Too Many Losses

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

  1. SallyD

    SallyD Well-Known Member

    Hi, Mary Ann! (and that's a nice name, by the way!)

    Thank you for your kindness, and I just want to say that it's been really nice to be able to write with you,
    too! I'm grateful for that, as well. :)

    Please don't feel that you need to respond to this quickly, because I realize you have many doctors'
    appointments this week. Yikes!!! That's a lot to go through....I know. And sometimes, you just really
    need to rest & get your questions in order, if you tend to write things down before going to the doctor.
    I do that. But I wanted to at least wish you extra-good luck and healing with all of it, and I do hope
    they figure out some good things to help you, in the coming days!!

    Yes, about "retraining our brains" to think better thoughts....I still work on that, for sure. Like, I've
    struggled with guilt about not being able to help my brother better, because my thyroid situation just
    made it hard on me, and then for my family, in general. I did what I could, but I've dealt with guilt
    about things like not knowing how to convince my brother to go to the doctors more, or I wasn't able
    to figure out sooner which thyroid tests they really should've run on him (for thyroid antibodies); that
    I'd just trusted the respected doctors we went to and thought they knew what they were doing....
    when actually, they didn't do enough...

    So when I was in the Grief Share group, they had a good video about dealing with guilt. I had to play
    it over & over until it started to stick with me, somewhat. There's a famous businessman on there
    named Zig Ziglar, talking about how even though he was really successful, and he had lots of people
    in the US and all over the world praying for his ill daughter....none of it could save her life. He said,
    according to Psalms, that God decides when we're born & when we pass away....and we do what we can,
    but in the end, God has made the final decision. The rabbi who helped me with my brother said the same
    thing. It's still been really hard for me to accept, though. But playing that video over & over where
    Mr. Ziglar talks about this did help a lot. I still work on that, but it's better. And it really IS like
    retraining your brain, just like with the gratitude stuff. So, we try....

    Another thing that has been helping me deal with everything is, I started a petition for better treatment
    of thyroid patients, in memory of my brother. I'm asking the White House for help with better & earlier
    testing & diagnosis of thyroid problems, better medicines & innovative treatments, more research, etc.
    My mom always said if you see a problem, you have to try to do what you can to fix it. So, I'm trying.
    No family should go through what mine did, because of thyroid. I know you've had your troubles with it,
    too. If you or anyone reading would like to see my petition, to possibly sign & share it, I'll put the link--
    but I never get mad if someone doesn't want to sign, because I know people who just don't believe
    in getting involved with petitions....so, I do understand. But just in case...here's the link:

    That's a good saying from Mother Angelica, by the way! Yup, I get that queasy feeling, too! My faith
    gets shaky at times though all this, but again, we try....day-by-day, moment-by-moment. I really do
    like her saying. I'll have to write that one down, too! :)

    I am glad you're doing better with thyroid, and yes, the doctors don't take the adrenal connection with
    it too seriously, a lot of the time. Heck, they don't take thyroid in general too seriously, a lot of the time!
    I'm glad your thyroid supplement is helping. If you can sometime, let me know which one it is. I'd
    probably be too sensitive to it, especially if it has iodine in it, but I'm always curious. I am on some
    individual supplements, though, to help with the thyroid--most of them recommended by my thyroid
    doctor, like iron (he tests ferritin level for this), Vit D3, magnesium, B-complex, Vit. C. Sometimes,
    I even get too sensitive to these things and have to cut down on them for a while. Another challenge! :)

    Anyway, I'll end this now, so you can rest. I hope you and His Majesty, the incredible Tang, had a
    nice walk! And yes, I'd love to see a picture of him, when you're up to it, and can figure out how to
    do it! :) No rush, and don't stress over it, or on answering me back quickly. Another time, I'll post for
    you a couple of cartoons I've drawn, featuring cats who enjoy doing arts & crafts! They might give you a
    laugh; some people enjoy them....but I'd probably want to post them on this site's private chat feature,
    which I forget how to do, at the moment! :) Not sure if it's appropriate to post silly cartoons on a
    more "main page" like this. But I do think that seeing Tang might just make a lot of folks smile!
    So I'd say that'd be purr-fectly fine to post, right here. Take care, Mary Ann! (oh, and Sally D.
    is my pen-name for this site. If you do click on my petition or I post my cartoons for you later,
    you'll see my actual first name....which is Starr. I felt weird about posting my real name
    here at first, but I guess I just don't care that much, anymore!) Prayers & good thoughts sent your way! :)
  2. Oops! Forgot where I was at and signed my name. Oh well. :)

