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My Appreciation And My Wish For All Of You


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I just wanted to let you all know how glad I am to have found this board and for all of you who have responded to me and helped support me over the past 4 1/2 months following the horrible loss of my precious Tawny.

Tomorrow we leave on our anual holiday trip and will return in 2007. I want to wish you all a good holiday season and hopefully some good memories of those you have lost. I also hope for a good. peaceful, and joy filled 2007 for all of us and one that is definitely loss-free (unless it is lost weight-LOL)-or anything else one wishes to shed.

Maylissa, I know what a tough time this has been for you and I still cannot believe all of the insensitive people you have had the misfortune to come across. But I hope that you will be able to find at least some joy and some peace during this time and I look forward to hearing from you come 2007!

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Thank you for thinking of all of us and for the warm and caring wishes for the season. You'll be in my thoughts over the holidays...and I'll try not to get too jealous about the beaches and warmer weather! IPB Image I could go for that loss of weight, too!

For you, I'm hoping you will feel Tawny's love and presence with you, somewhere, somehow, during your holiday. Actually, I wish this for ALL of us, with our own furbabies...to give us some new memories for us to carry. IPB Image

Extending all the other wishes back to you, too, in spades! Have a good time and I'll talk to you when you're back.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all,

I'm back!! I had a fun trip, but I also had some bad times during the trip. Although I know one SHOULD not do this, I could not help but look over the last 2 years of my life and of all the loss that I have had to endure. That is why I am so hoping for a year filled with peace and NO MORE LOSS!!

Maylissa, How did you fare through the holidays? I still cannot "conjure up" memories of Tawny without feeling the pain of her loss and the tears freely flow again. I do remember happier times, but it is still with such pain attached. I look at my precious Sweet Pea, now almost 6 months old, and know that she was truly a gift from Tawny, but I want my sweet Tawny back to!! This is so hard.

Friends that we went with on the trip (actually more my DH's friends than mine) are now expecting their 3rd grandchild and their first granddaughter, and I cannot help but feel envious! Although they are both a bit older than me, the wife still has her mom and the H still has both of his parents. I know this type of thinking is useless, but I also know that those of you on this board will understand. Since I have no children, I will never know the joy of grandchildren, and sometimes I cannot help but wonder why life is more difficult for some than others-why I had to lose my only baby-during pregnancy-while others have more children than they want or need.

Time to stop this negative post. But I am glad I have a place where I feel safe to vent. Thanks.

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Hi Serl,

You're not the only one who had a mixed trip away...ours was, too. I consider it good enough now if I can even have a mix amidst the sorrowful days and nights.

With the changing of a year, how can one help but reflect back on what was? And after all, that's one of the things 'they' suggest you do with your life each year! But yes, NO MORE LOSS for at least a few years would be nice!! I guess many of us are getting to that point in linear time where loss will just be more common than not...now I REALLY feel sorry for our elders, who must surely feel so alone the longer they live...especially w/o us 'youngsters' really understanding how lonely it does become. I still have plans, some year, to make a trip, or several, to a nursing home and visit with those who don't have anyone coming to see them...bring them something nice and just sit and talk awhile, give them some much-needed affection, and time.

And even though my choice to not have children was a deliberate one, I share in your feeling of emptiness when I see other couples who have their own little families, whether human &/or animal. My own life feels so incomplete and barren now, and if now-childless mothers feel they have no niche left in society, I think it's even more bitter a pill to swallow for those of us who feel similarly because of our furchild's loss, when it's considered some kind of blasphemy to even have thought of oneself as a mother/parent in the first place. It's another one of those big "WHY'S" in life. So I don't blame you for feeling this way. To have a less-than-wonderful 'lot' in life, w/o any clear answers for same, is not an easy concept to handle! I guess this is where we 'should' try to count whatever blessings we do still have...but I know that's much easier said than done.

