Why does loss have to be so hard? As adults we all know that to live, is to die. It’s the ultimate result for us all. Yet every time there is loss of a loved one we are devastated. Perhaps because we have to learn how to live without them and our loss sometimes make that seem impossible.
I had to put my dear dog Cooper down a few weeks ago. That may seem trivial to some but he was a part of my family and saw me through a lot of tragedy. He was the last shred of my son that I had here on earth. Joey loved Cooper, he was our family dog. For fifteen years he was a very loyal member of the Gill clan.
Add to that grief, just last week I lost my baby brother. At 47 years old he had a heart attack. That seems to be what gets all of the folks in my family. Add poor choices to an already weak genetic pool and it’s the perfect cocktail for a one-way ticket out of here. We’re all guilty of poor choices on occasion, right?
I have doused a little Acceptance oil in my palms tonight. I’m having a real hard time with the recent loss of my baby brother last week. I want to write about him. Maybe it’s because I know he resides with my Joey now. Maybe it’s because I’m sorry for him. It may be because I feel helpless or maybe it’s just because I love and miss him. He deserved so much more than this life gave him. I so wish he could get a do-over. My brother had a bad heart but that bad heart was so very full of love for everyone in his life. He was the type that genuinely had concern for other’s well being. He had a giggle that is indisputable. He wanted you to laugh with him so he laughed so hard that it made you laugh too. Looking at his silly grin with a scrunchy face would make you break, every time.
I want to hug him. I want to tell him that I know how hard his life was for him and that I am sorry for that. I want to tell him that if I had the chance to change only one thing in this world, it would be that he had a better life here on earth. I want to tell him that he was dearly loved. I want him to know that I am sorry he died alone. Oh how I wish I could have been there to help him, even if helping him was to lay down beside him and be with him his last few seconds……..but in God’s perfect plan it was not to be.
I have heard him randomly laughing in my head since he died. I know that he is finally happy, at peace, with a new heart and not a care or a shred of pain. Rest in Peace my precious baby brother. You are now in “paradise city where the grass is green and the girls are pretty”. I love you Mark Edward.
You know I started this blog on my sweet Joey’s birthday Jan 2, 2018. It took me forever to decide to do it. I wanted to, I did but obviously not bad enough to make it happen. I remember procrastinating for months before even putting my plans on paper. I talked it over and over in my head until I finally set a deadline to it. It would be painful but symbolic, scary but healing, hard but worth it. I tossed it all around many times over.
I was not looking forward to the agony I felt was waiting for me in the depths of my heart. I had tucked away my grief there for far too long. It had been 10 years. While there is never a time limit on grieving the loss of your child I felt that God had so much in store ahead for me if I’d only……….
I had not been able to “let go of the stone”. In my mind that was letting go of Joey, somehow accepting that I was ok being without him but that was far from true. I will never be ok with him not being here with me. I don’t love that there is no one calling me Ma and I will never hear that again in this lifetime. However I knew in order to move forward I had to at least acknowledge that he was gone. YES, it took me TEN years.
About a year ago I was introduced to Essential Oils through a dear church friend. I had started using them in my diffusers just because they smelled nice. Then I began reading about and researching them. I soon discovered the amazing support that can provide for my emotional health. I thought if I were going to head out on this journey of moving life forward without Joey in it I needed all the help I could get.
I am an avid user and Distributor for Young Living now and so I ordered the Feelings Kit to help me through this blogging journey. I used an oil called Release first to diffuse every time I wrote. Friends, I never imagined how well this beautiful kit would help me. Each morning I started up an incredible mist of Release and guess what happened? The waterworks began. I cried like I have never cried before. Every single day as I wrote, I cried. I realized that what I’d been procrastinating about was exactly what I needed. I needed to face this giant called grief, head one.
Although I’d cried many times over the last 10 years I had never done so with the intention of acceptance. Through prayer and the use of these amazing God-given oils I have been able to grieve in a purposeful way and I am so very grateful.