    Had some time after church and got your message. I wanted to respond, even if it's short.
    SallyD, bless your heart for all you are doing for thyroid patients. I read your petition and signed it. I fully support your mission as I understand from my own experience. The lack of knowledge from an "expert" endrocrinologist made me so sick. I could share more stories to write a book. I have a co-worker who also struggles.

    You have such a kind heart. From what you have written, you did the absolute best you could for your family under the circumstances. I find peace when I know I did all I could for my dad, although with my chronic fatigue I was limited many times. But when I focus on me being able to visit him, be an advocate for his care as much as I could (and believe me, there were many battles that I could have fought but just didn't have the energy), being there to comfort him and praying for him, I have no regrets. I once heard someone say, "take any trip you want, but don't take a guilt trip". I find being gentle with myself and realizing the journey is never "perfect" or as we wish, gives me a feeling a peace. Trustful surrender to things that are just simply beyond our control. I've had chronic fatigue for 45+ years and it's been like climbing Mount Everest and never reaching the top. I do the best I can, but I just can't "fix it". And I have learned that we all have our crosses to bear. We can help ease the burden when we can, but each person has to carry their cross. Suffering unites us to the cross and is redemptive. I lost a brother in 2000. I did what I could to help, but his illness (bi-polar) eventually overpowered him. I have no regrets, even though I tried to do more and he wouldn't listen. And the alternative therapies I felt would help were never pursued. I don't understand many things, but I trust that God was there in the moment he passed and is still looking out for his family (he had two sons and a beautiful wife who has since remarried). I suppose I am just trying to say that through the pain, you are doing remarkable things.

    I told myself a long time ago, that I could choose to be bitter or be better. Well, you have chosen the better part. You will be helping so many people.

    Before I forget, I use Natural Factors Thyrosense. We have a NP that uses Vitanica Thyrofem, although those both do have iodine in them. Dr. Isabella Wentz is the only doctor I have heard address the iodine sensitivities in her patients. As you know, it can really have adverse effects on some people.

    I wasn't going to write back so soon, but wanted to support your petition. I know I have a challenging week ahead, not knowing when I can return to work, and all the pain I have, and wanted to at least sending you a hug from Ohio.

    Until later! :)
  3. SallyD

    SallyD Well-Known Member

    Hi again, Schsoldiergirl (I'll go back to that name on here, as I didn't realize you forgot and unintentionally put your real name!)

    I want to thank you so much for supporting my petition, and for writing the post you did. It is helping me to read it,
    leaning more about your story and what you and your family went through. That was really nice of you to take the time to
    write back so quickly and so thoughtfully, considering all you are going through, this week. I really appreciate it! :)
    And thank you for your kind words, as well. It has been a blessing, meeting up with you on here. :)

    I'll try to keep this fairly short, as I know you have a lot going on. But I wanted to say first off, I totally understand about
    having an "expert" endocrinologist fail you....been there a number of times, myself, and so have family members. One time,
    I was going to a "better one," and I got him to test my brother for thyroid...all he ran on him was TSH and Free T4, which
    showed he was totally "normal," despite having many low thyroid symptoms. This doctor really knew about my long thyroid
    history, and he'd even seen my late mom once as a patient, who also had a long history. We both had autoimmune thyroid.
    I really wish this doctor would've had the sense to run antibodies thyroid labs on my brother, because maybe this would have
    caught his Hashimoto's autoimmune thyroid disease, years earlier. But he didn't; I didn't know better to ask for these tests
    at the time; and it was a big deal that he even ran the Free T4 on him, because most doctors were only running TSH. Ugh!!
    I also could write more stories to fill a book...

    And that's why I made getting better education for doctors on thyroid a part of my petition. Because it's like you said, we had
    even top endocrinologists do (or not do) things that they should've known better about. So, even some of them need more
    education, as well as general doctors, pediatricians (ours failed us on this, too), etc. Thank you for being part of trying to
    help bring about changes on all this...it means a lot!

