Tag Archives: the Backup Can Opener

Morning Coffee with Twilight

The coffee is a little weak this morning, Mom. In fact, it looks just
like water… How about some expresso?

My Human has had a hard week. Good thing I’m here.


No, Human. I mean MY OWN cup!!

Every time my Can Opener seems like she’s able to move on from the loss of the Backup Can Opener in January, something always seems to happen to stir it all up again. Sushi and I have our paws full comforting her and trying to remind her to sing praise, (it lifts her above grief, sorrow and depression every time- if she just remembers to do it)! She never had to be reminded before. But now every day events bring back waves. We help her get through it.


Image by J F from Pixabay

We’re always hearing her sing praise and give thanks to the Lord for all He’s done for her and for the ways he has sustained and preserved her. Especially since the loss. But lately a couple of things have happened in the neighborhood that has never happened here before in the 15+ years we have lived here. One of those things was an act of violence against a woman down the street (who was attacked by her live-in- whoever). She was only walking to her car – the assailant followed her cursing and slammed her to the ground- she did absolutely nothing but try to get away. He tried to prevent her from getting into her car to leave- but she kept trying and she got in and locked the doors.

Then he went to the passenger side and tried to open it – (the Human and her sister and others saw it on the first warm, sunny day we had, when they were discussing plans for their gardens). They called the police right away- others just looked away.

Meanwhile, the assailant hung onto the car as the woman tried to drive away and he hung on for the longest time until she was able to go fast enough (without hurting him) to pull away and leave. He had thrown glass bottles at her as she was leaving, and other things- the neighbor closest to him who lives alone, watched it and did nothing but wait until the man went back in his house and then he cleaned up all the broken glass in the street and on the lawn.

The police came- but by the time the officer got here, the woman was gone and so was the assailant. That upset everyone in the neighborhood- but our Can Opener especially was grieved – she knows these things happen. But never has she seen it so close to her house. It left her (and her sister and others in the neighborhood) feeling vulnerable and almost as though they themselves had been assaulted.

This has always been a peaceful neighborhood where everyone watched after each other. Seeing this just added to the waves of (normal) grief that our human has been dealing with since January. It also showed her the need to pray for her neighbors. And to pray for the police officers and first responders who literally lay their lives on the line every time they show up for work.

For about 3 days our human couldn’t concentrate enough to help us post. But she has resumed singing praise when anxiety and depression rears its ugly head to threaten her peace, and every time it lifts her above all the chaos in the world and brings comfort, peace, and even joy in the middle of it all.

Jesus Himself is her peace. And He makes her know she’s not really alone- or vulnerable

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled. Neither let them be afraid.

John 14:27 ESV

Life and Memorial

Image by anncapictures from Pixabay

Still So Surreal

Every relationship we enter knowing that one day for whatever reason, it will end. But that doesn’t make it any easier to get through when it does. And when it ends because of a sudden diagnosis of stage 4 cancer, the memories of all your loved one endured are relentlessly painful. And they hit you at the most inopportune times, and sometimes for no apparent “reason” at all.

Like when you’re going into your closet to pick an outfit for something, and you see something your husband loved to see you wear. Or you want to get a haircut, and automatically try to choose one he would like- or you go grocery shopping, and without realizing it, fill your cart with things he loved that you can’t eat – then you suddenly realize that you no longer need to concern yourself with those preferences.

The emptiness that suddenly hits you is indescribable. And you think to yourself, it’s only been 2 months and two days. How can I handle this for the next few months- or years?

You try to go on with life as it was before, because you have to. But everything has changed. Now there’s no one (except the cats) waiting for you when you get home- and no one to watch a movie with or share a cup of coffee with. Loud or sudden noises become extremely annoying, silence isn’t the comfort it once was, you realize you have to become very purposeful in order to do the things you know you need to do to take care of yourself.

This is where grief counseling helps so much. Seeing the impact that the loss of your husband has had on your family, you realize that you don’t want them to suffer another loss if you can help it. Exercise becomes a priority – (even though it’s the last thing you feel like thinking about)- Avoiding junk food and eating right is even more important because what you eat (especially when grieving) will definitely not only affect your health, but your mood as well.

Being with friends and family become critical – especially if you are blessed with a family like mine, where love and respect are most important. My heart goes out to those suffering the loss of a loved one without that critical support. How do they manage to face each new day?

This is what it’s like. But at some point, you have to make a decision. You can allow yourself to be overcome with sorrow and grieve to death- or you can choose to live with new purpose.

It’s not easy- but by the Holy Spirit you can receive strength for each new day, comfort in your sorrows, and a new life of purpose.

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭61:1-3‬ ‭NIV‬‬
https://bible.com/bible/111/isa.61.1-3.NIV

Peace is possible- even in mourning.


Trust

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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