Tag Archives: grief counseling

Morning Coffee with Twilight & Can Opener

I’m taking my spot at the desk back from Sushi!

Finding peace & comfort in times of turmoil

Twilight was going to post this morning, so I got the computer turned on for her- but instead, she saw her favorite spot next to the laptop and decided to take it back from Sushi. Now she’s snoozing- so I’ll take it from here, and let her nap since she was out all night being a wild child.

I’ve been up since 5:00 this morning, and I don’t have the little Critters today- but I stayed up anyway because I have had a difficult time lately finding a chance to just be still for a bit and take some much needed time in prayer and God’s Word.

I have sensed Him reaching out to me over these last couple of weeks more and more. But life -(and responsibilities)- have a way of draining us of our energy- and (as you have no doubt noticed)- any form of creativity.

I haven’t said anything about things that have been happening- but my sister- (who happens to also be my neighbor)- kept having attacks that looked and felt like a massive heart attack was building up. So I have spent the last two weeks trying as much as possible to make myself available to her, staying with her when they happened, taking her vitals, calming her down, and caring for her.

At first she wouldn’t let me call 9-1-1 because she was sure the pain and shortness of breath was coming from a pulled muscle in the back of her neck.

I didn’t agree. I can’t say much about the details, but her symptoms were bad enough that I was afraid of what I may find when I went to check on her in the couple of days that followed.

The attacks happened suddenly and when she was relaxed. Complete with pain in her arm, etc. She would call in the middle of the night and say “It’s happening again”- And I’d rush over in my pajamas and do everything in my power to calm and reassure her while urging her to get checked.

After about 2 days she finally agreed (after it happened two days in a row)- to go to Urgent Care. She went to urgent care, and they sent her to ER.

That led to an 8 hour languishing in the waiting room of the hospital, where she sat in pain, one of a countless multitude of other people waiting for care- and some even laying in the floor sick in the ER. The doctors and nurses did the best they could- but they didn’t have enough staff. She was supposed to be there for an ekg (which after being done twice, was said to be normal)- and for two blood tests which had to be taken an hour apart.

They did the first blood test, and said they’d be back in an hour to do the second one. All this time, she was still in the waiting room. Three hours later they came back for the other blood test.

Several times she and her daughter told them she was in pain (from sitting so long)- and she needed to go home but they wouldn’t let her leave. Finally at 11 pm she said, “I’m going. I can’t do this anymore.”

She went back home, exhausted and in (more) pain- though she wasn’t having pain in her chest or shortness of breath anymore)- and the next day it happened again. She started her morning feeling finally rested (when she woke up around noon)- and within 45 minutes it happened again. Again she called me, and the hospital had not told her the results of her blood tests, but they had said it looked like she might have heart damage.

I prayed with her after doing everything I could to make her comfortable and help her calm down. The incident passed quickly- but 30 minutes later, It started again, and this time, I told her she couldn’t play with this and I needed to call 9-1-1. She finally agreed.

While I was still on the phone with the dispatcher, my sister suddenly said- “The pain is gone!” She was no longer clutching her chest, or holding her arm- and was completely calm. I told the dispatcher, and she had me ask if My sister still wanted them to come (they had already left).

They came (6 emts)- and checked her out and did an ekg and it was normal! They said if she wanted to go to ER, they would take her in, but they assured her that her heart was okay. And, they made a point of telling her that the “ER is not the place you want to be right now.” No kidding. She had been there for 8 hours the day before.

A couple of hours later, the ER staff from the day before called her back and said they needed her to come back to ER because they had to re-do the two blood tests. She refused. But the vascular surgeon’s office called her to set up a test for her heart. So the next morning she checked in to the hospital (not ER) for that and had a stress test, and another test that let them check her heart valves. Fortunately, that experience was completely different. She was immediately taken to a room with a tv and was given every imaginable comfort. The proceedure went smoothly and a few hours later, she went home.

Then finally, (two days later and after a visit with her regular doctor)- she was told all her heart tests were within normal range and she wasn’t having a heart attack.

However, clearly certain enzymes were elevated, and her blood pressure was high- so her doctor asked if anything had happened lately. That’s when she told him that a couple of months ago she lost her brother in a fire. Then the doctor understood what had happened.

She has not been able to get grief counseling, and the full effect of his loss is beginning to become more real to her now. She is now feeling relieved at least knowing that if the pain starts again, she’s not having a heart attack- and now I can relax and not be afraid to check on her anymore – But she is in pain of a much different kind.

It has now been 9 months since my husband passed from stage 4 cancer- and I thought I was doing okay- until the last couple of weeks. Suddenly for me, the reality of his permanent exit is beginning to dawn- when holidays come and go- and what would be his birthday is next month- and our daughter’s birthday is a week before his- so there is a shadow of death hanging over the next few months with birthdays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas approaching.

But for my sister (and for countless others that I don’t know)- there is a much more recent wound- and though we put a smile on our face, and stay busy and “life goes on,” there is still the shadow lurking always in the back of our minds.

