Too Many Losses

Discussion in 'Dealing With Multiple Losses' started by eyepilot13, Oct 9, 2021.

  1. eyepilot13

    eyepilot13 Well-Known Member

    Ok so I'm on here because I lost my Wife of 34 years in February, (almost 8 months now) She was sick with diagnosed LipoSarcoma for 2 years June-2019-Fed 2021 Approx. She was sick before this. I think she had this disease much longer back to 2008. Her death has brought up all my other losses and things I'm grieving. Starting with my father to Cancer when I was 6. Now I know about PTSD. They didn't much in 1972! My childhood was miserable. With a clueless doughy mother and mean spirited schoolyard "chums".
    Both grandparents on Fathers side along with an Uncle and Aunt soon followed in my kid years. Then my other (last grandmother) My mother had Kidney disease and she didn't stop eating potatoes and stuff you shouldn't eat with bad kidneys. She died next to me on the passenger seat suddenly in 2001... My wife's death was preceded by her mothers stroke and death in 2009-2010... There are others. Then I grieve for my old self. An interested inquisitive naively hopeful dude... full of good energy and cheer. I lost that person in the missing ten years between 2008-2018... Where is my old fire and Spirit!

    Besides my wife the biggest pain I reLive loosing my career and life as an educator. I had kidney disease so UltramegaBad that I lost both kidneys. I couldn't keep working in the corporatized field that teaching has turned into... (Thanks Billy GF!)

    In the Sanlofer book JS goes on about how he's still doing stuff like work to help him get thru. What if you Do not have work... or friends or colleagues. What if itz just you... and you don't like anything anymore. You actually hate or dislike almost everything. You hate TeeVee, aren't into Moovees... can't read like you used to and need to move out of your house. Don't have anywhere to go or people to see. Just deal with Stress and hassle every waking hour. What if there's no friends and family. My best friend was my wife. She is gone. The world is crazy (I also grieve for the world!) Everything is so F-ing Hard!
    Chris M 2000 likes this.
  2. SallyD

    SallyD Well-Known Member

    Hi. I know your post is from last October, but I just want to say that I'm so very sorry for all you've been through. I know it's hard when
    you've had a lot of losses & illness, too. Most recently lost my brother (we were close), and he helped me with a lot of stuff because
    of my health problems that I've had for a long time. My late brother was a Special Ed. teacher who got great evaluations & awards,
    even though he didn't have his full teaching credential (we couldn't afford it, and there were a lot of circumstances that made it hard.)
    But he lost his job after the stupid "No Child Left Behind" law got put into effect, because all-of-a-sudden he wasn't "qualified" enough!
    We all struggled even more financially, after that. He had to take a lot of lower-paying jobs....he liked them, but no benefits...

    Our late mom had been really sick for a number of years due to thyroid disease that didn't responds well to the meds once they
    changed the formula to the one drug that helped her better....same debilitating trouble that I have from that changed medication.
    Our dad died when we were little kids....it's been a real party! I've been going to some online grief support groups because there's
    not many real-life people to talk to. One who was consistently there for me, a childhood pal to both my brother & me, has now
    passed away, too. It's like...WTF??? I'm glad there's at least such a thing as online support. While not perfect, it's something.
    Hope you're doing maybe a little better since you posted this. If not, maybe we can think of some way to get you more support.
    eyepilot13 likes this.
  3. Dear Sally, So sorry for all the losses you've been through. I want you to know that I said a prayer for you. Your brother and your friend both sound like really amazing people. My dad just passed away in May, 2022 and then two months later, I fell on the asphalt and hurt my ankle. Can only work part-time because of a chronic health condition, so have been off work until I can walk. It's been overwhelming. I keep telling myself to just take one moment at a time and praying for the grace to persevere. Thank you for what you wrote. It takes courage to share. You sound like such a caring and compassionate person.
  4. SallyD

    SallyD Well-Known Member

    Aw, thank you so much, Schsoldiergirl, for the kind words and the prayer! It's much appreciated, and I'll say a prayer for you, as well.

