Catching UP!

 

Happy New Year, Valentine’s and almost Spring of 2020!! It’s been a while since I’ve posted and it’s time to catch up!

My last post was in July, hard to believe that it’s been that long. I was coping with grief with losing my soul kitty to cancer. Cry, clean, create became my mantra to work through it. The loss of my furbaby triggered a bunch of stored grief for my mom. Having lost her to cancer also.

I am happy to say that even though I carried my grief like a wet blanket, sobbing and heavy, I continued to keep moving forward, another mantra I repeat in my mind, Deep breaths and baby steps!

I have been actively moving forward for years through my mental health recovery, with long breaks and pauses in between to process and release trauma and feelings. Those pauses reflect in my blog, unfortunately, I haven’t reached the point where I am organized enough with my thoughts and emotions to share them regularly here and while it’s happening; but it is the goal.

Last year I really didn’t post much but I feel like so much happened. The year began with that crazy lump sum of money that I found on unclaimedmoney.com. What a blessing! This money allowed me to buy us bedframes, our mattresses had been floor-bound since our whole bedbug adventure a few years ago. I also bought another car so both my daughter and I have one now. Then, I stocked up on groceries, paper goods, and bought a printer and supplies of herbs, essential oils, and a massage/reiki bed, in hopes of beginning a business at some point.

Speaking of business, I began working with Vocational Rehab. I am taking a Self Employment program and am lucky enough to work with Dr. Deborah Osgood as my success coach! I started the blog/site Be YOUthentic. Check it out if you are interested@ BeYOUthentic.blog. Though I have some catching up to do on that blog too! It is a shared blog with my daughter and soon will have some herbal products created by yours truly!

I also completed a mentorship with a coven after completing The Witch’s Path class at Misty Meadows where I did my herbal apprenticeship. I will write more about this in a separate post. I am so grateful to have had this spiritual and magical addition to my life! And speaking of herbal apprenticeship, I just started another one at Blackbird’s Daughter Botanicals!  I am so excited to be continuing my plant journey!

2019 was a year of extreme ups and downs for me, with reunions, losses,  endings, and beginnings. It was a year of letting go of people and behaviors that no longer serve my highest good, to make space for the new and emerging life waiting to be born in 2020!

I guess that’s enough catching up for now.

Thank you for being here and allowing me to share my journey!🥰

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Cry, Clean, Create

melting tearspic from pinterest

If you saw my Wordless Wednesday, then you know my furbaby, Max crossed the Rainbow Bridge. He lived 16 weeks after his cancer diagnosis despite the veterinarian gave him only 1-2 weeks. I was in awe how long he fought and grateful for every moment, but, the last week he began hiding under my bed and hardly had the strength to hold himself up, not to mention, he wasn’t eating again, and this time he wasn’t bouncing back. I had to make the almost impossible decision to assist him with a visit to the vet. They were extremely compassionate and supportive. He went peacefully with a final rest of his head on my arm. 

It is a big loss for me as he came into my life only a few months after my mom passed away, and was by my side for almost 14 years. It’s been three weeks and I have yet to get through the day without crying. 

My mom’s death anniversary just passed also, and my dad’s is coming up in a few weeks, adding to the weight of my grief, but for the first time, grief isn’t swallowing me whole. I can allow my feelings without falling to bed for days. This is a huge progress for me, I have never been a functioning depressed person before!

I created a little mantra to help me cope with my emotions during this difficult time.

Cry, Clean, Create.

Cry. When I have to cry, I stop everything and sit and let it flow, until it feels like I can move again. I stop distracting myself from the pain and allow it to be felt.

Clean. Then I will clean something.  Anything from the top of a dresser to mopping a floor or putting clothes away, whatever is in front of me to be done. I lose myself in the act of cleaning and let my system process. It helps me feel productive and proactive.