    Wow, you really DO understand what it's like to try to advocate for someone, when you're dealing with
    health challenges of your own. I'm so sorry about your dad & brother, and just getting to know you in the short time we've
    been writing, I am sure that you did all you could to help them both. It IS harder when they won't listen, and yes, they are
    their own person, too, who makes their own decisions....but I do think my brother's decision-making was not at it's
    best sometimes because of the thyroid and liver disease he was going through, and the medications for the liver he was taking
    (which were diuretics and something called lactulose, which both help you eliminate toxins from your system because
    the liver wasn't doing its job right.) Those medicines were really hard on him, and I couldn't believe they didn't have
    better ones to help him. Sometimes he wouldn't take all of it because of this, and I'd argue with him on it, but I
    understood why he didn't, too....but it didn't help his situation any. It was just so hard. And just frustrating when
    I believe the liver trouble never would've come about if his thyroid gotten caught earlier and treated well....

    But that was a thing, too, in that Jordan (my brother) saw both me and my mom struggle so much with the
    thyroid meds we had, since Synthroid changed formula, long ago. If we could've done better on the more current
    meds we had, Jordan would've surely insisted on trying to get himself on a bit of thyroid medicine, too. But for years,
    Mom and I hadn't been good examples of the "better life" one could have with the available thyroid meds. So he
    just figured he'd do the best he could, getting tested here and there, but never for thyroid antibodies until he
    landed in the hospital with his liver situation, and I researched more & begged them to run the antibodies tests.
    Shouldn't have come to all this....so the petition work goes on. I just really hope it can make a difference!!
    My best to your co-worker who struggles with thyroid disease, too.

    I'm also SO sorry that you've suffered with Chronic Fatigue for so very long!! That's almost as long as I've been
    messed up from these versions of thyroid medicines that don't help me as they should. Thank you for understanding
    about situations like this, and you're right....we do the best we can, and that we need to realize that sometimes, our
    best in these situations isn't what our best could be, if things were different. But they aren't, and we just have to
    deal with it and do our best to accept it. I'm still working on that....reading posts like yours does help, though. Thanks!

    About bi-polar; I'm sorry you and your family went through that with your brother. I understand a bit about it,
    because one of the actors on the "General Hospital" soap opera that I like, Maurice Benard, has been really open
    about his experience with being bi-polar, and they've even written it into the storylines at times, with his character
    going through it. Mr. Benard even does a YouTube series called "State of Mind" that I like, where he discusses
    different aspects of mental health with (usually) other actors, to bring more awareness about bi-polar and other
    conditions. He does a really good job with all this, and I admire him for doing so. I know that
    learning about bi-polar from others isn't the same as actually dealing with it in your own family, but it's good
    to at least understand more about it, you know?

    I get what you mean about the choosing to be "bitter or better." Years back, when I saw I wasn't getting anything
    straightened out with my thyroid situation and was really upset, I wrote to a website called chabad.org (Jewish),
    where they have an "Ask a Rabbi" section....can ask for words of wisdom, or things about our faith, etc. I asked the
    Rabbi why God would give me a medicine that really helped, and then allow it to be taken away? The Rabbi said
    he didn't know....but just like you said, I should choose to not be bitter about it, and be better--to do the best I
    could with whatever I have. And that really stuck with me (for the most part!) I do have my moments, though...:)

    Thanks for the names of the two thyroid products. I will look them up, just to see everything that's in them, and
    the amounts, etc. Yes, with the iodine in them, I probably can't use them, at this point--but I do like to see what
    other things are in the blend, to see what they think is important...maybe get some other ideas to ask the doctor about,
    if they'd be helpful.