The hardest part of our own trip was the one evening we spent with another couple, for dinner..which ought to have been one of the BEST parts! My H and I made the decision to not bring up our own (incredibly sad and difficult, yet with a couple of life-saving presents for me) Christmas unless we were actually asked, as no one yet had bothered. We didn't want to feel like we were foisting our pain on anyone, unsolicited by them. We were very disappointed and disturbed to find these supposedly good friends were no different, though they talked alot about the grand Christmas they'd had themselves (that was hard enough to hear). I'd wanted to share both the good and bad parts with them, but couldn't bring myself to unless they showed some interest of their own accord. They did bring a card and a couple of little (non-personal) gifts, but all reference to Nissa was carefully avoided, so it just felt like more of the same that we'd gotten from everybody else. It turns out now that the woman was feeling sick from one of her dinner choices, but didn't say anything. Still...that avoidance of our pain really hurt, especially from them. She also made one very telling remark, in a very telling tone of voice, which I can't forget now. It made her REAL opinion of my value system about animals abundantly clear, as I unexpectedly heard a real sneer in her voice. So now I don't know that I even want to have anything to do with her, lest she be secretly scoffing at me and my feelings behind my back. My world got that much smaller and more secretive that night.

I was really exhausted while away, but forced myself to experience a few nice things...like some swimming in the outdoor pool despite the winter weather (was rather nice, actually, with the steam from the really warm water around one's head)...but I almost got beaned from some heathen of a guest who threw an entire apple down, deliberately trying to hit us in the heads! So even there, it was hard to hang onto the little pleasures. (and the service was rather lacking for such a luxury hotel, so that didn't help matters, either) The dining out was very nice overall, though.

We also went to the very last party last evening, just to retrieve my animal books, and that was okay enough in that our pre-plan worked out more or less. We both avoided the female host who's caused us such grief and spoke mainly to her husband who we can handle much easier. She still managed to get some nice digs in my way (always referring to my appetite...never having noticed that it's cut down a LOT since we lost Nissa :angry2: and HER concurrent loss of weight)....oh, she's SUCH a pain!...and other annoying stuff we've come to expect from her. But we got out within 2 hours or so, mainly intact. She did give us a nice little photo album and the first card ever this year that made at least some reference to how hard this year's holidays were for us...but she's supposedly still getting us something else that was supposed to go along with this gift...meaning they'll be wanting to see us again soon! We just want to scream and run away, frankly! :wacko: My H said that about 2 months without ANY other people around would be a good thing! ^_^

New Year's was very hard, too, and my H wisely let me fall asleep on the couch and DIDN'T wake me up at midnight, since usually Nissa and I would be both woken up by him (if we fell asleep there) to do our round of kisses. But I was crying as usual when I finally got to bed and hated knowing that calendar date was changing...feeling the common reaction of "how DARE time go on when my loved one isn't here!!" kind of thing. Now it feels like I'll be expected to start changing things, both inside and out, just because that hard hump of the holidays are finally over. All I feel like doing, though, is nothing much yet. I'm still grieving heavily...that hasn't changed.

I experimented with our angel chimes last night, asking Nissa to make them go faster if she was around....and 3x's in a row, they did! (2x for me; once for her daddy)...so I'm hoping it was really her, because I'm missing her so much I could shriek. I also think both her and Sabin may have been around for the candle-lighting ceremony we did on Christmas Eve, as the wind suddenly started gusting really hard and one of our solar lights started flickering (not usual in winter), and the angel chimes refused to start spinning until the very end of the long song ("To Where You Are" by Josh Groban) that I played at the end of the ceremony, after which they suddenly started really whizzing around.

I also got a few VERY thoughtful gifts for Christmas, which helped:

My H gave me the book-form of an animal loss course I'd ordered online and printed out (which I still hadn't started), plus some relaxation tapes for which I'm grateful, as I don't think I'll ever be able to use my standard ones again since I'd had them running while Nissa was dying. He also bought me "Reflections Of The Heart...What Our Animal Companions Tell Us" by Deborah DeMoss Smith ~ stories from the famous Sharon Callahan's communications with animals, a book I'd wanted for awhile.