    I'm so sorry about the loss of your dad. And then with hurting your ankle, and a chronic health problem--well, I know something about that,
    and yes, it does make things harder. I'm sure it IS overwhelming! Sometimes, it seems like one disaster after another. But you're right; one moment at a time. I do that, too. And praying never hurts. I keep trying to remember something they said in one of my grief groups that's more religious than others--
    that you're still here for a reason, though we may not be sure what it is. And that while you're here, try to do some good for others, even
    if it's something small. That it can help in your healing, and it's something you can do that'll honor whoever you lost. I find that it does
    help a bit. And every bit helps. I can't get out much because of my health, but I started a petition online to try to get better treatment
    for thyroid patients, like my late brother & mom....and myself. When I'm up to it, I work on it to try to get more support for it. It can't bring
    any of "my people" back, but it does make me feel a little better to work on this. And it gets my mind off bad stuff, in a way...

    Hang in there! I'm glad if anything I wrote was meaningful to you. And thank you for mentioning that my brother Jordan and friend Jeff sounded
    like really amazing people. They were! Boy, do we need more people in the world like them....my best to you, and feel free to write, anytime.
  5. Dear SallyD,
    You are a kind soul. Thank you for your understanding and encouragement! Yes, I believe that God has a purpose for each one of us. I think that is so wonderful that you are an advocate for thyroid patients. I have hypothyroidism and it has been a journey to find the right treatment. Dr. Isabella Wentz (pharmacist who suffers from Hashimoto's) is fantastic, empathetic and so knowledgeable (you may already have heard of her, but if not, she has videos and a website on-line). I have an integrative medicine specialist that I go to who understands thyroid issues well (after years of misdiagnosing and incorrect treatments). I can't do Synthroid because I can't convert it (T4 to T3) so Armour has been so helpful.

    I want you to know you're not alone (and thank you for blessing me today so I don't feel so alone in my struggles!) I work part-time in a health food store and meet people every day who are struggling. In some small way, if I can just listen and give them some encouragement, it seem to make my sufferings have purpose. We have seen many with thyroid issues and it astounds me how little the conventional medical community understands thyroid conditions and the life altering symptoms they create (add in adrenals and hormones in there too!)

    If you need some laughs, check out Dry Bar Comedy on YouTube. Funny, clean comedians who have helped me laugh a little more and not take myself so seriously.
    You truly sound like an amazing person. Everyone wants the joy of the resurrection, but so few share in the suffering of the cross (I believe those are held even closer to our Lord). Wishing you peace, comfort, and healing. Asking God to bless you and promised Him I would remember you in my prayers every day.
  6. SallyD

    SallyD Well-Known Member

    Hi again, Schsoldiergirl,

    I want you to know that I read your latest message, and that it meant a lot to me. I have to do some legal-type stuff today, dealing with my
    late brother, so I'll come back on here when I can and write you back more properly. I want to take a bit of time with it, as you deserve that!
    It may even take me a couple of days, but I will be back. Really quickly, isn't it something how thyroid has touched us both? It IS pretty
    common, but boy, many doctors don't diagnose it early enough, or treat it well enough with the meds they've got. And that surely makes
    it harder on families, like it did mine. How wonderful that you take the time to listen & encourage your customers at the health food store!
    Every bit of kindness like that helps, for sure. It DOES make a difference. You're a really good person....not enough of those in the world, today!

    I will be back to write some more, when I can. Today will be a hard day....I hate doing legal things relating to my late brother, because it just
    stirs up everything. And tonight is Yom Kippur, a holy day for us Jewish folks where we're supposed to fast for a day....I don't even know if
    I can do that part of it, this year, because of my health (there are exceptions if you're not well.) But then I feel guilty if I don't do it...ugh!
    Thank you for being kind & compassionate, and for remembering me in your prayers. I'll keep you in mine, too. I feel it doesn't matter
    what religion we are so much....we should just all try to look out for each other and care...that's what it's really about! I'll be back when I can. Sally D.
  7. Good Morning SallyD,
    I can understand how legal issues are tough. I went through that with my dad. It's totally normal for things to "trigger" some painful emotions. It's ok to cry and it's ok to feel that pain. It's part of the healing process. Just be gentle with yourself as it sounds like you're dealing with many issues at once. Just know I am sending you healing prayers, and I am so grateful for yours in return. I know it's easy to say, but please don't beat yourself up over the fasting. I am Catholic, we fast on certain days, and there are exceptions for people with health issues which I have had to have on occasion. God doesn't expect us to jeopardize our health and right now, your physical body needs the support. It's ok, you're not doing anything wrong. You can offer up to God your physical and emotional pain. He is a kind and merciful God.
    Take care of yourself and please, no pressure at all to respond. Just do it in your time. I am home recuperating from a bad fall (I had a concussion and partially tore a ligament in my ankle) so I have more time. Please let me know what I can do to support you. :) We'll keep it simple (while my head is trying to heal from asphalt hockey! HA! BTW, I am fairly certain the asphalt won!)
    SallyD likes this.
  8. Just real quick, I just pictured Jesus with His arms around you, tenderly holding you as His child. Just rest in His arms.
  9. SallyD