    Gee, I didn't do a very good job of keeping this short, at all! :) Oh, well. Again, don't rush on writing me back--
    I really do understand if it may take awhile. I am continuing to send good wishes and prayers your way; I hope
    they figure out some new things to help you!! And please get a good dose of "pet therapy" for both you & me--
    give Tang a hug, and a big "Hello!" from me!! :) My very best to you....Sally D.
  4. Hello SallyD,
    Hope this finds you doing well.
    It's been a rough month. I had to resign from my job because my injuries from the fall wouldn't allow me to return. I injured my ankle, which I am able to walk on, but herniated a disc in my neck. See the Dr. this week for that one. Just taking one day at a time.
    Wondering how you are doing with Thanksgiving around the corner. I find myself crying more, because I miss my dad. And on top of that, my life has drastically changed as well. It's a lot of loss. I pray for all the people who are alone during the holidays, who are missing their loved ones. In some small way, there's a consolation knowing that we're all connected and not alone in our sufferings.

    Keeping this short for today. Just came home from mass, eating lunch, then planning on a good movie and a cup of hot tea. Keeping you in prayer and hope you feel the hug from Ohio this week.

  5. SallyD

    SallyD Well-Known Member

    Aww, thank you Schsoldiergirl, for that hug from Ohio! I think all of us going through grief & loss can use extra hugs, this week for sure.
    Sending a hug to you from California, as well. I thought you might be going through a really hard time, as I hadn't heard from you for awhile.
    In fact, I was going to send you a little "Hello!" or something this week if I didn't hear from you, just to let you know I was thinking about you.

    But I also know that sometimes, when there's a lot going on, I just am not up to dealing with the computer much, or messages, or emails, etc.
    So, I didn't want to bother you too much, either, and that's why I waited to reach out. But I really was going to try to message you on Monday
    or Tuesday of this week. I'm so sorry that you are going through such a rough time. Oh, to have those health problems and have to lose your
    job, too....hang in there. I hope your Dr. appointment is helpful to you this week. I will say a prayer for you on that, and everything else, too.

    It's so hard when "our people" aren't here for the holidays! Of course, you are crying more. I'm sadder, too. It just seems unbelievable that
    they aren't here, anymore, to share these special days with us....and every day, for that matter. But you will get through it. Honestly, I have
    to keep going to my GriefShare workbook most days, and look up the parts where it says things like, "God still has a purpose for you, and
    that's why you're still here." Even though it's hard, and even though I have illness to deal with, and my best people are gone....I still
    go back to teachings like that, and it does help. I also go to another Jewish website and look for inspirational stuff like that, too.
    And I really have to do this almost every day, for strength & some kind of hope. It IS like "re-training your brain" to do stuff like this.
    But it's the best way I know to cope with all this. Plus, like you said, connecting with others who understand...like you. That helps a lot, too!!

    I'll tell you a funny Thanksgiving story about my brother. He made the turkey one year, because he liked to (try to) cook.
    He didn't know there was a plastic bag of giblets & stuff in the cavity (neither did I, and I was his assistant!). So, he cooked the bird
    with the giblets bag in there, and weren't we surprised when we found it, after the turkey was done! I was like, "Ewww, you just
    cooked plastic in the bird...maybe it's all toxic now, or whatever!!" Jordan just smiled and said, "Naaah, plastic gives it extra nutrients!
    It's all good!" LOL Well, I was suspicious of it, but no one got ill...but I do miss Jordan's sense of humor. But not this cooking technique!

    I'll let you rest. You take care, and no rush to write back. I know you are going through a very tough time, but hang in there, and we
    will both hope and pray that things get better for you, and for everyone on this site, too. Wishing you as good a Thanksgiving as possible,
    and for your mom and Tang, too.
  6. Hi SallyD!,
    Bless your heart for writing back! I am grateful to hear from you. I loved your story about Jordan leaving the giblets in the bird. It a wonder you didn't smell something "funny"! :) He sounds like a wonderful guy and I appreciate you sharing a part of that with me.
    I wanted to let you know that I was thinking of you and praying for you, especially on Thanksgiving. I pray for all the people who are lonely or don't have someone, especially around the holidays. And you know, you are right. You are a light in this world and God has you here for a reason, even if you don't understand it. Sometimes just taking one day at a time is an accomplishment.

    We were going to go out, but with my pain level and lack of energy, my mom decided to make it this year - and I might add at 88 years young she was so excited to cook! (and I will kick in the breadsticks and green beans) and come over to my house and my brother is coming from Columbus. Just a small gathering, but nice all the same. Tang got a little walk today as it's really sunny outside and in the 60's. He might end up in quarantine tomorrow as my brother gets allergy symptoms from him (sneezy and runny eyes).