My long-time friend from back home sent me something just wonderful, too ~ 4 charms from one of those Italian charm bracelets, 2 being pictures of Nissa and 2 of Sabin. All I need now is the rest of the bracelet so I can wear them, as well as my locket of their fur, every day! (and the software to make up more of these picture charms)

My MIL also really came through for me, bless her heart....not only was she the only one who actually wrote some fond memories of both Nissa and Sabin down in a letter (I wrote my own letters to each of them for their stockings, too), but she'd had a throw made up of the avatar picture I use here, with my kidlets woven right into the fabric. It's glorious! I kept holding it up and saying to them, "Look, you guys! You're so BIG, just like your hearts and our love!!!"

These were the first tears of sheer gratitude and near-joy I've shed since August. Thank GOD for these 3 people (and whatever paws my kidlets may have had in all this!), for I don't think I could have kept myself out of a psych-ward without them this Christmas!! It's still hard, and I've found myself still in the depths of despair, constantly up and down, at times on my knees with the pain of this new reality...but at least some of those in my very small circle DID care, and SHOWED it.

But horrifyingly, I found I'm still suffering with that crazy notion that if I could just get through THIS, or THAT day, or our holiday away....that there'd be that 'reward' waiting for me to take the anguish away..that being the magical return of my Darling Nis'...upon my arrival back home, or after I wake in the morning, or whatever seems like some sort of hurdle to get over. I often find myself holding my breath, as if I'll see her and be able to run to her to scoop her up and hold her again, and this emptiness will end in a blessed instant. It always sounds so crazy, but there it is, just being that irrational beast called grief. So I survived it all, but it's still not something that I ever wanted to have to survive, and it's not like today, or tomorrow, will be a big improvement over the Now. So don't worry about sounding negative, as I think I can do that quite successfully for the BOTH of us, and THEN some!

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Hi Maylissa,

I am sorry to hear that the holidays were mostly very difficult for you, but glad to hear that you were able to find some good moments, and were given some thoughtful gifts by at least a few people in your life. But I continue to be amazed at how many people you know that are so insensitive to your grief. Unfortunately, people just do not want to listen enough to grieving people for so many different reasons, I think. They (most people anyway) will give that person so many days or weeks, and then decide for them IT (grieving) should be over, no matter what the grieving person thinks.

I don't think too many people, even many animal lovers, really understand how we feel that we are/were parents to our furbabies. But everything that you did for your Nissa (and Sabin) you were definitely their mamma, no matter what anyone thinks or says. I often think of all that I have done for my doggies and I still defy anyone to say that I am not their mommy. They are totally dependent on us for just about everything, and as my H says, they will always be so, unlike human children, who eventually leave the nest.

I hope that the books that you were given will help give you some much needed comfort. And what a lovely thing that your MIL made for you.

Are you still going to therapy?

Yes, there are many unanswerable questions in ones life, and most of the time, I don't even think about no children in my life anymore. But as I age and remember all the things that I had to do to help my parents in the last years of their lives, it scares me some times because I wonder who will be there to help me. Very selfish, I know, and not the reason one has children-esp since there are no guarantees even with children. My brother wasn't too much help to my parents, but then again I was always there. But as I age, I also realize that I will miss the joy of having grandchildren. My brother also has no children, and that was a constant lament of my mom's in her later years-no grandchildren. Oh no-I'm sounding like my mother!!!

Anyway thanks as always for being here and for understanding. I know that loss for everyone is an inevitable part of life, but I still think that for whatever reason, some people have more than their share of it throughout their life. You take care and I'll talk to you soon.

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Dear Serl,

But I continue to be amazed at how many people you know that are so insensitive to your grief.