If you feel like this is something you are interested in please comment below and I will tell you all about it. You can also join my education Group The Oily Kinship to learn more or please feel free to take a look at my website Diannes Oily Life. I am so happy to get you started and on your way to a tremendous supportive healing. Until then God Bless you friend.
It was 15 + years ago when I met a new beautiful soul. I hand picked this boy from a rescue shelter solely due to the lightening speed at which his tail was wagging in the picture. That tail was moving so fast it was just a blue blur. I thought to myself, now there’s a guy that knows how to have fun! Upon meeting him for the first time we had an instant love. He gave me the biggest kisses as he leapt all over me. I won’t soon forget the way he sailed into the back of my SUV as if to say “take me home mom”. He was the very same with every member of my family. He became our Cooper, aka Coupe De Ville, aka Coop the Snoop. To say this pooch was spoiled would be an understatement.
Cooper slept with us. He ate with us. He rode with us everywhere we went. He slowly went from a 10 month old who chewed up our shoes to a most beloved member of our family who would eat most anything else…….except a carrot. Heaven forbid should he eat a vegetable! This boy is a member of our family, he’s one of us….which includes my Joey. This was the last dog we had when my son died. Cooper loved his brother and proved his loyalty a thousand times over. It is true that time marches on and we are forced to move forward in our lives. I know that my life is totally opposite of what it was 10 years ago when I lost Joey. The one thing that is constant has been Cooper.
This precious boy has been with me through it all. Coopie has laid beside me as I cried through my worse heartaches, he’s listened to ramblings about my dreams, my prayers, my grumbling about disappointment, he’s been my roadie, my confidant, my rock, my protector from all who enter until he couldn’t see to do so any longer. I forget how to BE without this incredible loyal creature. He was so very patient, compliant, gentle and loving. I know that God inserted him in my life at the exact time that I needed him. I wasn’t rescuing Cooper at all….he was rescuing me.
I have been given this precious gift for over 15 years and last night I had to set him free. I had picked him up off the floor each day when his muscle mass could not sustain his weight any longer. I watched him walk in pain while struggling to tell night from day or inside from out. I had to stop this selfishness and send this beautiful baby Home to be with my Joey. The guilt is overwhelming at moments but it’s only because I miss him so terribly. I know it was best for him. It was with drenching sobs that I watched the pain leave my sweet pup’s face. I am happy for him as I know that his tail is wagging feverishly again and he’s leaping all over the other half of his family.
Our love for our Coupe De Ville will forever remain. Run free my perfect boy, run free until we see you again 😭 Job well done
Rain. We’ve had it here in E. Tennessee for weeks now. I have always loved rain and I am thankful for it. I believe it takes me back to my youth when my sister Cindy and I used to play school in our rooms on rainy days. I can remember putting Bugle snacks on the end of our finger tips and tapping them on the chalkboard to indicate our intended lesson as we taught our class. That’s what teachers with long nails do.
They also like long hair. Oh yes. We’d drape a towel over on our head and just fling it around (think, Cher – on stage with Sonny) as we taught our class. Every now and then we would pull it together in the back or swirl it around and lay it on either side of our shoulders to get it out of our way . Then there’s the shoes. They must “clomp”. I mean, every teacher has clomp-y shoes as they go down the hallway, right? Clomp, clomp, clomp. The admiration for how she walks in those high heels is just as prevalent today.
Also, what educator doesn’t drink coffee? They all have breaks you know and on those breaks they grab a cup of coffee and go into the teacher’s lounge. We did that too only our lounge space were two little chairs placed in front of the windows of our bedroom. There we sat, legs properly crossed……..looking out at the rain with our coffee, head’s thrashing about, complaining about all of the bad kids in our class.
Those times with my sister is one of my favorite memories growing up. It allowed us to go somewhere without leaving the house, to be someone we admired. In retrospect t’s so funny what our perception was of a teacher. Did they all have long nails, long hair, clompy shoes and love coffee? Well that’s exactly how we saw them. Were those the things that we envisioned for ourselves? Perhaps.