    You brightened my day by your story. I want you to know that it doesn't feel "real" that my dad is gone. It feels like a dream. I suppose my brain needs to process the loss somehow and is still trying to do that. It's been a lot of loss this year, as you said. I ended up with a partially torn tendon (was in a boot for 7 weeks), a herniated disk in my neck, and am waiting on the MRI for my shoulder/upper back. All that on top of chronic fatigue which I have had for 45+ years. It's been alot to process, but my doctor's say it's just going to take some time and just rest. I keep saying "Jesus, I trust in you, take care of everything", and "Jesus, I surrender myself to you!" I picture Him, holding out His hand to me to step towards Him and He will take my hand and lead me in the way I should go. It's really hard some days.

    I will hold you in prayer for tomorrow, and know you are precious to our Lord. I want you to know that even though it may feel that way, you are not alone. You are cared for. I care. Thank you for being understanding about my delay in writing back. Wishing you peace beyond all understanding!!

    A big "squeezy" hug from me, and TANG "the wonder cat"
  7. SallyD

    SallyD Well-Known Member

    Hi, Schsoldiergirl! :)

    Really nice to hear from you, too!! Sorry it takes me a little time to write back, sometimes. It's like my stupid thyroid medicine is my boss,
    and it gets really grouchy! And it only allows me to write back at certain times. I'm happy it's cutting me some slack right now, so here I am!

    Hope you, your mom and brother had as good a day as possible on Thanksgiving. I'm glad that you all could get together. At least you all
    can understand what each other is going through, and you don't have to pretend. That's really important. It might've been harder, in a way,
    to go out to a restaurant and be surrounded by people who seem like their family is all happy and together....although we don't really
    know what anyone is going through. Of course, I'd rather you have felt good enough to go out, if you wanted to. But given the circumstances,
    I'm thinking it probably worked out OK. And yay, you provided the breadsticks and green beans!!!

    That is so awesome that your mom was really excited to cook!! My mom would be one year older than her, if she was here, and I know she
    would've felt the same way. My mom really liked to cook good, quality things for Jordan and me. She was an old-school type mom. Even if
    we could've afforded to eat out often, she said she wouldn't have done it. She thought home-made stuff was the best, and I agree!
    Whatever your mom made, I'll bet it was pretty good! And you know it was made with love and care.

    Thank you for the good thoughts & prayers....the same is going from me to you & your family. I know this had to be a really difficult time for
    all of you. Every day is harder when you've lost someone dear, but the holidays just bring up extra stuff. I hope you all were able to talk about your
    dad a bit and remember some good things about other Thansgivings you spent together. If it's too soon for that, I think it'll come, in time.

    I did get to go to an online grief support meeting on Thanksgiving, which was very kindly done in the morning by that David Kessler grief guy
    I told you about. He didn't have to do this on the holiday itself, but he's been through a lot of loss in his own life, and he understands that
    some of us aren't able to have our family members around. He got a pretty big turnout for this meeting. He was just telling people to
    kind of lower your expectations for Thanksgiving (and all these holidays), and don't put pressure on yourself to think that it's wrong if you
    don't feel like celebrating, don't feel too grateful, or even if you're just feeling like putting in a frozen pizza by yourself & calling it a day.
    He's very big on this saying, "Let the day be the day." Don't try to impose too much on yourself of what it "should" be. And don't think of
    yourself as being such an oddball if you can't or don't want to celebrate in the more traditional ways. You do the best you can, for you.
    And that helps....my mom was big on that philosophy, too, of doing the best you can & not beating yourself up for not always doing what others do.

    And it was cute...Mr. Kessler said, "And if anyone gives you a hard time for being alone today, tell them that actually, you spent part of Thanksgiving
    with 190 other people!" That's how many were in on the Zoom meeting....we liked that thought! I actually wasn't totally alone, as my late brother's
    girlfriend was here...but she's not that talkative so it's sort of like being alone for much of the day. But she did go out & get me something nice
    to eat, which was kind. It's funny...the restaurant must've run out of some holiday foods, because although I did get some turkey & stuffing (yay!),
    the sides were a lot of French fries & cheese bread! Ah well, I think the Pilgrims had French fries & cheese bread at the first Thanksgiving, too,
    right? ;) LOL I don't eat fries that often, but they were good so I had some, and I froze a lot of them for other times.

