Saturday, April 12, 2014

Traveling The Fine Line

Things have soften. Memories that used to cut like a razors edge that sliced at me from the inside, are hazier and don't leave as much damage as they once did.
Talking about Abby often results in a smile almost as much as tear. Most of the time, it's both. And the tears are a testament to a bittersweet love story, not the fathomless depth of blackness.
The idea of never seeing her again doesn't rip and tear its way through my body like it used to. It still floats at the edge of disbelief, but it doesn't injure me like it used to.

Thoughts about the future don't terrify or mystify me anymore. They aren't lost in that gray fog as much. They seem warmer, brighter and ever so slightly more imaginable. A future seems possible. The present is easier to bear.
I believe we often think of grief as traveling on a line that goes from the first, worst moments to many many years away when you're as "better". We think that if we suddenly have a set back and feel worse again, that we think of it as traveling backwards on that line and that we undid all our work and we're back at square one. But in reality, it's more like we've just temporarily stepped off the tracks. We get back on at the same place we got off. That must explain why, over time, I've had setbacks but have recovered more quickly after each one, and continued to make improvements despite many setbacks and struggles.

It's because I didn't go back. I just went off track for a bit and got right back to the path as soon as I'd gathered my strength again.

I've felt as though it's hopeless when I've have those setbacks. I've felt as though I'll never be better and I'm just retracing my steps, but I don't think I am now. I think I'm just stepping away for a bit but not losing ground. Every day of those worst times made me stronger, though it felt like the opposite. Every day was progress, though I couldn't see it then. Every day got me farther and farther down that road toward better, and the detours just took me off-road, into the woods from time to time.

Even if things begin to feel sharp and dangerous and thoughts slice me up from the inside again, I'll find my way back to the path and start right where I left off, stronger than before. I never turned around and walked backwards.

All those miles were hard-won and have not been in vain. 
Today I cannot help but remember though the 8 long months it's been.
I remember Abby.
I will always remember.

love knows not
its own depth
until the hour
of separation.
~Kahil Gibran 


  1. Thank you, thank you. This gives me hope.


  2. No, grief isn't a straight line at all. Time does erase those hard edges, but you always will feel a sharp pang from time to time -- or, at least I do. Doesn't last long and of course you carry on again.

    Boy, life sure isn't what one expects, is it? LOL.

  3. So true. And so glad the sting of separation has gone and you can breathe again and embrace the many lovely memories and smile.

    This is one of my favorite quotes. KG was a very wise and wonderful poet!

  4. Grief is a journey, not a landmark you pass quickly and leave behind you. Many purrs to you from all of us.

  5. As time goes by the sadness of your loss recedes slowly and at first you thought you'd never smile or laugh again and then you do unexpectedly and you are on the long road to recovery.
    Take care.
    Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

  6. Yes, it is sure tough. One day the heart will only smile with thoughts of the happy memories.

  7. Wow...that was deep! Beautiful, sad and amazing all in one! What an post!
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  8. Deb, you said that so very well. You are on the right path now, and even if you slip from time to time, I know you'll get right back on the path again. You have traveled far my friend. You will always love Abby and always remember her, but now it's finally turning into happy memories for the most part.

  9. Such beautiful words. I am on this grief journey too following Tara's loss and can totally relate.

  10. Such a nice text.
    I agree with you. It is going off the track, not going back to the beginning. Hopefully it is.
    I lost my youngest sister last July. What you describe is what I live. Sometimes the pain is so strong…
    And … a cat, a dog, a sister. The pain is the same.
    Douce soirée

  11. I also can relate. Bobo is gone now since 2007. There are days I break down as if it just is all about ebbs and flows. ((((hugs))))

  12. I am glad you are on a healing path. But you are right that there are setbacks sometimes. I recently re-read the post and comments from Skeeter's death. It was hard, but not "as hard" as at the time.

  13. Such a good and thoughtful post. I am glad you have found your path and life is getting easier despite the setbacks. I wish I could get on the healing path too but mine seems too well hidden. Maybe in time....

  14. It's only when we have the gift of distance do we know how far we've come. What a remarkable journey you've had in 8 months despite the twists and turns. Drop by drop the most jagged edges of stone are smoothed in time.

  15. A good post that applies to cats and humans.
    We realize the importance too, of celebrating the life that was lived and not focusing on the day they left.
    Thank you for your comforting words about Grammie.
    We and Mom appreciated them.
    Purrs Georgia and Julie,
    Treasure, JJ
    and Angels Tiger and Tillie

  16. Thank you. I am having some intense problems with my depression right now, and your imagery is very helpful. As I said before, it has been my/our privilege to walk beside you and bear witness to your mourning Abby's death.
    Trish x

  17. That is where I am with Angel Admiral. I still tear but I smile too. xxoo

  18. You grow and you are healing. That is wonderful. Thank you for putting it down in words. You are helping others heal through your words and your journey. I promise it will continue to get "easier" and by that I mean the pain won't be as sharp, the happy memories will fill you more and more instead of the loss as you see it is happening for you now.

  19. Your posts like this help me too.
    (((hugs))) Lynne

  20. Perhaps your words were meant just for Prancer's mom today. They touched her and gave her hope. Such a gift and a blessing.

  21. My heart is happy for you. But I don't know. I don't think I have learned how to walk with grief and keep my balance. I still fall down a lot and do slide backwards sometimes. You are very brave. You go to emotional places I cannot. For that, I do have hope for someday.

  22. I have to think that both Abby and you have shared the journey and along the way have helped many. Two beautiful souls. Love and hugs, Jobi and Fisher

  23. We always remember and that is the reality that those we love never leave us but change. From tangible physicality to soft memory is there really so much difference as that which we call solid is just perception. When we look closely at the memories they take form and shape and become physical and real. Love has that power


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