1. Looking back, I wish I wouldn’t have taken many things so personally, because it often made me feel hurt. But it’s never to late to change things!
Once more I show you a very relaxed Jackie. That’s not new, she is a pro at taking naps. Interesting is what happened next to her.
I sat down on the sofa, and Jackie chose to lay down on my right. A few minutes later Sam, our shepherd mix, very slowly and carefully joined us on my left… I was a bit worried, because Sam sometimes is jealous of Jackie. Believe it or not, this little cat is so self confident, she refuses to back off… And Jackie doesn’t like to share, so I was quite sure she wouldn’t allow Sam to stay on the couch.
But nothing happened. Maybe Jackie was in a generous mood, or she knew Sam would just stay on his side of the couch. Anyway, I enjoyed cuddling with both of them. It was very peaceful.
What I learned from this: Our cat is still able to surprise me, even if we have been living together for over fourteen years now 🙂
…are not only important for the dead, but for the living as well in my opinion. What happended yesterday confirmed this.
I started my day early, because I wanted to walk the dogs before the funeral. I didn’t feel well and had panic attacs. Of course the dogs noticed this: Janet kept her distance, and Sam tried to keep everyone away from us by barking loudly. At least the sun fought her way through the clouds (picture above), and we were lucky where the weather was concerned.
Then I hopped on a bus to meet my parents, we wanted to go the cemetery together. At the funeral parlour we were greeted by my cousin, who of course was very upset. Inside the funeral parlour we hugged my aunt – to see this happy and upbeat woman so sad was hurting me.
My uncle was Protestant, but he hadn’t been active in a parish. So a neutral funeral speaker led the ceremony.
I have not been close to my uncle, but I am a daughter and a wife. So I understand the grief my aunt and my cousin feel. The speaker talked about my uncle with compassion and a bit of humor, and I started to cry. I always knew my uncle would have done everything for his wife and his daugher – this is why I didn’t unterstand it when he completely shut us off from his life thirty years ago. My teenage self was really distraught and asked herself if she wasn’t worthy of her uncle’s love. My teenage self also couldn’t comprehend why her uncle hurt her mother so much. My teenage self never cried, but yesterday I could mourn. This was very liberating, my heart flew open and I finally let go of the past.
Walking behind my uncle’s coffin to the grave was hard, because this was really his last way on this earth. The funeral speaker said the traditional phrase “Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust” and encouraged us to have a last talk with him, if we wanted to. Everyone had been handed a white rose earlier at the funeral parlour to lay down on the coffin, and then each of us had a few final moments with my uncle. I told him to “Have a save journey” and imagined his mother and his stepbrother welcoming him warmly on the other side. The funeral speaker then suggested all of us say the Lord’s Prayer; and I think praying together comforted everyone.
After that we went to a restaurant my uncle liked very much. My aunt’s mood changed from relief to love to grief to horror. Horror because some very disturbing things had happened in the hospital before my uncle’s death. We just listened, and this was what my aunt needed. But the atmosphere wasn’t gloomy all the time, we talked about other things and laughed as well. When we left, nobody was crying anymore and everybody felt comforted. Exactly the way it should be!
I was very relieved when I was home again in the evening. Sam greeted me at the door, my husband was home from his his first working day after his holiday, Janet gave me one of her soulfoul gazes from the couch, and the cat wanted to be fed. Everything was alright.
Today I am still a little bit confused and torn between laughing and crying. But I am also proud of myself that I have faced my feelings yesterday, that I paid last honors to my uncle and that maybe I helped a little bit those mourning him.
What a year this has been. Exhausting, beautiful, sad and everything in between. And when I thought it was over, my uncle died.
My sister-in-law’s pregnancy overshadowed a big part of 2018. I cried a lot, and at the same time my soul froze. Apathy had a strong hold of me. I had felt bad before, but as they say: It can always get worse.
So I did what I never wanted to do again, and decided to have inpatient treatment… again. Sometimes changing your mind is the best thing you can do.
Not every problem could be solved during those eight weeks, but I felt much stronger when I came home in October.
The first weeks after therapy I was very optimistic. After two months this was replaced by realism, and I am very aware of the fact that I just will have to live with many of my limitations. Sometimes I am at war with myself, but mostly I can deal with it. And I fiercely protect the boundaries I set.
During the eight weeks I was away from home, I noticed that I need very few things to be happy. So I started decluttering. This is painful at times, but mostly I feel relieved when I let things go. Decluttering will definitely play an important part in the new year as well.
When Christmas arrived, I had to admit that I still wasn’t able to spend time with the In-Laws and the new baby. But I managed not to harm myself, this is progress, I guess.
My uncle’s death shortly before Christmas brought up lots of emotions as well. I try to deal with this step by step. We had a decent Christmas Eve with my parents, the funeral on Wednesday will be the next thing to deal with. And after that the new year will become much better, or so I hope. I don’t do resolutions though, I just want to make the best of every day as they come.
And now let’s welcome the new year! May it bring us many happy hours and health.
We had a few really rainy days here. Jackie of course still insists on her daily strolls outside. If we are away, she can hide under the terrace if heavy rains fall. And of course she hears immediately if someone is at the door, then she gives us a look like that on the picture: “Human, were have you been so long?!”’
…are very close in my family this Christmas. There was the death of my uncle on the one side, and meeting with my parents and the fact that Christmas reminds us of Christ’s birth on the other side. My mother was a little bit sad, but mostly she was relieved her brother does not have to suffer anymore. We had a glass of prosecco before the meal and toasted to the living and the dead.
The relationship we had with my uncle’s family was very complicated at times. For years there was no contact, and we still don’t know why. When we went to bed, I felt like I was stuck at that time. I was a teenager back then, and I felt hurt and irritated on one hand, and I saw how much my mother suffered on the other hand. When we started talking again, it never was the same for me again.
On Christmas Day my self pity was over, and I thought how terrible my aunt and my cousin must feel: A woman lost her husband of more than fifty years… A daughter has to live without her father from now on. THAT is bad.
I asked my mother for my cousin’s mobile phone number, we know my aunt can’t deal with this right now.
Then I spent two hours thinking about what to write (I hate platitudes). Finally I gave up and texted that I was at a loss for words, and that our thoughts are with them. My cousin replied quickly, thanked me and said, she will let us know when the funeral takes place as soon as they know the details.
And then something strange happened: I remembered all the good moments before our families parted ways for many years. How I played with my cousin at a lake near their home, how my aunt’s mother read to us, how we went horseback riding together. And I started to smile, not everything was bad after all. My anger disappeared, and I felt more at peace.
I am dreading the funeral ceremony, because this will bring up lots of feelings again, but I try not to think about it too much right now.