Yes, so am I, frankly. This week, when I described the relationships and situations between me and some of my 'friends' to one of my therapists, even she had to agree at the end that it was surprising that a couple of them had 'dropped the ball' on my grief. She did end up suggesting that, especially for one of them, I limit my contact with her for now, until/if I'm feeling strong enough to handle her particular ways....AND that I probably would be better off trying to find some new friends. As to how to do that, though, she didn't have much more to offer than what I've already tried. I've become so discouraged about that that I don't think I can do much more though. It's as if I'm meant to be a loner. My prayers for this don't net me anything of real use and I feel I'm giving up.

I even found one person on another board who actually lives only about one hour away from me ( a real rarity on boards!), and PM'd her about possibly meeting someday....no response. Maybe there's something wrong with me and no one wants to know me...I just don't know anymore. But I know I can't keep giving and getting nothing but crumbs at best, in return. I'm really down about this, as you can probably tell.

So yes, I'm still going to therapy...between my new, and also my old therapist, who I started up again with just before holidays, as the new one wasn't going to be around for a few weeks over the break. I figured I'd stack the odds in my favour, just in case I needed more help than I'd thought.

My MIL didn't actually make that throw, but had it made....at WalMart, of all places! I also just got out and bought the rest of the Italian charm bracelet that I needed to be able to wear the 4 picture charms of Nissa and Sabin. Now we're on the hunt to find more charms that hold pictures, plus the software to make up the miniature pics, so I can fill it up with more of them. It's nice to have ready-to-wear pics of my kids that I can look at all during the day, no matter where I am. But I'm sure that NONE of my 'friends' will ever ask to see it (IF we ever see any of them again anyway), just as they've never even asked me about the huge locket I wear non-stop, that holds Nissa and Sabin's fur. Complete strangers have asked, but not my 'friends'....me and my life just don't seem to be on their radar screens and I resent the whole thing.

I, too, have fretted about the fact that when and if I get really old and infirm, I'll have to rely on either my H or a dreaded and possibly dangerous nursing home staff to 'take care of' me, seeing as there are no children and no relatives to lift a finger. I have to find a twisted form of comfort in knowing that, as you said, even with children, there never would have been any guarantee that they'd willingly do such a service for their parents anyway. Frankly, me and my H have half-seriously talked about buying guns to keep at the ready when we're old...rather than go into one of those homes to rot...it's that much of a concern to both of us...and since human euthanasia still isn't available to us. What a 'lovely' future we have to look forward to!..but that's where our heads are at nowadays, as we see less and less sincere care about us from others who might still be around when we're old. The way things have gone, I have no real hope that I'll be healthy and capable enough to just take care of myself, and die quickly &/or peacefully before even needing any intensive care. Like it or not, my life just doesn't seem to work out that kindly, so I'm forced to be more 'realistic', and even pessimistic, about what's to come. That way, at least I won't be AS shocked when things don't go well. Sad, but true.

My Mum was also very sad that 2 of her kids never had kids..and the one brother that did (the dead one) ended up losing his 2 kids in his 2nd divorce. There was another child later in life, but after short while, my Mum was so far gone, mentally and emotionally, that this new DIL didn't want to subject their son to his Grandma more than she had to. My whole family history is marked by sadness and loss, even when no one was dead yet. I carry this with me all the time (even though I made healthier choices for my OWN life, eventually), but it's like I'm still waiting...to witness and experience more of the 'happy' over the sad in Life...and I feel my hold slipping since the passing of my darling girl and all that's happened since.