Create. Creating a nice space on the dresser I just cleaned off. Journaling, or painting, where ever my spirit needs to go. I started working on a scrapbook/journal of Max, a painting, and refurbishing some plant pots. I have been working on trying to open up to my creativity and am finding the value of catharsis through it. It really is a beautiful healing tool.

This mantra has helped me stay grounded and focused enough to not lose myself in the grief and depression. I am also taking some herbal extracts and essences and practicing lots of self-care. Most recently, that self-care includes the gym or a walk. Physical movement helps break up the heavy energy and gets the endorphins pumping.

Grief feels like an old familiar friend these days. With the losses I have endured, I have somehow become stronger each time. Learning to navigate through the pain instead of running away from it. The bellyaching grief is slowly subsiding and giving away to smiles, love, and remembrance.

I close my eyes and I can see all the people and pets I have ever loved. I get sad and may cry because I miss them in the physical sense; but, I know deep within my heart that the bond of love lives forever and that is where we are always connected.

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Update: Celebrating Life

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It’s been a bit since I’ve posted, so I figured an update is a good place to begin again. The year has been a whirlwind for me so far. Major events and significant emotions spinning around me. The amazing thing is I remained fairly stable through it all.

If you read my Hello 2019 post then you know it was a mixed beginning to the new year. Shortly after that post, it was confirmed My cat has cancer. At the same time, I somehow manifested a money miracle. On the unclaimed money website, there sat $11,000. waiting for me! Since my Being poor post, I have worked on changing my attitude about money and I truly believe this little miracle was a reward for that work.

The money was its own little tornado. It was a blessing, yes; but, it was also stressful. The fact that I am on disability created its own set of rules; because, you are only allowed $2,000. for assets. After reporting it, I had only the rest of the month to spend it. I used it with the goal in mind to elevate the quality of life for myself and my daughter. It was mostly spent on another car, home improvements, appliances, and furniture.

I was also able to afford x-rays for my cat, to clarify the cancer diagnosis. The vet did not bother with the ultrasound because the x-ray confirmed there were already spread nodules in his chest. She believes cancer started on a cellular level in his GI system. Even the testing to find out what type of cancer would be too aggressive. She placed him on hospice and prescribed steroids to suppress cancer as long as possible. I was financially able to buy him herbal/natural supplements to aid in his treatment. The vet gave him 2-4 weeks to live, and he has lived 10wks. Though his recent decline in quality of life leads me to the inevitable decision to bring him to the vet and ease his pain.

I was grateful I had my furbaby to keep me company when my daughter left for Alaska for a three-week visit with her dad and family that lives there. I usually fight loneliness when she goes; but, this time dare I say, I felt relief. We’ve had a few upsets recently and agreed we need a family therapist to guide us through her becoming an adult. I don’t know when to push her and when to not. Her self harming in the past left me very anxious to not upset her. We need maneuvering and mediating.

While she was in Alaska, I had the opportunity for a few weeks to really be mindful of my own feelings and needs. It was healing, enlightening and enjoyable. The joy came to a halt when I received news of a dear friend from my past had died. I was devastated. Sad because she passed; but, also sad that we had fallen out of each other’s lives. I learned her son had died three years earlier and I wished I had been in her life. Maybe she would still be here? I recognized these thoughts as grief guilt and the overwhelming sadness of my good old friend grief. I knew better than to resist, I opened up and let the emotion take over.

I spent the first day with wine, weed, pizza, and chocolate and said screw my daily routine. The next day, I awoke exhausted and didn’t feel like doing anything. Part of me wanted to push, get up, do your routine!! The other was simply unable. I emailed my therapist and asked, what is a normal response, I don’t want to spend too much time teetering on the tight rope of depression; but, I needed to rest, and mourn, and process. She told me three days, then get back to my routine. On the third day, I dragged myself to start functioning. The funeral at the end of the week brought closure and though sad, I was feeling like I was at a normal and healthy space.