Hear me- Whether you know anyone who has recently lost someone or not, Please be kind and compassionate toward those around you. Life is short – and especially now in this time of upheaval and division spreading across the world with its unrest and uncertainty- it is more important than ever before to SHOW KINDNESS – to forgive- to love.

Be the person who makes the difference in your world. You have no way of knowing what the person around you may be struggling through.

You all have the power to MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR GOOD. Just decide to be willing, please. ❤️

Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.

Matthew 7:12

Thursday Therapy

Our Can Opener has had a lot to deal with this week. I told her to play with me and then call her grief counselor.

Inflation, hackers, pain and first Father’s Day, and 4th of July without the hubby.

Life has its trials, and since the first of this New Year, our Can Opener has had the same ones everyone else has- but has seen God move on her behalf every time. She’s learning that trials don’t have to mean defeat. Pain doesn’t have to equal quitting, and recurring holidays and special occasions without a spouse that has passed doesn’t have to mean lonliness, emptiness and depression.

She has learned to hold fast to her strength by the power of the Holy Spirit- who tells her to worship, not worry. To pray, not dwell on all the evil that is going on- and to give thanks for what she has, and what she can do, instead of complaining about what she doesn’t have or can’t do.

Oddly enough, even in the midst of it all, she is doing better now than she has in previous years. And, somehow has joy and unexpalinable peace in the middle of it all-

I hear her say that God has given us an open invitation to cast all our burdens, anxieties and fears on Him- (I Peter 5:7) – and when people don’t do that, they get overcome with anxiety, depression, fears and insecurities (who wouldn’t with the way things are right now)?

But she has learned that when she dares to just bring it all to Jesus and LEAVE IT THERE in His hands, things have a way of working out while she sings praise.

She says there really is power in prayer and singing praise. But only those who actually try it will discover it and experience the peace of God which surpasses understanding.

But- she also says God created cats for a reason too- Sushi and I keep her smiling, and load her up with cuddles when she’s in pain- since Sushi and I can’t visit you guys and help with whatever stress you’re going through- we’re sending some of our pals to brighten your day a little!

Give your kitties a hug! 😻


Grief Counseling Has Begun

Photo by lilartsy from Pexels

“The wild feral animal that comes in your house and won’t leave (or listen to you).”

That’s the way the grief counselor described how an event like this – (a sudden devastating diagnosis and death of a loved one)- affects the human brain. And it’s completely accurate.

It’s also a great way to describe how the memories of the lost person plow into you when you least expect it. Welcome or not, they come flooding back like an unexpected assault right when you think you’re going to be okay.

It’s only been a little over a month- it still feels unreal- yet the ashes prove it is real.

Nothing is the same. Suddenly there’s no one (except pets) to greet you when you wake up in the morning. No one to brew coffee for and start the day with. No more dinners out, nor birthdays, nor holidays to share together. No one to give the much-needed hugs, validation, and encouragement.

And yet, there is so much to do. Little time to grieve, or even dare to let yourself feel. Numbly, life goes on unmarked by everyone but the family who are left with a tangle of emotion that they don’t even know how to vocalize. And the children- and grandchildren- who just can’t even process what’s happening.

They throw themselves into work, or play, or anything they can to get a reprieve from the hurricane of un-named feelings swirling around in their minds. And the 5 – year- old in her innocence and inability to grasp the finality of it simply turns it into a pretend situation with her Barbies.

I’ve been advised to write about it by both my counselor and my doctor. I’ve noticed that trying to carry on as I always did before isn’t working very well. The emptiness and feelings just refuse to be ignored. Yes, I know and am confident that my husband is no longer in misery and constant pain. And for that I’m grateful- What I watched him suffer, I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

I will write because they have advised me to- and somehow it really does help. I am returning to my daily workout routine (trying anyway). I’ve lost 13 pounds and my blood pressure is great- I’m eating well – I was already in the habit of eating ‘clean.’

But I have headaches every single day now and my hair has started falling out. Somehow this is especially upsetting, because my husband – (and everyone else) – has always loved my long hair. The Doctor confirmed yesterday that both the hair loss and the headaches are due to the stress that erupted like a volcano in December and continued as I provided hospice care for my husband until he passed away last month.

Apparently you really can’t get by on an hour or two of sleep every night for weeks, and not be affected by it. I am told that the hair loss will correct itself once the stress is reduced- so I am doing everything they said I should do- counseling, writing, making sure I get enough sleep, managing stress and resuming my exercise routines. Adding to this a scoop of collagen powder in my coffee every morning, a balanced, clean diet, biotin and other vitamins. I’ve also started watching comedy and making time for relaxing things that I enjoy but “never have time for.”

Laughter really does help- It doesn’t take away the feelings, but it does make it easier, and keeps me from dwelling on the things I can’t change. And where these things fail, The Lord Himself takes over. He reminds me that my peace, hope, and security is found in Him – even in the valley of the shadow of death. (Psalm 23)


https://www.bible.com/bible/114/psa.23.4


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