    Hope Tang was OK with being quarantined, if that's what happened. I'm sure if you slipped him a little extra holiday treat, he'd forgive you!
    And, I hope Tang won't be too offended, but I did watch the big Dog Show they have each year on NBC....my brother and I used to enjoy looking
    at all the many different breeds. Some are so tiny, and some are SO huge....one almost looked like you could ride him! Jordan and I also used
    to laugh at a couple of the dogs, too....especially the ones that have fur like a string mop, or ones you can hardly tell which end is which on them!
    I know, not too nice of us to laugh at them....but I'm sure Tang can understand--and appreciate--our laughing at dogs, sometimes!

    And it's just as you said, sometimes, it doesn't seem real that our person isn't here. I thought of that when I was watching the dog show,
    especially....it was like, "Hey, Jordan, where are you? You need to see this dog!" I'm sure it felt like that for you at times, regarding your dad.
    I know it IS a lot to process, and then for you, all the physical things going on. But we keep trying. And for those of us who try to believe in
    a higher power, we keep trying with that, too. We really don't understand why all these things have gone on, but we keep trying to have faith
    in that God has his reasons for things; that His ways are higher than our ways; that we will just keep hanging in there because that's what
    we're supposed to do. And with the thought that somehow, there is something better ahead. It's the best we can do, though not always easy.
    It really is one day at a time....baby steps, as they say. But oh, so true!

    I like your imagery, about the Lord holding out His hand to you. Keep doing that. That's why I keep reading & watch inspirational stuff, too, and keep
    trying to cement it in my head. I must have a really thick head, because some days, it really takes some doing! But we keep trying. Thank YOU, too,
    for caring about me. Always know that I care about YOU, too. And that I will always understand if you can't write back quickly. Sometimes,
    I can't, either. But, we are here for each other, even with delays. And that is a very good thing!! :)

    My best to you, your mom & brother, and of course--Tang, the incredible, amazing "Wonder Cat"!! Get some rest...I probably tired you out
    with this longer post, but sometimes, I just can't keep it short! I really hope & pray you start feeling better, SOON!!! Take care... SallyD
  8. Chris M 2000

    Chris M 2000 Well-Known Member

    Life can be so very hard. I am concerned that you do not have anyone to talk with and have lost interest in everything. Would you consider going to church? It is a good place to meet people, the minister can be supportive, and you should hear some positive things there. You don't have to make any committment-just go to get out of the house and be with other people. If it is a good church, they will listen and try to be supportive. You are not alone-God is with you. Tell him how you feel and ask Him to help you.
    Try to take a short walk each day. It will help. Eat well and get rest. When you have been able to adjust to these terrible losses, you will want to still have your health.
    We care.
    eyepilot13 likes this.
  9. eyepilot13

    eyepilot13 Well-Known Member

    I appreciate the kind supportive words! God to me is everything and everywhere. I was at a grief support group based out of a Lutheran Church and the people were super nice . I just do not get the whole bible thing. I am spiritual without the dogma associated with how a man thinks god should be based on an ancient book that has agendas full of cognitive dissonance. If one wants to follow a church; more power to them as long as they don't persecute and burn the heathens and heretics. As a life-long student of history and sociology I am saddened and highly upset about all the persecution done in the name of a god or gods. I realize most religious people are outstanding and moral and would never dream of engaging in divisive excesses and murder and torture like in the past. We all need to come together to fight the real enemies of humanity. Not be divided because we worship one side of an egg or another...
    Thanks again for your kind thoughts!
  11. Hello SallyD,
    Thank you for your last post and for all the helpful advice. I loved all that you wrote. I love dog shows too and Winston, the winner, was a darling!
    Still praying for you. I am going through Physical Therapy and resting a lot in between. Since I still have post-concussive symptoms, I am trying to limit my time on the computer, so if you don't hear from me, that's part of the reason why. I have just been so tired, processing my dad's death and all the changes with my health. I know you understand. Sending you a hug this Christmas and know I think of you and pray for peace and strength. And Tang says "hello". He hasn't dismembered my Christmas tree this year, so no lump of coal for him this year! :)
    Warmest Regards,
  12. SallyD

    SallyD Well-Known Member

    Hi, Schsoldiergirl!