A few days after the funeral, my daughter came home, exhausted and with a bunch to process herself. The next day was my birthday. Shockingly, not a tinge of the typical birthday depression. My gratitude for life was heightened with the loss of my friend. I awoke, did my routine, went to the gym, (I learned to go by myself while my daughter was away), I bought myself big sunflowers, vegan cheesecake, chocolate, champagne, and dandelion greens to make pesto. I indulged and took pleasure in these simple things. I took a long bath and wrote in my journal. I sat in the bath and reflected on all the baths of my life since I was a small girl. I spent my day in appreciation, mindfulness, and gratitude to be here another year.

The same mindfulness I practiced on my birthday I am using now, to cherish every second with my cat. Looking at him and loving him for the last time in this dimension. His symptoms are lasting longer and he is not bouncing back like he has before. He has held on longer than expected and it dawned on me that he has held on out of his love for me. When my friend died, he spent every day by my side. He kept me company while Serenity was in Alaska. He celebrated my birthday with me. He has been there for me through countless tears. He has been an amazing therapy cat and I am so grateful for the time we have had. Now, I have to be there for him and make him as comfortable as possible. Having to come to the decision to let go of my cat has been tremendously painful and I am struggling with depression again. On the other side of that pain, the appreciation for every moment and every breath of life has etched its groove into my soul.

I celebrate my cat’s life, our life together, and the connection we will always have.

I celebrate every person that I have spent precious time with in this life. I recognize how lucky I am to be loved and to love.

The loved ones I have lost I think about every day. When I feel apathetic I shake it off and appreciate the fact that I am still here, I motivate for the people who aren’t here to have the luxury anymore.

I Celebrate Life ❤

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What Do We Do With Grief?

 

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Twelve years today,

your spirit whirled away,

far out of reach. 

It took all of these years

to move from the constant grief,

to face the fears

of a life without you.

To see through the darkness 

that you held the light to.

In my heart the nostalgia sustains.

It’s the memories I keep 

that gives me the courage to face each day.

It’s been a treacherous journey just to get this far,

I wear proudly on my soul, the scar.

Today I feel that grief again,

like a dam trying to hold the flood

I tense up.

Afraid to feel,

my logic scrambles, how do we cope?

Throw yourself in homework,

paint, create!

Channel the grief for the better.

For better my spirit screamed, now that’s just mean!

What do we do with grief?

We feel it,, we let the sorrow in, we honor the loss, we sit with that pain

because reality is, my life will never be the same.

Her smile, laughter, and wisdom

are not in the flesh,

yes, she’s with me, but it’s not the same.

It’s not fair, my sadness weeps,

my daughter doesn’t have a grandmother

and it’s fucking sad, my grief bellows.

I let the flood take over me,

run through me, and fill me.

In the arms of my daughter

I set the tears free.

I am so blessed to have her, 

we are like you and me!

It is true, I have lost part of myself forever,

and it is also true we are all together.

It’s okay to feel sad

my sorrow whispers.

It won’t consume

like it once had.

A cardinal appears

and I know you are near.

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This cardinal appeared a few hrs ago, right after I finished a good cry.

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RIP Melody

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(Pictures of Melody)

I just found out that a friend of mine passed away a year ago. I knew her through Facebook; but, that doesn’t diminish for a second, the deep connection we shared. We had endless Facebook chats and spoke on the phone a few times too. We shared our pain, our stories and quite a few laughs. We called each other Warrior Goddess sisters. We chatted about family, men, life, death, grief, physical pain, mental illness, creativity, fairies, magic, God and the Universe.

 
Melody was there for me, the way good friends are. At the time I was Agoraphobic and living in a one bedroom apartment with my 12 year old daughter. My disability payments barely covered the rent. Melody always cheered me up and encouraged me. She’d tell me to summon my warrior spirit, and I would do the same for her. We were survivors. We took our turns with insomnia and depression, and we would always try to be there for each other.

