Blog

Do or do not, there is no try. - Yoda

Coping with Grief

Our sweet angel passed away on September 26, 2015. Nothing, I mean nothing, can prepare you for that kind of heartache. She was an integral part of our lives for fourteen years. And even though she was old, her death was unexpected.

We could never see tomorrow, no one ever said a word about the sorrow.” The Bee Gees

There’s no easy answer for how to deal with grief. No magic pill. No special words. You just….cope. You drift, moving through your day, hoping today will be better than the day before. You try to stay busy, occupied, so that you don’t dwell. But sometimes all you can do is think about what you lost because it’s no longer within your grasp.

I’ve experienced loss in my life—losing beloved grandparents, acquaintances, and special friends. And those losses were hard. But this, this was and is…heartbreaking and utterly painful.

I still see her everywhere, yet she isn’t with us anymore. In spirit, in memory, she is there. Early in the morning, when I’d leave for work, I’d always say to her and my husband: “Bye. I love everybody in this household.” I’ve caught myself saying it now, only there isn’t an “everybody” in the house, it’s just my husband and me. The first time I let it slip, I winced, realizing the brutal truth that I wouldn’t leave the house and find her there when I came back. I can’t hug her, love on her, have her cuddle next to me. I can’t call her name or talk to her. I can’t be with her.

There are five stages to grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. I’m teetering between stages. One day I’m fine; the next day I’m a sobbing mess. The other night, my husband and I were at Fuddruckers (if we’re friends on Facebook you know this is my weekly ritual. I should own stock in this company). I started crying while I was eating dinner. Why? Because earlier that day on my travels home from work I saw a woman on a walk with her two dogs.

People ask me, “Are you going to get another dog?” I know that they mean well, and really, in my opinion, I don’t think they don’t know what else to say. Death is an awkward conversation topic. It’s uncomfortable, even though it’s part of life. To me, asking if I’m going to get another dog is like asking a widower if he’s going to get married again. “Gonna get in that dating pool again? I hear Match.com works.” Sorry to sound cynical. I realize for some that getting another dog immediately after the death of their dog is comforting, but not to me. My answer to them is always the same: “I need time. If I got another dog now, I’d just compare them to her, and that’s not fair to the new dog.” She’s not replaceable.

I’ve received an outpouring of sympathy, from fellow pet owners and friends, and strangers who love their pets. I’ve heard sad stories of losing beloved pets. Some more tragic than others. Some more devastating than mine. I’ve heard about cherished dogs and cats who made an imprint in their lives, who were part of the family, whose death brought emptiness. And I know that I’m not alone.

We all grieve. Maybe we all grieve differently, but we’ve all experienced loss, and it feels the same for all of us – like our hearts have been ripped out, like it seems as if the sun will never shine again. I know I will get through this. Because it is the truth that is a part of life. I can’t have happiness without sadness. I can’t have life without death. It just takes time. Like all things – it just takes time.

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

I lived thirty plus years in Florida and in the same city where I was born. I even went to college in Central Florida. It was all I ever knew. I figured that I’d grow old and die there, but then something happened. Something in me changed. Read more →

Top 5 Non-Fiction Reads

I’ve read so much women’s fiction and YA lately, and I needed a break. Not that there is anything wrong with those genres, because I love them, but I missed non-fiction. I used to read it all the time when I was in college. Read more →

Roller Skating – a Metaphor for Life

I used to roller skate. What child of the 70s and 80s doesn’t know how? Actually, I was surprised to find there are quite a few people my age who’ve never been roller skating. How did they miss out on this while growing up? Didn’t their school have a “Skate Night?” Didn’t they skate while listening to tunes on their walkman? I know I did. Read more →

“I’m Your Huckleberry”

I love that line. I’m a sucker for a good western. I blame it on my dad. We’d watch John Wayne movies when I was a kid. Tombstone is a personal favorite of mine, and in my humble opinion, Val Kilmer steals the film. Read more →

Cover Reveal for Like All Things Beautiful and This Is Where We Begin

Good morning! I’m pleased to reveal the covers for Like All Things Beautiful (Hearts of Haines #2) and This Is Where We Begin (Hearts of Haines #3). They are scheduled to be released on May 14, 2015. Read more →

One on One with Authors Leslie Fear and C. D. Hussey

I have the privilege of getting my hands on an ARC of Fear and Hussey’s newest novel, Bayou Grise, scheduled for release on April 14th. I read their first novel, Villere House, last year and loved it. I knew I wasn’t going to be disappointed with the sequel, and guess what? I wasn’t. You can read my review here: Read more →

What’s Your Definition of Success?

“How many books have you sold?” I get asked this question a lot. Yeah, it’s an impertinent question, and I usually reply by saying, “I don’t know; I don’t keep count.” Which, is true, by the way. I don’t. I quit counting years ago. But the thing that gets me is that the focus seems to be on money and not the fact that I wrote a book. Maybe that’s where we are as a society? The headlines in your favorite magazines are mostly related to wealth and beauty, or the downfall of others. They’re not highlighting accomplishments or altruism. A real bummer if you ask me. (Maybe I’m reading the wrong headlines?) Read more →

Sorry, not sorry, if this article offends you.

I was recently at Fuddruckers and asked the woman in front of me if she’d already ordered. “Yes, sorry,” she replied. Sorry for what? I’m the one who should have noticed you holding the huge styrofoam cup with Fuddruckers’ logo on it. But this isn’t the exception. As women, we tend to apologize way too much and for things that don’t require an apology. Read more →

2014: The good, the bad, and the ugly.

If you’re a fan of the Spaghetti Western you’ll appreciate the above title. When I was a little girl I used to watch westerns (mostly John Wayne films) with my dad. Well, that and musicals like Annie and Grease 2. Yep, Dad enjoys a good musical, and we watched many together as I grew up. That seemed like yesterday but in reality it was ions ago! And now another year has passed and soon it will be 2015.

Read more →