    SallyD Well-Known Member

    Hi, Schsoldiergirl!

    So, I just finished typing a nice response to you, and the computer went CRAZY when I was trying to post it...and the whole reply
    just disappeared!! Aarrrgh!!! I'll come back on here again (hopefully later today), and try once more. For now, I just want to thank you
    for your very kind responses....and before I forget, I want to mention another grief support group for you that might be helpful.
    It's called Grief Share. This is their website https://www.griefshare.org. Its teachings are church-based; they have both online
    and in-person groups, and they're all across the country. You don't have to be a member of any particular church to join. I ended up
    in there because it was recommended to me by a couple people in a Facebook group for Jewish grief & mourning...my people don't
    do much with grief support, it seems, so these people told me most of GriefShare is good for anyone who believes in God (or tries to!),
    and I did find a lot of it very helpful. Some parts didn't match my faith, but overall, the group was really helpful. So, this is something
    you might want to look into, when you feel up to it. I still read stuff from their workbook most days, because it helps me.
    They have chapters on grief topics like Why? Guilt & Anger, there's one about being overwhelmed....a lot of useful stuff.

    I had more details written about it in my original post that disappeared, but I'm out of energy, for now. I will say, quickly, that
    GriefShare is free except for the workbook ($20.00), it's a 13 week program (and you can enter at any point; it's fine with them),
    and all the leaders have suffered loss themselves, so they understand. My group had very kind people in it; you can repeat the
    class a couple of times, too, because they know it a lot of it won't stick with people, the first time around. Also, they have weekly
    videos that go with the workbook...the people in the videos share their grief & loss experiences, too. I found that super-helpful.
    The class discusses the videos, and you can talk or not if you want; it's up to you. If interested, you type in your zip code on
    the Griefshare homepage and see what is available near you (and for online, the location doesn't matter so much.). I'll write
    some more when I feel a bit more rested....maybe even later, today. Take care!!!
  11. Hello SallyD,

    Thank you so much for the information on GriefShare.org. I appreciate you sharing that. It's been a long week for me as I started physical therapy on Monday and developed more neck problems that left me in a lot of pain. Went to the doctor yesterday, so a little better today, but like you, I am totally exhausted. Trying to enjoy the sunshine we have been getting before the days get shorter (not a fan of day-light savings time!) Haven't figured out if that's for the cows, the school kids, or just bureaucrats controlling the time! Wishing you a restful evening until we write again! Again, no pressure. Technical difficulties after typing and thinking for so long are just a major bummer!! :) Warmest Regards!
    SallyD likes this.
  12. SallyD

    SallyD Well-Known Member

    Hi, Schsoldiergirl,

    Wow, I'm so sorry that you're going through so much pain...and that you've even had to deal with the torn ligament and concussion, in
    the first place. I can understand you being exhausted. I know that physical therapy can be hard...I had some a few months ago, after
    getting a bad leg infection and ending up in the hospital for about a week, and then an acute care center for another three weeks.
    They had to help me with walking, again. The physical therapists were really nice, though, because I'd run out of energy quickly,
    in large part because of my thyroid situation. They were good about not pushing me much more than I really could handle, and that's
    important. Please, make sure you tell your therapists how much pain you're in, so maybe they can adjust a bit how they work with you.
    I'm sure a certain amount of pain is probably to be expected, but maybe they've pushed you too much...let them know, and I'm glad
    you saw your doctor, too. I hope you start feeling better, soon! :)