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(Melody’s husband photo shopped these for us. Her the warrior, and me the fairy)

Melody was a giving person too. She was an artist, and jewelry artist. One day I received a package from her with a beautiful bracelet in it for my daughter, and a fairy necklace for me, that she had created, accompanied by a couple of handmade cards. She even once mailed me $11. cash for a bottle of wine! We called it drinking grapes! 🙂

 
The last time I spoke to her was 2012. We both had things to go through and we fell out of touch. I tried sending her a few messages through the years; but no reply. Her Facebook account wasn’t very active.

Today, in my Facebook memories, she came up. I went on her page to see if there was any new activity. The last posts were all of us wishing her happy birthday Sept, 2016. I scrolled down a little and there was a post that said RIP, and a few after that saying she passed away.

 
My eyes filled with tears. Her obituary says she died May 2016. She was only 54. No details or explanation, and per her request no memorial service. I have spent today processing this news, my emotions, and memories.

Emotions and memories of a woman that I have never met in person; yet feel so karmically intertwined with. I wished I had reached out more or there was something I could have done more for such a generous, humorous, beautiful spirit.

 
I can’t help but to worry that she was sick or in pain. She often was. It makes me sad to think she may have never got the healthy life she wanted. It makes me want to hug myself tight and be grateful that I have found the strength to persevere, and that I am still on this amazing planet Earth. I set free the guilt because that is what she would want me to do. No more suffering now, my Warrior Goddess sister! I hope your wild heart is free and your soul traveling like a magical gypsy. I’ll see you at the Fairy dance. I hold up my glass of grapes to you my Dear Melody! RIP

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When you lose your mom~

When you lose your mom,

An astounding amount 

of personal comfort

leaves with her.

If there’s no mom,

there is no one to stroke

your forehead when

you’re feeling down.

There is no one to call,

when you’re feeling alone,

because you’re miles from home

or nobody’s around.

Nobody to laugh with 

over life’s flaws and

idiosyncrasies.

Nobody to do

the happy dance

when you achieve

particular victories.

When you lose your mom,

You have to learn to self soothe,

whether you are sick or sad,

and through good or bad.

When you lose your mom,

no matter your age,

you become an orphan,

alienated, yearning

and disengaged.

You stand with shaky legs

and tread unsure.

When you lose your mom,

part of you goes with her.

A piece of you that 

you never get back

and will forever lack.

So, if you have a mom,

embrace her,

love&cherish her,

and thank her 

for always being on your side.

I did right up to the day

that she died.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY MOM~FOREVER IN MY HEART

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The Lonely Living


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This time of year though filled with summer’s joy, will always have the memory of losing my mom hanging over me.

The following is an assignment on Literary Journalism from a Creative Writing course that I took shortly after my mom passed and before I was hospitalized for my breakdown.

My instructor gave me an A+ and wrote “powerful and evocative”

I came across it today in my papers and wanted to share it here.

 

The Lonely Living

June 29, 2005

( The Day after…)

The sky is gray, thunder rumbles in the distance, brewing for a grand release. I sense your anger for having to leave. I, too, am angry. I try to channel it into something constructive; but, I find myself becoming steel around the edges, too afraid to pause for I feel I will mourn forever. I hear you speak, “Breathe”, you remind me it’s okay. Light hides behind the black clouds, but I do not feel it’s warmth. The wind gathers strength as I try to absorb and gather the energy of the elements, like you taught me. Lightning flashes, thunder echoes with an eerie power I cannot help  but to believe you are that power I sense. Your magic unleashed now, free from it’s body. My tears burst forth in fury.

(after the storm)

Thank you for your release of anger and frustration. Now I am quiet and grieve as you weep gently. Thank you for bringing our family together today. We gathered in front of the picture window to watch the sky and listen to your story. Leaning on one another, no words spoken, only tears pelting against the window pane.