    Yes, of course I understand, and thank YOU for writing back when you could! I can surely understand that this has been a REALLY hard time for you,
    with grief and all the health stuff going on. I continue to send prayers and good thoughts to you, as well. A tough holiday season, for many of us.

    Glad you're getting some rest! You need it, for sure. In the different grief groups I've been in, they say grief can be exhausting by itself.
    But when you add to it all the health things you've been going through....well, that's truly tiring! You take good care...Tang and I want that
    for you!! (and I'm sure your other family members do, too--but Tang is the one you really need to listen to! He IS a "wonder cat," after all!

    I don't blame you for not being on the computer much. I do that, too. There is only so much our brains can handle, sometimes. This very website
    must agree with me....my computer wouldn't let me on here for several days, saying they had some security issue. That's one reason why it took
    me a little time to get back to you! Apparently, the issue is cleared up, now. Oh, and sometimes I won't even look at or answer phone messages,
    if I'm having a really hard day. So, don't feel too badly if you do that sometimes, too. Yesterday, I heard my phone ring and saw it was a call
    from a relative I only learned about a couple of years ago. They don't live near me, so I've never met them in person. And they seem very nice,
    but I knew I needed to feel better than I did to talk to them in a good way. So, I just let the call go to message. I'll try to deal with them, today.
    That's good that you know when to limit your computer time or not....it's healthy. So you get points for that!

    Thank you for praying for me, too. Peace and strength are great things to pray for someone....I will do the same for you.

    Just do the best you can with the holidays, too. If you don't feel like doing much for them this year, that is just fine. I know your dad
    would understand. It's hard for your heart to be in them, with all you've been through. I'm sending good wishes to your mom and brother, too.

    My late brother's girlfriend was very kind to get me some presents for Chanukkah (which is going on, now), but it's hard to be excited about
    any of it with my brother gone, and my mom, too. But I do appreciate what she's doing...she doesn't have to. One amazing thing that
    happened is this....and I think Tang will like this story, too: Chanukkah always starts at sundown, and it goes on for eight days. It celebrates
    a miracle that happened, 'way back. Anyway, we had a minor miracle happen right around sundown on Chanukkah's first night (Sunday.)
    My brother's girlfriend had been trying to get this outdoor kitty to rest in a little box outside with a sweater in it to lie down on, for warmth
    (because it's gotten colder around here.) For days, he walked by it....just sniffed around it, etc. Finally, at sundown on Chanukkah's day one,
    we happened to look outside at the box....and guess who was in it, all curled up and sleeping? Yes, it was that kitty!! A little miracle!
    The girlfriend said Jordan sent that as a message to me, that he was thinking of me and sending a present, as best he could. He liked kitties, too.

    I still get teary when I think about it. Maybe there are signs around us, if we look for them. Maybe your dad will send you one, too,
    for Christmas. I hope so. And if not, I still feel he's watching out for you from Above, and the rest of your family, too. You hang in there,
    Schsoldiergirl, and I hope you all have the best Christmas you can, considering everything. Maybe if you're up to it, you can do a little
    something in your dad's memory....maybe make a small donation to something, or something like that. I do that for Jordan, on days like
    his birthday, holidays, etc. It helps a little, to pull something positive out of a harder day. My best to you...no rush at all to write back,
    of course! SallyD
  13. Hello SallyD,
    Wishing you a Happy Channukkah! Your message was so beautifully written, encouraging and uplifting!
    I love the story of the kitty and how that gave you a beautiful affirmation that your brother is still so close to you. And doing something positive in his memory is so incredibly sweet. The bond you both had and have is a tender and loving relationship. Some people never have that in a lifetime. What a blessing.

    I had physical therapy yesterday and made the mistake of going to the grocery store first. It was too much as I could barely walk by the time I got back to my car. It really hit me last evening with the fatigue. What I took for granted before, I realize I have to go slower and take baby steps. I definitely wanted to get back to you though because I wanted to support you during this time. Even if it is a little shorter.

