replaced life.”
Judith Baxter 1938 –

It was just another Thursday for me and for many others.  But for one family at least, it was not.  I arrived at the hospice to be told that a patient had died.

I had got to know this particular patient over three weeks that he had been in the Hospice.  A cheerful youngish man (difficult to say just how old he was – maybe 40) he was a joy to speak to and was always surrounded by his wife and family.  I do not know this man’s name.  Only first names are used at the hospice, but I was cheered by him on Thursdays when I saw him.

He had obviously come to terms with his life ending but I don’t think his wife and family will have yet.

So for his wife and family I offer this poem from David Harkins (replacing the pronoun she with he):

“You can shed tears that she is gone
or you can smile because she has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back,
or you can open your eyes and see all that she’s left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her
or you can be full of the love you shared…………
…………Or you can do what she’d want:
Smile, open your eyes, love and go on.”
David Harkins 1959 – Silloth, Cumbria, UK
Read the full poem here

Rainbow

My rainbow

And I will share my rainbow with them.

Grief

I dont know whether this can be classed as poetry or is it just stream of consciousness writing.  In any event this is what came to me in the early hours of this morning, when sleep eluded me.

Like a thief in the night
Grief slinks silently back into my life
Disturbing the peace I have fought so hard for
It is like a fractious child demanding attention
And as the mother with her child, I give in
And am taken back to the beginning
When days were so long and nights even longer.
When I thought there was no way out of this slough of despair
And I am once again immobilised by it.
But I have been here before
Many times since that April night
And I know I can climb out
And once again put grief back where it belongs
Until the next time.


A Funeral on Friday

“What is this death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval
Somewhere very near,
Just round the corner.
All is well”
Henry Scott Holland Professor of Divinity, University of Oxford –   1847-1918

Today is the day of the funeral and I don’t know what this day will bring forth.

When speaking with the minister on Wednesday I told him that we had organised sunshine for today to give Michael a great send off.  He was quite skeptical but guess what, after a week of quite indifferent weather, the sun is shining brightly.  The birds are singing, the sky is blue, the wind has forgotten to blow and so no need for plan B.

Yesterday I took my friend to the funeral home to see her husband’s body.  This was very upsetting of course, for her.  She was adamant that she wanted to see him but afterwards in between her tears, she said she wished she hadn’t seen him and he didn’t look like Michael.

I chose not to go to the funeral  home when my husband died,  choosing instead to remember Robert as a living, breathing person.  But everybody has to do what they feel is right for them.  The people at the undertakers were very caring and of course, as they deal with this situation every day, they were very solicitous.

We went back to the apartment afterwards and as we were leaving to go to another friend’s house for dinner, I noticed a parking ticket on my car.  A fitting end to another ghastly day.

Tomorrow will be better.

To live in lives we leave behind is not to die”  Judith Baxter 1938 –