It'll be 5 months soon, but it's feeling like just yesterday lately. I know it's also part of the delayed reaction (after the numbness finally went away) but knowing that doesn't help. I'm incredibly down right now and every day is getting harder, not easier. I miss my Nis' more than words can say...her unfailing love, her kisses each day to give me at least a few moments of total peace and relief from worry and sorrow...now I'm really finding out just how awful a life it is without her love to buoy me up and help me feel worthwhile and purposeful, needed and adored, a little less alien here. The therapists seem to think that it's ONLY because of my traumatic childhood that I 'took' to animals the way I did...but I say they're holding the same view that others have ~ that humans, and human relationships, are still superior to those with animals...and missing the point that I'd still feel that draw and kinship even IF I'd had a good family life. True, I'd have had more love and support for myself when growing up, but my connection with other species was there even before I cognitively realized, and was more subjected to, what a crazy family I was living in! It was just already THERE...so would still be a large part of who I am, regardless, because I nurtured it rather than forget about it, as so many do as they grow up. I just can't say enough about the good in animals' hearts and lives, even w/o comparing them to humans'. They are my heroes.

We animal parents are more like human parents who have children with cognitive dysfunctions (I was exposed to many such children in my youth, as my one brother is physically handicapped, so was involved in some special groups). I'm not saying that animals are 'cognitively impaired', but like our babies, these kinds of kids cannot 'grow up' and be able to live on their own, or take care of their own needs. It's more than annoying to me that others applaud parents that must take on this kind of forevermore role and bear all that extra responsibility, yet refuse to see the parallels between those situations and those of animal parents. And beyond that, parents with such human children don't have to necessarily anticipate that they'll survive their kids' deaths, like we must(depending on the disorder). We have that additional burden to bear as well. People just prefer not to THINK too hard about anything that really matters...and here I sit, thinking instead that true animal lovers deserve nothing but the highest respect and regard for the 'sacrifices' we must make!! Instead, we're cast aside in the dirt, labelled as "silly" or "over-emotional", "crazy", "weird", etc...all the opposites of the more noble characteristics that usually get applauded in humans. It truly makes me sick...and not too hopeful for the mental evolution of our species!

I'll let you know what I think of all those books, once I get through them all. I started with the one about animal intuitive, Sharon Callahan, and despite loving the beginning, I'm not at all impressed with the bulk of it so far. It's only bringing up nothing but guilt!...which I fully intend to tell the author, and Sharon, later! I won't explain why until I finish it, in case something's answered by the end.....but I'm not happy with it. I hope the other ones are much better.

I'm just doing very poorly with my grief this week, and frankly, am back to hoping I'll simply die soon, somehow. I'll be working on this with at least ONE therapist (we'd already discussed my lack of faith in believing I'd ever find real happiness in my future, after all that's happened), but am stuck in that mode of not even CARING to work on it...because I just don't CARE ...that circle of depression in grief. I hate where I'm at and just want OUT. And if you can believe it, I'm actually getting tired of talking about it, too! (yes, I know this post belies that, but it's been a real effort to write all this, unlike my usual ease with writing) And on that dreary note, I have to go. There's that possible stray cat to put food out for...

Edited by Maylissa
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Hi Maylissa,

Sorry I couldn't answer your post sooner. I'm back to working part time so I don't have as much time on this board. But I am so sorry to hear that you continue to be in such pain and that you cannot find at least some friend who can be there for you. Again, I think it is a combination of things happening to you. You just, unfortunately, have seemed to meet an incredible number of insensitive people in your life. And also, truth be told, most people just don't want to listen to us grievers for very long. What was it that article of Marty's said on the time of grief? It was also saying something about how people give us just so much time (what THEY consider appropriate) to grieve and then that is it-often a month. Without any true regards for our feelings or what we need. I remember talking to some people at work about a very painful divorce I was going through at the time, when this woman told me that it usually takes about a year to get over a loss. I bet you've heard that one before-that first year stuff. Well, I wasn't in the mood, so I literally yelled back at her, that it might take me longer than that or shorter than that, but that it will take ME however long it takes ME. Well, she was taken back by my tone, but I didn't care. But after that, I did stop talking about it there, cuz no one cared to listen. And yet, like you, the pain was still there with no one to turn to.