    Tang has been busy. He likes to knock my lip balms off the kitchen counter and my coffee table. I can't find them and I looked everywhere! My mom bought me two more and I had to "hide" them so he can't get ahold of them. He had knocked a pencil off the counter today and was playing with that. He really is a butterball of happiness and I can't help but laugh at his shenanigans, even though my stuff goes missing. I suspect it's all under the couch., but I can't move it. He has let my Christmas tree alone, which is nothing short of a miracle.

    For Christmas day, haven't really made any plans other than mass for now. And that's ok. Just going with the flow!
    Hope you are being gentle with yourself and celebrating all the wonderful things about YOU!

    Hugs from Ohio!
  14. SallyD

    SallyD Well-Known Member

    Hi, Schsoldiergirl!
    I wanted to make sure I got on here today and wish you the best Christmas Eve and Christmas day that you can have. I know it won't be easy,
    but you'll get through it. Just one little step at a time....I hope you & your mom & brother can maybe talk about some favorite memories of
    your dad, if you're up to it. It's sort of like including him in it, and it might make you feel better in some ways--like he's there with you.
    But I get it, too, if it's just too hard to do that sort of thing, right now. You'll see how it goes, at the time....

    Part of me is sort of numb to Chanukah, this year. It's hard to be "into it" wholeheartedly, although I've been taught that my holiday is
    not really a super-major one in the Jewish religion, unlike how Christmas is in yours. But still....it's just that time of year...and we do the
    best we can. It's OK to cry and be sad, even if most people on TV look like they're having a wonderful time! And it's OK to have a little fun,
    too, if you can. I think your incredible Tang can help you with that, at least a little bit! :)

    Thank you for the nice things you said about Jordan and me. Yes, he was a great brother. And I do miss him a LOT. Same with my mom,
    and I'd probably miss my dad if I remembered him (he passed when I was one and Jordan was 7). I am grateful for all the grief groups and
    websites I've been in, to help with all this. They really can be important, and I appreciate them a lot! And it's nice to meet up with
    good people like YOU, so we can help each other through this experience that none of us wanted--but have to learn to get through.
    I keep re-reading notes and passages from my GriefShare book, because it helps--like, how we can't always understand why God does the things
    he does, but there are reasons--and that we're still here for a reason & to do some good, that sort of thing. It is supportive stuff, for me.

    And thank YOU, as always, for YOUR support! Always nice to hear from you, and never feel rushed to write back. I know you've had
    quite a time going through everything....your health always comes first, so rest as much as you need to. That's why I also can't always
    respond as quickly as I'd like to you....some days are better than others, with these thyroid meds of mine! So again, the best we can...

    I may be trying to do another 13 week program of GriefShare, online--mainly because Sue, the moderator, is really kind, and it's on
    Zoom again this time. I like a lot of the program, too. She called me, and I told her I don't know how much of the meetings I can do,
    because they start at 7:00 pm (Pacific Time) once a week on Thursdays, and I'm really not having much energy. But I said I'd try.
    Gosh, for you that'd be 10:00 pm to 11:30 !! Probably much too late for your energy level, too....but if you might be interested in
    joining in on this....let me know. They are having a couple of other people from out-of-state join in, too. Program is free except for
    workbook......but I totally understand if it's not for you, especially because I don't even know if I can do much with it, myself!
    And they have these GriefShare programs all around the country, anyway, at various times and locations...so, it's available, whenever,
    as are other different programs and meetings, etc. Even this site has meetings, too, at various times...that's good, as well.

    I'll get off now....just want to say that I'm really glad Tang is there for you, and I like hearing about his little escapades!
    I draw a little cartoon about cats doing arts & crafts...I like drawing and have done different arts & crafts over the years, so I thought
    it'd be fun to do cartoons about this...gets my mind focused on more fun things for awhile, you know? If I can figure out how to
    private message you my latest cartoon, I will do that. I think it's a little too silly to post here on a main Grief page, but silly can be
    a good thing, too! As Tang well knows! So if I can figure out how to send it to you, I will do that. Take care, Schsoldiergirl,
    and sending LOTs of healing thoughts to you and your family, during this holiday season. SallyD