    Yes, the sunshine is good....I'm not a fan of daylight savings time, either! I'm in California, where they were thinking of getting rid
    of it. I guess there's maybe good and bad points to it, but I wouldn't mind if they got rid of it! Even if it upsets a few cows....:)

    I'll keep it short today, as you continue resting up. Prayers and good thoughts to you! I'll leave you with a funny image of something
    I saw in my backyard, yesterday: a couple of squirrels yelling at each other, and chasing each other up and down the telephone pole!
    They finally jumped onto a neighbor's roof, and then I lost sight of them. Wow, talk about acting squirrely!! :) Take care...no rush on writing back!
  13. Hi SallyD,
    You certainly have been through a lot! Thank you for the tip on the therapy. I am still having some severe neck and shoulder pain, but can't get into my osteopath until Wednesday. Therapy on the ankle tomorrow at 10. Making progress as I am able to now walk! Had friends pick me up to take me to church this morning, so that was nice. It's a sunny day in Ohio again and I am just getting ready to take a little walk and meander over to see a dear neighbor. My cat, Tang, is wanting to go outside. He has a little harness that I put on on him and a leash. Looks incredibly weird to have a cat on a leash, but he absolutely loves it. Makes the neighbors laugh which is fine with me!

    I was talking to my mom last night (she will be 88 in December and still lives on her own about 10 minutes from me.) Her church is having a picnic today at a place that my mom used to go with my dad. She was tearing up, saying her friends wanted her to go, but she just couldn't bring herself to go, now that my dad has passed. I told her it's alright. Her nurse practitioner suggested a homeopathic remedy called Ignatia Amara to help move the grief through the body (I know it sounds a little weird, but it really works!) She felt better after two doses, but still weepy. It's a process isn't it? Everyone is so different with how we grieve. I know for me, this is hard time of year with the change in the seasons and the holidays. One day at a time...one moment at a time.

    Your neighborhood squirrels sound like a great source of entertainment. They are fun to watch, but are driving my neighbor crazy, digging in her flower pots and uprooting her beautiful plants.

    I hope and pray this finds you in a peaceful place and that you are doing well. Until later..........
    SallyD likes this.
  14. SallyD

    SallyD Well-Known Member

    Hi, Schsoldiergirl--

    That's great, that you're now able to walk! ! :) Sorry you're still having a lot of pain, but I do hope your appointment today with the
    osteopath will help you. I'm rooting for you to make even more progress, SOON! :)

    Sorry I'm a bit slow on responding...that just happens sometimes, with the thyroid medicine not helping as it should, and with still working
    on stuff relating to my late brother. Doing the best I can....I know you probably understand.

    My goodness, you're in Ohio? My dad was from there, in Toledo! He'd be a little older than your mom, if he was still here.
    He even graduated from the University of Toledo, with his degree in teaching. His family wasn't very nice to him, and that's why he
    left as soon as he graduated. I still have his yearbook here, from the University of Toledo. Wish he was still here, as well.

    That's nice that you live so close to your mom, and that you get along. Glad you have some supportive friends, too, to take you
    to church. That's really good. And can I say, I just love your cat's name, Tang! I'm glad Tang likes walking with the harness & leash,
    because it's really not safe in most places for them to go off on their own. And like you say, if it gives the neighbors a chuckle, then
    so be it! :)

    I'm sure it must be so hard on your mom, as I'll bet she and your dad were together for so many years....especially hard to go to a
    picnic at a place they used to go to, together. It's just too much, sometimes. I know that feeling as well, with my brother and mom
    being gone....some places are just too difficult, and others I absolutely have to go to, because I have no real choice. And I cry, sometimes.
    My heart goes out to your mom, and to you, too.....it's not easy going through all this stuff, and seeing someone you care about
    go through such heartache, too. It IS true....one day at a time, one moment at a time. Just like you said.