I am wondering if in addition to everything else, you may be considered "clinically depressed." Trust me I am not judging you nor am I a doctor. But I come from a place of knowing because I was diagnosed myself with clinical depression several years ago. I was always a "depressed" personality, but I never thought it was chemical. But I finally had a therapist who suggested that it might be. So I have been on anti-depressants for a number of years. I've been blessed with a wonderful psychiatrist up here who works with me and helps me either change the dosage of meds or even proscribe new meds, esp these past few years with all these losses. I only see him every 2-3 months, but he really listens to me and acts accordingly, instead of just throwing something at me and assuming I'm "cured." Trust me, it does NOT take away the pain, but I think it might make it more manageable. It may also take away some of those horrid feelings you have of uselessness and of just wanting to die. I worry about you and that is why I am telling you this. Something to consider, maybe to discuss with your therapist.

For me, even though intitally I didn't want to go back to work, it has helped me focus on something other than myself, which is always good. I don't know if part time work is an option for you now.

Anyway take care and hang in there as best you can. I'm sorry you can't friends closer to where you live, but remember you have us on the board and we care about you!

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Good points all, Serl. I’d also like to add this thought about friendships. Unlike a therapeutic relationship (whose focus is on the client and the client’s needs) a friendship is a “two-way street” that, in most cases, requires us to give to the other as much as we get back. Like a good marriage, if it is to last, a close friendship requires fairly constant tending, and also requires that we overlook each other’s faults and shortcomings. In short, maintaining a close friendship is work, and sometimes it can be harder work than we may be capable of doing at the time, given the circumstances in which we find ourselves.

We’ve often said here that mourning is hard work, too, although of a different kind ~ but work nonetheless, and it requires a great deal of energy, most especially in the beginning. I suspect that when we are in the depths of grief, we have precious little energy left over to invest in our friendships, and even less interest in and awareness of the other's needs. Over time, I think, our friends begin to notice this, and some of them may not be willing to put more into maintaining a relationship with us than we are able to give back to them. They simply grow weary of our gloominess. Such “fair weather” friends may take a vacation from us and come back later when the weather’s nicer and they think we’re better, or they may abandon us completely, deciding never to be friends with us again.

It also seems rather unrealistic to me to expect that we are able to go out and find and develop new friendships at this point in our grief process. We are too needy, too focused on ourselves, too exhausted even to get out of bed in the morning, too vulnerable to whatever insensitivity we may encounter from strangers much less from our friends! The only place we feel even remotely as if we belong is with a therapist, a grief counselor, or with others who are in mourning, too ~ such as the people we would find in an in-person support group or in an online discussion group such as this one. This feeling does not last forever, thank Heaven ~ but it certainly is common in the early period of grief.

One of the best descriptions of the differences between a friendship and a therapeutic relationship appears in an excerpt from a book by Terry Wise, Waking Up: Climbing through the Darkness, which I’m attaching as a Word document (see below). In the excerpt, Terry is discussing with her therapist her frustration that she's being treated as a client rather than a friend.

(Maylissa, I cannot recommend Terry’s book highly enough to you. It is the amazing account of her long, lonely and exhausting experiences as a caregiver for her husband, his death from ALS, her nearly successful suicide attempt afterward, her later recollection of the early childhood abuse she suffered at the hands of her father, and what she learns about herself in therapy. Her book is one of the most powerful personal accounts of depression – and the therapy she obtained for it – that I’ve ever read.)


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Thank you, Marty.

As usual what you say is very true and illuminating. When we are in so much pain, we just want someone to listen, to understand,help us, and we are not nurturing or working on the friendship. That is one reason that I have always believed in therapy, and sought it out whenever I have been in particular pain or in a particularly bad place in my life. One of the other things that I think is so great about therapy is that even when you are not in a dark place (or especially I should say), you can learn so much about yourself. And in therapy, you will not be judged and will be given the validation for your feelings that we all need. That book sounds very interesting and I will also look into reading it.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

It's been awhile, but I'll attempt this reply again, but make it shorter.