 

July 01, 2005

I cried for an eternity last night, released my fears, lost my might. I miss you mom, I feel empty inside. I know I said I’d be strong, I lied. A little girl and a woman alone, please mom, come home.

 

July 05, 2005

(just a couple of thoughts)

The biggest mystery to life…is death.

I feel so human today…it hurts.

 

July 09, 2005

I am forcing myself to go to Maine today. I just want to curl up and be left alone. It seems as the shock fades, the dark reality sinks in a little more each day.

 

July 10, 2005

Oh, Mom, I don’t know what to do, life is so lonely without you. My chest is heavy, my heart races with anxiety, my nerves are raw. It takes every little bit of energy to just exist. I am confused. I am weak. I don’t know how to get better. I erupt with emotions, yelling, begging.  I am left here with no one to understand me. I know I have to be strong, but where do I find the strength? My eyes are dry and sore. I want to curl up and fade away. A tiny flicker inside is the only light that keeps me going; but, the slightest breeze blows it out, leaving me exhausted and depressed, not knowing how to ignite it again, so i look for you, even s I write.

 

July 12, 2005

I look out to the land and feel my mother. She is here. I am crazy, but no…there she is, in every tree, flower and blade of grass. The cardinal sings a song of the past. Reality hits me, I am alone. Tears fall. The swing rocks gently, yet there is no breeze. Of course she is here, my fears put to ease. She will always be a part of me, and I of her. I am her legacy now and forever.

 

July 15, 2005

Here I sit, pause and reflect. There are small sections of time that I can forget; but, then I look and see something of yours,  or I miss you at dinner,or need to talk to you…and then I remember…you’re gone.

The other day I started a new job, and if you were here, I’d relive every moment and we would laugh with excitement.

The other night I cooked a great dinner, and if you were here you would have raved about my cooking and enjoyed every morsel. We’d have a glass of wine and toast “Here’s to the moment”!

If you were here, you would love the family room I created for you, your children and your grandchildren. You always liked the way I created great “vibes” in a room.

If you were here, we could sit on the porch swing and listen to the birds…If you were here, I would hug you and never let you go.

As I pause and remember, I realize you are not here, and I weep, sometime gently, sometimes with great belly aching roars. I do not know how this loneliness will ever leave me. I try to let go of you physically, so I can see the signs that you are here, and they comfort me; but , they cannot subside my grief.

 

July 17, 2005

I feel you everywhere; but,  not tangible. I can reach; but,  I don’t know where. I look into the woods half expecting to see you in some shape or form; but, you are not physical, and I do not know how to grab a hold of you. It is frustrating and heart wrenching. Nothing seems real, yet anything seems possible, nothing makes sense. I wait for you to find a way to communicate with me; but, does my mind delude me? Is it not possible for you to send  a sign? Do I just have the childish faith that my mother can do anything?  Yes, I do; It was you who taught me imagination, and sometimes that is where the true reality lies. So, the cardinals sing, I look, I swing, I wait……

 

July 18, 2005

It feels there are no words left that I can write to release my emotions.  I sit and wait for them to come to me; but, I sit in darkness.  Where are you sweet mother?  Do you not hear my cries?  Can you not comfort me?  No one but spirits to talk to.  The lonely living.  I seek answers that cannot be found.  Death seems not so bad anymore…however; I have too much to live for.  Until the day that souls unite…I pray, I march, I fight, and at the end of the day, I sit in exhaustion…I rest in the comfort of my imagination, and envelop myself with the mystery of the unknown.

 

Apart (poem)

In memory of mom

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Apart

A part of you lives in me, 
but a part of me is gone.

A part of me understands, 
and yet I feel all wrong.

A part of me wants to die, 
but it seems I must live.

A part of me fills with anger, 
but you taught me to forgive.

Yes, a part of you lives in me, 
and forever, a part of me is gone;

but rest my sweet mother, 
for both of us…I shall carry on.