A time to mourn

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I couldn’t keep on writing so I had a break. It is my time to mourn, but my dogs are a part of my healing process and I can write again. My mum has died of cancer. She was diagnosed four months ago and watching her waste away was the hardest thing I have ever experienced.

It matters little to anyone who’s not me, but somehow I think some explanation is needed.

As often in bad times, I find the warm presence of my dogs comforting and calming. We rescue one another yet again.

Brian is doing relatively well, considering all the obstacles. I had to travel a lot and I’m still the only person he trusts. We tried to carry on training despite the gaps between each session. He’s not as good at reading my moods as Lily, fortunately. It was still possible to trick him into believing everything was fine. Lily knew-she always does. It breaks my heart to see her sad, so I try harder. Not faking happiness but doing my best to really feel at peace with the world.

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65 thoughts on “A time to mourn

  1. Watching someone we love so much go through the last stages of illness and then losing a large part of your heart and your life is devastating. My heartfelt sympathies to you and your family. Fergus and I send hugs to you, Lily and Brian. 💔

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  2. I am so sorry for your situation. Perhaps my situation may give you an idea. While my wife was dying, a therapy dog visited her. Her eyes lit up. That changed my life. I trained a therapy dog and we visit nursing homes and other facilities. (you know how important dogs are to help people). It was my therapy and my dogs love to visit people.
    … maybe you can consider something along those lines

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    1. Couldn’t agree more 🙂 I love what dogs (and other pets) do as therapy animals. My best friend’s dog is one-even people with dementia seem to recognise her and she makes them happy. Well, my dogs are not suitable to be trained as therapy dogs (I work with dogs who had been hurt by people, they tend to have issues preventing them to trust strangers, even after they’ve been re-socialised and trained to accept people).
      Thank you for the comment, though, it made me think about good things in the world 🙂

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  3. This is my Mum at the keyboard, expressing her heartfelt condolences. Life certainly is rough sometimes. Take good care of yourself and your adorable dogs! As I am sure they will take care of you. Being allowed to share life with dogs is a true blessing, in good times and bad.

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    1. Thank you. I have been blessed with people and pets-I do appreciate it, even if I had to say good-bye to too many 😦
      But grief and suffering is the price we pay for love. And love is worth any price xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I miss my Ardbeg (the reason I started the blog), so I do understand it. And we never love anyone less because we miss their predecessor. Each love is different-and each equally important.

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  4. My heart goes out to you. When someone important dies in your life, it’s as if you’ve joined this special club that you never wanted to be part of. No one feels it the way you do even though people try their best to let you know they care. Dogs can be your support as they never judge and are usually very willing to let you cry on them if you need to. Like your dogs, I have two who are extremely sensitive to my moods and the other is not, but they all have a purpose in my life. I lost my husband in 2006 to cancer. His was a slow lingering death (16 mo.) and it changed my view on life. Hugs to you and your doggies.

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    1. I’m sorry about your husband 😦 I can’t even think about how you must have felt. 16 months is a long time to be strong for someone who had been strong for you 😦
      I hate cancer. It’s taken away so many of my nearest and dearest. I don’t use the word ‘hate’ often-my mum has taught me it’s a huge word, to be used sparingly, if ever. But there’s no other way to say it: I hate cancer. It’s evil and pointless. And it will very likely kill me, too.

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  5. I think a Mother is one of the toughest losses. We miss them forever. The cruelty of cancer is only outdone by love, if at all. I have thought of you and your little friends often the past few weeks. Now I understand why.

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    1. My Mum is in everything I do. I struggle with things that I would normally enjoy (cooking, sewing, dancing, sports) because they are so much about her. I’d never be able to do any of them if it wasn’t for her. I lost my Dad when I was a teenager and, as I was ‘his little girl’ I lost a year of my life after he died. I won’t let it happen again. But it’s still unbelievably hard to stay alive – and sane- when you lose someone you love.
      Thank you for the heart-warming comment, I do appreciate it x

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  6. Dear Alex, I am so sorry for your loss! Having gone through a similar experience, as my father also perished in four months in front of my eyes, I feel for you!
    I am glad you have the comfort of your dogs, as I had the comfort of my cats; I have discovered that human words somehow fall short.
    Contrary to common wisdom, it doesn’t get easier with time, but with time, we develop emotional resilience to deal with the loss. I am sending you much love!

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    1. Thank you Dolly – I actually thought of you a lot recently (perhaps because I associate your blog with the healing process as well, perhaps because you convey so much meaning in your posts: they really are more about life, feelings, emotions, experiences and people than about food)x

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  7. I am soooo sorry to hear about your mama bear!! My thoughts are with you! Take good care of yourself, I know your dogs will help you. I find my dog, Donner, is a very comforting soul! She is so precious!

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  8. You’ve been on my mind of late…..we send lots of love and light your way. I’m betting you will turn this tremendous wound into even more great wisdom than you already live with. One day, or moment, at a time. XOXOXO

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    1. Thank you. I wish I could turn all my experiences -good and bad- into wisdom…well, I had wise, intelligent and loving parents and even though both of them are gone now I do appreciate the happy start in life they gave me. I am lucky to have had them in my life-even though they died far too soon.
      I follow your advice and live one moment at a time. That’s the only way I can cope right now x

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  9. I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I must quote you ” watching her waste away was the hardest thing I have ever experienced. It matters little to anyone who’s not me…” Ah, but you are WRONG here my friend!! We are a blogging community and we DO care!! Sadly, I lost my own mother 6 years ago. Not a day goes by that I do not think of her and miss her. So I totally get it, understand your pain. Thank you for this post. Pets are great friends in grief. Take care.