    Yes, the squirrels are fun, but they're destructive here, too. They've chewed on our power lines at least a couple of times,
    causing them to need replacement. I guess the repairmen can see little squirrely teeth marks in the line! The squirrels
    around here also like to eat avocados (neighbors have these trees.) When they eat enough of them, their fur turns kinda green!
    If someone didn't know the real story, they might think they were Martian Squirrels, or something! LOL

    I'll have to look up that Ignatia Imara homeopathic remedy...everything tends to give me side-effects, but it sounds interesting,
    and I know someone else who might find it useful, too. Thanks for sharing that with me, and thanks for writing with me.
    It's good to talk things over with nice people who understand. Take care! :) No rush on writing back... SallyD
  15. Hi SallyD,
    It's been a challenging week. :) Today, the fatigue and pain caught up with me and I officially made it a rest day! Tang was happy with that, curled up on my fuzzy blanket on my lap. He's a real cuddle bug and I am glad you like his name - I named him after the orange breakfast drink (because, of course, he's an orange boy). My mom and I get our hair cut at the same place, so she took me there today and when we came back, she put on his harness and took him for a walk. It was really windy, but I think the fresh air did them both a world of good. Before I forget, my parents were married for 64 years. We both have been crying and giving each other hugs during this grieving process. It's amazing how much "slower" I feel processing things and it's almost like I am living in a dream that I think I'm going to wake up from. Some days it doesn't seem real, even though I know it is. Do you ever feel that way?

    Keeping it short today because of my fatigue, but I wanted to thank you for sharing about your dad. I live a little north of Dayton, so not too terribly far from Toledo. I also wanted to mention (before I have a brain burp again!) that the homeopathic remedies won't interfere with any medication. Besides the incredible healing benefits, they are not that expensive. We sell them for $7.49 a tube at our store. I am a very sensitive person and I have found they are wonderful for sensitive types.

    I actually made it back to the store I work in today and my one co-worker said, "I thought you forgot about us". I have been giving my boss updates, but that hit me kind of hard. Here I am grieving and trying to recuperate from my fall and trying the best I can. Sometimes people just don't understand how hard this is. I know I need to thank God for what He has given me, and to keep falling forward. It's a process and a messy one! :)

    Praying for you! :)
  16. SallyD

    SallyD Well-Known Member

    Hi, Schsoldiergirl--

    Glad you took a day off for rest when you needed it! :) That's really important, and I'm sure it truly was a great bonus for Tang, too!
    I thought he was probably named after the Tang drink...that's cute! My brain is so out-to-lunch, it didn't even occur to me that he was
    probably orange! It makes perfect sense, though. Glad he is affectionate and can offer some comfort....that's gotta help, for sure!

    That's wonderful, about your mom taking Tang out for a walk. Yes, I think anything in nature helps, and it's nice that she could
    have Tang for company. I love pets, but I know I'm not well enough to care for them myself (plus, can't afford the costs right now.)
    So, I'm glad we have neighborhood cats that come into our yard, just to hang out. At least I can watch them, as well as the squirrels.
    Not the same as having your own, or being able to "borrow" someone else's pet for a bit, but at least it's something. Grateful for that.

    I absolutely agree with you, about this loss experience sometimes just feeling like a dream--a really bad one. And wishing I'd wake
    up from it, and we could go back to the way it was. From all the grief groups I've been in, that seems to be really common--and a normal
    thing to be feeling. Especially since it's pretty early on for you, and then you've had your accident to deal with, as well. My gosh,
    who wouldn't want all that suffering to be gone, and to want to wake up and just not have to deal with all this bad stuff, anymore?
    I don't think it'd be normal for anyone to just be super-accepting of everything, and just go on about your day like nothing happened!

    I still have times where I feel like, "This can't be happening, right?" Even though I know it is. And sometimes I'll think, "But
    I had a hard enough time getting through things, before the loss happened. Now, THIS too??" Sometimes, I'll put of some
    "dealing with grief" videos from another group I'm in or put on some comedy to get my mind off it. Or do some artwork, to focus
    on something else. And sometimes, I'll come on to the "live chat" portion of this website. They have some nice people on there,
    early in the morning, who also are going through this and understand. That's something you can check out sometime, too, if you want.
    I know there are certain times of the day when the "live chat" is more active than others. It costs about ten dollars for a year, to be
    able to use the chat service on here. But I find it's worth it, especially if you need more good people to talk to, than you may have
    in your actual circle of people you know in "real life." The more support, the better. And of course, I'm here for you, too! :)

    It's hard, too, because you get used to the way things have been for a long time. Goodness, your parents were married for 64 years!!
    That's quite an achievement, and you're just so used to them both being around, and things being a certain way. And to see your
    mom so broken up like this (which is normal, too, of course)....well, it's just so hard on the both of you. I really am glad that you
    have each other, though, for comfort and support. That's a really good thing, although I know it doesn't take away the pain of
    losing your dad. I'll bet your dad was a really good & supportive guy. And those kinds of people are hard to lose, for sure.

