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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter Egg Hunt (for dogs only)

 Yesterday, I took Kona to the park where they had advertised that there would be an "Easter Egg Hunt For Dogs".

It was really quite crowded....

Field of Eggs (in the distance by the cones)
Get ready, set, go!
And the hunt begins!

Though some of the dogs seemed unsure what to do....

Including Kona.....

Until I cracked one open for her and showed her the milk bone treats inside.
Still it was hard to open the egg with just your jaws!

And it was easier to beg for the treats from other dog owners!

And really, mom, chasing tennis balls is much more fun!
So we headed to the actual dog park afterwards....

Happy Easter from all of us, here and in spirit, 

at The Pink House!

Thursday, March 24, 2016


I have a new grief therapist, my old one having fled to Germany, and I met with her for the first time Tuesday.  She gave me a list of "SPICES" and said I needed to add each of these "spices" to my life by doing something in each "spice" category every day.

 SPICES stands for:

         S                                   Spiritual

    P                                   Physical

        I                                   Intellectual

  C                                  Creative

      E                                  Emotional

S                                  Social

So!  Today I walked the dog to the dog park and we played fetch with tennis balls and that's the P for physical.  I greeted two other dog owners there, so I'm counting that as my S for social.  I'm writing this, which would be C (creative) and, hopefully, I for intellectual.

I guess I have to work on the other two...

Good advice? Or just more psycho-babble goobleygook?  I guess I'll find out.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Q & A

I recently received an e-mail from a family friend & blog reader asking me some questions that were on his mind and I thought, instead of a personal reply, I would answer them here...

Q:  How do you think you're doing with grief, loss and loneliness?

A: I really don't know -- I mean some days I think I do fine, others: not so good.  Mostly, I miss Bob so much that it is hard to even get up in the morning. But I do. I drag myself up.  The dog is a good motivator with this.

I often feel lost.  I mostly feel lonely.  It seems the world has become an alien place where I no longer fit in.  I often ask myself, who am I? why am I still here? and what on earth do I do without Bob?  I feel as if a whole half of me is missing. My identity is shattered. And I have lost my purpose in life.

This is the hardest thing I've ever been through: harder than the stroke, the lawsuit, the daily grind of caregiving.  Harder I think because I no longer have hope, and before there was always hope, and something to look forward to and work toward. Now, the only thing I look forward to is the day that I may leave this earth and be with Bob again. I no longer fear death, but will welcome it with open arms when my time comes.

Q: What do you think caused the tears at the yoga class?

A:  The teacher and also my yoga guru friend said the many people cry at their first yoga class.  They say this is because the yoga positions release "toxins" and "pent up stresses" and emotions come flooding to the surface,

The yoga class was strangely intimate with low lights and soft music.  Some of the positions we were put in were almost weirdly "sexual" in nature, and perhaps that's why folks like yoga.  For me, it brought back feelings/memories I haven't had in a long time.  I found myself missing Bob, missing his touch, missing those feelings of intimacy, and mourning the fact that I will never feel his touch again.

Q: Are you still seeing a therapist or going to group sessions for grief?

A: Yes, I see both a therapist and psychologist-- unfortunately my therapist, just when I was getting comfortable with her, has been offered a job in Germany and so I start with a new therapist this coming week.  I am thinking about joining another group session when the next round begins, but haven't gotten the schedule yet and don't know what or when they are available. I see a therapist about every two weeks, the doctor every two months. The doc gives me lorazapam, and just doubled my dose.  Not sure if it is really working much.... though it does help with calming me down when I drive.

I still meet with a few folks from the spouse grief group as we go out to lunch once a month.  This is a nice diversion, but I feel often like an outsider.  I am the youngest in the group and conversations seem to revolve around the others' children, grandchildren, vacations and family get-togethers.... They also talk a lot about their hearing aids and other health problems!  Only when you get someone, aside, one on one, does anyone bring up the lost loved one....

Q: What do you do for entertainment or occupying your "free" time?

A: All I seem to have is "free time"! Some days really do seem endless and it seems all I do is count the hours until bedtime...  I do walk the dog, I read some, sit on the back porch and listen to the birds and wind chimes and watch the sky.  We have many ancient oak trees, draped with Spanish moss, in our neighborhood and at night their branches are hauntingly beautiful against the dark sky.  I watch way too much TV.  At night, all three of us pile on the couch:  Kona, Ripley and me.  Kona stretched like a long furry snake by my side, head on my knees. Ripley curled on my chest, paw extended around my shoulder. I am swallowed under this pile of snuggling furry love and I find it very comforting and we often fall to sleep like this with the TV on.

I have given up taking Kona to nursing homes as I found it more depressing than anything... I am taking Kona out with me more often, grocery shopping, etc., and we are working on working better together as a team.

Q: Have you thought about writing again?

A:  Yes, I have thought a lot about writing again, which I suppose is always to first step toward a new writing project.  I have been reading some "how to" books on memoirs, just to get some ideas on format etc.  I don't think I want to write a "caregiver" memoir but want to focus more on the lawsuit, the tragedy of what happened to Bob, and the injustice of the whole thing. That interspersed with our love story.  I am getting some ideas but have not put "pen to paper" yet.  I feel, very deeply, that Bob was murdered by those nurses and believe his story needs to be told.

A friend had sent me a journal to write in shortly after Bob's death and I just made the first entry in it yesterday. It's a start.

I know I'm not blogging as much as I used to --- feels like there is no longer much to say and I feel, sometimes, that no one really wants to hear about me and my grief anymore....

Q: Tell me about life...

A:  My life is no where near what it used to be --- but I think, we are all here, in this life, to learn something, to teach something and to grow.  I have learned a lot from Bob. I have learned what true love is and what is the most important thing in life --- love.  I do wonder what new lessons I need to learn, or what I need to teach, in the time I have left on this side....

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Fun -- then Meltdown

Last week, my dear friend, Jenn, came to visit for a few days.  It was great to see her. We did a lot talking and a little site seeing, and I even managed to drive the 40 miles to Tarpon Springs and back which was no small feat for me, as I have been so nervous behind the wheel since Bob passed away.

Jenn & Kona at The Sponge Docks
All was well, until Jenn took me a yoga class.  Now, I've never done yoga before -- but I was willing a victim here, thinking it would be, you know, good for me.  The class itself was billed as "gentle" and "relaxing" so what could go wrong? Right?

I tell you, it was neither "gentle" or "relaxing" even though the whole time we spent pretty much flat on our backs.  The moves weren't hard, but half way through I found tears inexplicably falling out of the corner of my eyes. Afterward, I was a total emotional basket case and found myself near tears the rest of the day.

The next day, I woke up with terrible sinus congestion (from all that crying?) and a splitting headache and every muscle in my body seemed to ache.

Jenn left early Saturday and I spent pretty much the whole day sleeping on and off and feeling miserable...

And Sunday morning, I felt a bit better, then suddenly was hit with all sorts of GI issues --- and was pretty sick again, until today.  Though I'm still a bit shaky and headachy and filled with inconsolable grief...

Jeepers -- all that from one yoga class?

An interesting side note, both Jenn and Sally (who visited last month) received an unexpected nighttime visit from Bob while they were here.  Described as a "heavy" or "large" presence, neither thought it was foreboding or "evil", but certainly both felt that Bob was with them for a moment.  Jenn, more than once.  In fact (correct me, Jenn, if I get this wrong), Jenn said she "felt" a message from Bob which was something like "What are we going to do about Diane?"

Good to know he is really watching over me. And perhaps I am not as crazy as I sometimes feel....