In that same spirit of perception it makes me ponder how I am initially viewed. I am a happy, bubbly and sometimes a loud person. I am quite adventurous and will try just about anything once. I find humor in most everything. That tends to leave the perception that I don’t hurt or that I don’t cry, that I must never get sad, lonely or blue. Quite the contrary. While one surely has to be made of steel to move forward after losing a child we are forced to mask the pain forever. While we can’t allow ourselves to dwell there we get pretty good at doing so.
My sweet friends our perceptions can sometimes make us heartless. They can make us forget that our brothers and sisters on earth are all human and children of God. I am quite sure teachers don’t always have long hair, long nails and sit around talking about bad kids 🙂 People are hurting all around us. Everyone has a story, pain, perhaps a past or going through something unforeseen to the naked eye. Everyone is carrying their own burdens and battling their own demons. Things are not always as they appear.
There is one thing I do know…….we all need prayer and love, an arm around us to show us that we matter. Who knows what a hug might do for someone truly hurting on the inside. I challenge to examine your perceptions today.
It was the first summer after my son passed away. Reluctantly, I was talked in to attending my first real outing at a lake. I remember feeling so much pain and sadness inside and just unworthy of enjoying a smile. I wasn’t ready to paint on a smile and intermingle with folks. Yet there I stood struggling to find a reason to stay there. A beautiful Swallowtail butterfly flew around my head and then down to the water. As my eyes followed his lead he took them right down to the lake where this young man was tossing around a little boy in play. He looked nothing like my Joey but acted everything like him. Although he had none of his own, Joey loved kids and he always took time to throw them on his shoulders, tease them, play ball with them at every opportunity. I know he would have been an amazing father. I got lost in the moment watching this young man and thinking about my boy. I loved this stranger for simply “acting” like my son. I fought back the urge to run down and hug him. Imagine my surprise when he turned his back to me and on the backside of his head he had the name J O E Y shaved into his hair. It brought such tears to my eyes. It is these small things……like the butterfly that lead my eyes….that is truly silver linings when we act on something that scares us. I felt like this was a “visit” and I was so grateful for it.
Another time while my sweet hubby was pumping gas I sat in my car and watched a young man get out of his and start to pump his own. I was astonished when I glimpsed up from my phone and saw him. He reminded me so much of my son. I know I gazed too long. I know that he thought I was a nut. I know it might have been freaking him out. However I couldn’t help myself from staring. When he was finished at the pump and started back to his driver’s seat he shared a glance with me, smiled and nodded his head just as my Joey would. I felt like that this too, was a visit.
Then there was the time when I cried myself to sleep on my sofa late one night. I was empty, emotionally devoid, drained from the grief. I never even got up off the couch to go to bed. It must have been the wee hours of the morning when I finally dozed off. I could hear my husband walk softly across the floor, feel him cover me up but I just couldn’t wake up to open my mouth and thank him. I can recall thinking that I will need to do so first thing in the morning. Come sunrise as I brewed our first pot of coffee I apologized. I hated that I couldn’t even find strength to thank him when I felt him cover me but I wanted him to know how much I appreciated it. It is then that he replied “Honey I appreciate your sentiments but I haven’t left our bed all night”. That my dear friends was a visit from my Joey.
To the parents who’ve never experienced the loss of a child this might seem totally absurd…….but to those of us who have, it’s crystal clear and acceptable. I think our senses become extremely sharp when our children pass before us. We’re left with a sense of longing, then searching for any clue that they are still with us, In spirit, the only way they can. When we open our minds to the possibility that they still communicate with us and look for our signs we can begin to feel the visits. Would they ever come back to this ole earth to be with us again……never. However I do believe that their sweet spirit lingers here among us forever more. I thank God for my amazing years as Joey’s mama. I thank God for His promise that I will see him again and I thank God for the precious visits. Do you have visits? Please feel free to share them here. Love and peace to you my friends.