    Thanks for all the info on the homeopathic remedy. I really appreciate that. And about your co-worker--I'm sorry she talked
    to you like that. Some people truly don't get how hard a situation like yours is to go through, and they say dumb things (but
    probably well-intentioned) that hurt. And sting. And that's hard, and I get it. On another group I'm in, they had a whole
    discussion about things people say to people in grief that really bother them, like "You're so strong..." That one bothers me, too,
    because you don't feel strong but people want to make you think you are, or something. And sometimes, that just makes it worse!
    Another one that bugs people (and me, sometimes) is..."They're in a better place." Well, that's probably true, but sometimes
    you just don't want to HEAR that, because all you want is for them to be around and with you, right here! Not anywhere else,
    even if it's Heaven. You're going through a lot...and helping your mom with it, too. It IS hard, and it IS messy. No doubt about it!

    It really is one moment at a time, one day at a time, with things like this. One of the parts of my Grief Share book that I have to
    keep re-reading is that "God has plans that we cannot understand." And again, there's a purpose for those of us left here that we
    need to fulfill....and we don't maybe know what it is, but it's there. I'll have to trust in all this, as best I can. I'll probably try
    to work today on my thyroid petition a little, as that's something useful I can do. Keep falling forward, as you said--I like that!
    And that's a good thing for us to both work on. Hope I didn't write too much, today. But I do the best I can....no rush on
    writing back, and I hope you just generally feel better, today! :) You're in my prayers, too. Take care. Sally D.
  17. Hi SallyD,
    I am so grateful for you kindness and understanding. Yes, I too wish things could go back in time, when things were good. It's a new reality and frankly, it's hard.
    I will keep this short as my week has taken an unexpected turn. After therapy last week, I developed severe knee pain that has me barely walking. It's so discouraging and dysregulating. I see the doctor on Monday for my knee pain and figure out where we need to go. My mom, bless her heart, has been taking me to my doctor's appointments and cooking meals for me (yum, yum!) It has been giving her joy to help me out and my heart is glad for that good that has come from all of this. Trying today to focus on all the things I have to be grateful for, which I found lifts up my heart. My co-worker didn't even realize what she said when I told her about it, so it ended up not being a big deal after we talked it out. She was even confused why she said that. That always helps me. Hard to bring up, but worse if stewing over it. And yes, you are right, people say some things that can really hit a nerve, but if I reframe it, and give them the benefit of the doubt....maybe they are just nervous and don't know what to say, or have the best of intentions but it just comes out wrong, then it softens it for me. I'm sure I've done it too, meaning well, but the person was just so "raw" and hurt that it rubs salt in the wound. I sometimes say "we are crying because we miss them, but they are crying for us because we still have to live in this crazy, crazy world and they know peace!" That usually makes them smile just a little.

    Thank you for being a blessing and I hope and pray your days are brighter. :) Sending you warm and healing prayers from Ohio. :) And Tang says "Meow, meow" SallyD! :) Until later.....
  18. SallyD

    SallyD Well-Known Member

    Hi, Schsoldiergirl!

    Sorry I'm a little slow to respond. Been still working on papers & such related to my late brother, and it takes a lot out of me. And dealing
    with my thyroid medicine (that doesn't really work too well) isn't helping any! Ah, but I'll hope for a better day, today. I'm SO sorry to hear
    that your knee pain has gotten so very painful. I can understand how hard and discouraging that can be. I'm sending more prayers and
    good thoughts your way, and I truly hope that your doctor's appointment on Monday brings about some real help for you!!!!