Okay, I finished that book you'd suggested, Marty. Impressions?....yes, a really good account of Terry's therapy experience, and losses. Saw the parallels, but I'm glad to say I'm not in as bad a depression as she was. (To that end, I restarted taking SAM-e for now, plus beefed up some other supportive aids.) I'm also not likely to be using prescription drugs to try and kill myself with! ;) One therapist is adamantly opposed to me using any prescription anti-depressant, as she's seen too many people get a false mood uplift, stop therapy, get taken off them a year later, then return to therapy having crashed right back to where they were before they began them, not having done the WORK of allowing themselves to really feel all the pain that grief entails. So as I've always maintained for myself, not unless worse comes to worse. I'll have to make up a new blend of flower essences to work on my emotions instead...plus the SAM-e which will be good for my sore arm joint at the same time! And to that end, I finally started some A.R.T. therapy for my arms....wild stuff! and every BIT as good as they claim! In only 2 trtmnts., it's at least half-way healed, after being in pain since last July! Oh, the relief!! But back to the book...

Finding someone like Cali, her therapist, wouldn't be very likely for most of us, I don't think, nor would the sheer extent of her time in therapy (I don't know about down there, but up here, it's VERY costly!)...so I'm not exactly sure what your aim in suggesting this book was. I did find many of Cali's comments to Terry very loving and supportive (and would give my eye teeth to have someone in my life say things like that to me!) and will likely use some of them as bases for discussions in therapy.

As for my 'friends', I still just think they're not only not very good friends, but that they're just not right for me, overall. I seldom spent much time with them talking about nothing but my loss(es) (so was never overtly "gloomy" around them after the initial few wks.), yet the mere mention, or hint of it later on, sent them scrambling for a rapid change in subject. Who needs fairweather friends? They're just too self-involved to keep me/us on their radar screens, so unless THEY change something, I'm distancing myself from them, not that they'll notice anyway. Keep in mind, too, that 2 of these women beefed about how their grief over loss had been disregarded, one bragged about how she NEVER treated people and their grief like that now because of it, one told me she'd NEVER forget my/our kindnesses for NOT doing that to her....and yet they both did the opposite. And actions speak louder than words. I'm too tired to be the understanding one now, when I get little to none of that in return. This should be MY time to be allowed to be not-my-best, not theirs. But they're too busy enjoying their lives right now, and forgetting that we tried to ease theirs when their lives weren't as rosy.

My therapist would like to see me already start taking or doing something to get me out of the house for awhile each week, and I'll be working on that - can't decide just what yet. It's hard to decide when those old interests just don't sound exciting like they used to. Maybe something new, or really old that I haven't done in years. Or, I may just go and volunteer at one animal rescue org. that sounds closer to how I'D do things if I ran one. At least I'd get to be around all sorts of gentle souls there (this one rescues small as well as large animals). If I happen to meet someone I like while doing something, so be it. If not, I'm not going out of my way to make it happen, cuz you're right...I DON'T have that much energy right now. Plus, I'm tired of trying so hard, only to have my efforts net me nada in return. What goes around too often just doesn't come around for me...at least, not locally through the beneficiaries of those efforts.

I'd asked my other therapist what she told mothers, in particular, who'd lost a child to do, or not do, so soon after their loss. One part of her answer really struck me. She said that even those who were too completely devastated to do much of anything for quite awhile, had something I don't....at least one or two caring individuals regularly checking up on them, taking them out, not adding to their burden, calling to talk, etc. Heck, even Terry had 2 friends who were close...it was HER choice to not open up to them, unlike me. And THAT'S why she's concerned about me spiralling any further down. Otherwise, they both think I'm a very strong and resilient person. So is it any wonder I'm so angry about being left to my own devices by these supposed friends? Being strong can be a double-edged sword, making people think you DON'T need any help, even if you ask for it outright.

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