Sharing the lessons along the way…

Posts tagged ‘grief and loss’

One Year Ago…

Just Keep Smiling

Dear Duke,

It has been a year since you crossed over Rainbow Bridge, and I have done my best to honor your lessons and your legacy.  I cannot lie and say that I didn’t spend some time feeling lost without you, but I did my best to keep moving forward no matter what was happening in my heart or in my world around me.  I have off and on felt lost in the past year without your presence– in ways I cannot describe to humans who have not experienced their soul mate.

Your sister Ruby and I have bonded quite a bit since you’ve been gone, although she doesn’t seem to understand when I try to tell her about soul-mates.  She has her own lessons to teach me and I have grown quite fond of her unique ways, as I try to discern exactly what those might be.

Some days, I am not sure I don’t need you to keep going.  Some days, I am convinced that somehow you would know exactly what I should do next.  Some days, I know you could help someone better than I can or even a whole team and I can.  Other days, I feel confident that I am honoring everything you and your brother taught me over the years.  Other days, I am encouraging those who knew you to do the same.  Other days, I stay busy enough to not feel my heart aching quite as much.

At work, you are everywhere.  A plaque hangs in the lobby and a stone hangs in your courtyard—both with your picture in remembrance of your service.  Pictures of you are in my office and you will forever be in my Lightning Hero Award video.  I started volunteering with Project PUP because you no longer can.  Therapy dogs are at work nearly every day of the week because you cannot be.

I am certain I miss your presence more than anyone or anything else’s I have ever lost in this life so far.  So much so, that I can hardly believe it on some of my bad days.  I want you to know that I am doing my best to take care of your “guys” at work and encourage them to honor your service in the way that they treat themselves and others.

I trust that you and your brother are doing exactly what you most love to do over there, and I hope you have joined up with Maggie, Sadie, Zeus, and the many others you both helped to foster who have moved on from here.






Rubicon Nanopablano

Ruby Art Harvest 2015

There comes a point after a loss that we realize we were not actually moving forward from it.  We have gone through the motions because we knew we “should,” but don’t realize we have no sense of making any forward progress.  It is sort of like walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike.

We are in motion, yet without forward movement beyond that point.

There may be glimpses of feeling like we are moving forward, but it isn’t until one relatively nondescript day in our lives that we realize that we just may have actually moved somewhere.

Today, it feels like I got off the treadmill and hit the sidewalk.

Since Duke’s death, I have moved forward each day because there is a mission and a reason to do so.  That mostly applied to work stuff, however.  I still felt lost on the home front, despite the presence of Ruby and a lot of social support.

I wanted to start creating memories with just Ruby and I, but it seemed like that, and knowing Duke would not like my reservations about it, just wasn’t enough to gain momentum to actually do it.

Yes, we have done things together here and there, but always with the ghosts of Amore and Duke overshadowing the experience in my heart.  And what Ruby and I would do were things that I had already done with the boys, so it was never just she and I.

None of this occurred to me at all.  It didn’t until I was getting ready to go to the Art Harvest at the park with Ruby.  In fact, it never occurred to me that Duke nor Amore ever went to this particular annual event in their lifetime until Ruby and I parked the car.

It’s not much, but it’s something that feels better than being stuck in the loss.

Day Seven of



The Smiling Crazy Chick

photo (26)By the time her computer booted up and the Word document was blank before her, the tears had stopped flowing.  It was as if what she was composing inside her head to put on the page was enough to temporarily stop the steady stream.

Then she stared blankly at the computer screen, hesitant to really share what she was composing in her head just moments before.  She had censored herself and couldn’t find a word to write.

The tightness in her stomach started again, followed by the welling of tears in her eyes.  The screen became blurry, but her fingers and hands were still poised to type her words on the keyboard.

In her mind, she recalled the overwhelming sense of agitation and frustration she felt through the day.  None of it had any just cause.  No one was doing anything in particular.  She couldn’t shake it.  She didn’t quite understand it.  Things that happened on this day were just like any other day.

How she felt inside was not like any other day.  She knew that, and fortunately did not appear agitated, and did not react in anger to anyone.

In fact, she kept smiling because she didn’t have anything to be so agitated about.  Things were really ok.

The more she thought about it, the more she couldn’t believe she didn’t act out somewhere in the course of the day.  She seemed ready for a fight up until the point she got home.  At home, there were tears instead.

As the words were typed, her tears would start.  Then they would come to a stop.  With each wave of them, she seemed to be able to see the screen more clearly.  She typed without censoring.  And saw the day more clearly.

Whether she wanted to admit it or not, she was overwhelmed.  Her brain hurt at the thought of putting one more thing in it and there are always more things.  Each week her life seemed to be changing so much, and no matter how well she handled it, she still feels like she is one breath away from a meltdown.  Even though she probably isn’t.

What she was able to remember after the tears dried up was that it is ok to feel that way.  It is even ok to write about it.  It is even ok to let other people know that it is ok.  It is also ok to let it go, and just keep smiling.

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