    I'm so glad you have your mom there, who is caring and willing to help you! And yay! She sounds like a good cook, too! That's the best,
    isn't it, when Mom is there to cook some tasty things for you! I miss that about my mom, for sure. She used to say, "I'm not a fancy cook."
    And I'd say, "I don't care....you're a good cook!" I especially miss things she made like pot roast and homemade chicken soup....she did a great job!
    Maybe your mom has some special favorites she's making for you, too? I know, in all the hurt and grief you've both been going through, that
    it IS nice how your mom feels "called-into-action" in a good way, by helping you. What a kind lady she must be! And a true MOM.
    I really hope all this leads to you feeling better, just as soon as possible! And we'll figure out some other things your mom can do to feel
    better, too, as you heal....my best wishes to you, both!

    Yes, gratitude is a good thing to think about, especially when things are hard. I know it's not always easy, though, when so many things
    are wrong. Sometimes, you really have to think about it, especially when you're hurting from grief and physical ailments. I remember one
    video they showed in the Grief Share program....this younger lady had lost her beloved mom and someone else like an aunt, within a short time.
    And it was really hard on her. She said one day, she took a walk in a nearby park, and just started thinking of simple things she could be
    grateful for: the fact that she actually was able-bodied to take a walk; the birds, the pretty sky, the ducks in the lake, etc. She did this
    for awhile that day, and she said she felt a lot better, afterward. In our workbook, they asked us to pick three things to be grateful for--
    I wrote something kind of silly: popcorn, pizza, and penguins! :) But I do like them, and it cheered me up to write it. So, yes, there are
    things both small and big, that we can be grateful for....even when times are pretty hard, overall. It's like you have to train your brain to
    think like that more often, when times are hard. But good for you, for trying to do this. I try to, as well--maybe not as consistently as I should,
    but I try, sometimes! :)

    Glad you were able to have a good talk with your co-worker, and clear things up. That was really mature of you to even bring it up with her;
    I've unfortunately had to deal with some people who are SO immature in some ways, that they prefer to stew over stuff for a LONG time...and
    that makes them really hard to deal with, if not impossible. My family was raised where we talk a lot, and get it out--good or bad. Which I think is much better, and healthier. And I really
    applaud you for bringing up what was bothering you to your co-worker...that's great, it turned out not to be a big deal. Yes, I've learned through
    all the grief groups I've been in that a lot of people just don't know what to say to others in times of grief and/or other hardship....it IS awkward,
    I guess. One group I'm in (online) is run by grief expert David Kessler. He often says, "We live in a grief-illiterate society." That people
    in general don't know how to deal with others' grief, or even their own. I agree with that. He's written a number of books on grief; I haven't
    read them yet, but I've gotten a lot of good info from his group, so I imagine his books are good, too--if you ever feel like checking into them.

    I'm sure you're tired, so I'll end this post for now. Just know that I am cheering you on, from southern California! :) And please say "hi"
    to Tang for me, as well....I just love that name! And I like your saying about this "crazy, crazy world" and our loved ones. That's really good,
    and I'm gonna write that one down, to remember it. You take care, and no rush on writing back. Feel better, soon!!!! SallyD.
  20. Simply. Grateful. For you. :) I will keep this short since it's been a challenging week and next week I have several more doctor's appointments. Yesterday, I started writing down a list of things that I was grateful for. I did the same this morning. You are exactly right, when you said it's like we have to retrain our brains. I really struggle with that, especially when in emotion or physical pain. I tell myself I can still choose joy (not easy and I fall short all the time!)

    My mom loves penguins! We just watched Mr. Popper's penguins with Jim Carey. If you haven't seen it, you might enjoy it. :)

    I admire your perseverance with the paperwork for your brother, even though that must trigger some memories. I struggled horribly with the initial thyroid meds I was on, first off, because it was the wrong med for me, and secondly, the doctor didn't support my adrenal glands. Made me feel much worse! And being on a supplement to supply the thyroid the nutrients it needs is helping.

    My Tang, aka "his highness" has been literally squealing to go out for a walk. Since it 's a sunny day in the 70's, I will have to indulge the little "furball of happiness".
    I am still trying to figure out this site, so if I can find a way to upload a picture of him, I will.

    I am going back through a book called "Mother Angelica's Little Book of Life Lesson's" and one of things she says is "Faith is one foot on the ground, one foot in the air, and a queasy feeling in the stomach". Well, I will tell you, I certainly have the queasy feeling! :)

    Thank you for the kindness and encouragement. Know that I am continuing to pray for you every day. Sending you smiles across the miles.

    Til later......
    Mary Ann