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    1. Thank you Christine-you actually made me cry! But it’s good. I started the blog with no intention of writing it for long-but there are people here who are wise, witty, funny, sympathetic and non-judgmental. I might never meet most of the bloggers I follow, but it really is my little community. And it gives me as much comfort as a hug from my husband or a wet kiss from my dogs.

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      1. It is a little community for me too. I love reading about your dogs,! I am a great animal lover, and have worked with many pets. Hugs to you, The spirit of your mother watches over you 🙂

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  10. My heart goes out to you, sweetie.
    Cancer took a dear friend of mine in two months time. Shocking, sad but I was ever so grateful that he did not have to suffer long. As odd as it sounds, I found great comfort in that.
    y
    And what you shared, does matter to me. I do care and understand how your dogs can be of such comfort and nurture for you now. They are there for you! Unconditionally! That is the beauty of dogs.
    Hugz to ya and thank you for sharing,
    ren

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you x All my family love dogs-and my mum was no exception. They help us cope by their quiet, understanding presence x

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  11. Human words tend to fall short in the face of death. “Mourn with those who mourn” and we do, as best we can. My father died of leukemia about a month after I turned 19 (many years ago) and I remember thinking, “Things are never going to be quite the same.” No matter what I would do or where I would go, a unique part of my unique life had changed.
    My dogs have, as yours do, a God-given eloquence that helps us through this universal but oh so lonely process. I pray that you receive all comfort always.

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    1. I’m sorry about your father. It does change everything, even if small changes might not always be noticed by anyone but us. I lost my dad as a teenager and, even though it’s over twenty years now, I still hurt and I still miss him. My parents have taught me to appreciate the people and life I have. I don’t look back thinking ‘I should have…’. But it does not make any death any easier.

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  12. I’m so sorry about your mother and my heart goes out to you today.
    Dogs are so therapeutic and for that we are so blessed. I understand hardship and my heart breaks for those who have lost because on some level I do know what it is like. I have the same “problem” with my mums dog at the moment, he looks right into your soul and senses your sadness and becomes very concerned so it pushes me to smile at him and I am sure it helps.

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    1. Thank you. Some dogs seem to have this extra sense, this amazing ability to empathise, to read our body language and detect from our scent how we feel. And brilliant as it generally is, in situations like this, it can be just a tiny bit harder: after all, I don’t want little Lily to be sad x

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    1. Thank you. I do have some wonderful people around me too, but pets are so naturally comforting, it’s just easy to have a little cry in their fur and feel better.

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  13. Please accept my condolences. My mother died four years ago. She was my best friend and I feel her absence very keenly still and I still have a “good” cry about it more often than most people know. On the outside I look fine and my life is full and I have wonderful family and everything is good! Inside it is a slightly different story. In the early days especially it comforted me to sit with one of the cats on my lap. The pleasant burden of that warm furry body, humming with life, completely relaxed, offered a scrap of comfort. For a few moments I tried to put myself in the mind of the cat: happy to be alive and glad to have a full stomach, content in the moment, with no regrets and no negative thoughts about the future or the past. It was a temporary reprieve. Please hang in there. It is all you can do. Best wishes from the mother of the girl behind 2 Blogging Cats.

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    1. Thank you. For a moment I thought it was the little girl I remember from the blog and the profound sadness of the comment shocked me. As horrible as it sounds, I’m glad it’s not her-we should all be fortunate enough to have a happy childhood with our parents. Not that it makes any death any less pointless-and I do feel for you, too. We’re never grown up enough to be ready to lose someone we love.

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  14. I’m so sorry to hear about your mum. I do understand a little, as my husband had only been diagnosed with cancer for 3 months when he died. It’s very, very hard to see them waste away. I’m glad you have the dogs to help provide comfort.

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  15. Sorry about your Mom. Most animals can tell a change in our moods. I feel for you. I have not only had friends with cancer but relatives too. So when a loved one and friend dies of it, it is really hard. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Try to have a Happy July 4th.

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  16. hello brian and lily its dennis the vizsla dog hay i am verry sorry to heer abowt yore mamas mama and i am sending her lots of vizsla tail wags at this diffikult time!!! and the hipster kitties send purrs too!!! ok bye

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  17. My deepest condolences to you. My words fully short but my heart and thoughts are wishing you peace during this unimaginably difficult time and all through your healing. Glad Brian is doing well! Nothing like having animals guide us through and comfort us.

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  18. Someone told me not long after my mother died “It’s like a little of the light is gone out of this world.”

    This is Chuy’s take on our words of condolence:

    “All my life I’ve been told ‘Thunder can’t hurt you’, but that never stopped me from being terrified by it.
    Spare people such senseless jabber.
    Hold them, and tell them ‘I’m right here.’.
    It is truly the only solace you can provide.”

    For you,
    I’m right here.

    May peace find you,

    Paz

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  19. I am sorry for your loss. It is good that you have your dogs to help you through this difficult time. They are repaying you for all your kindness.
    I am not a very regular visitor of your blog but whenever I read or hear about our furry friends I think of how well you take care of them. And so I wanted to share this article with you:

    Take care.

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