Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Day 1 (without my Cleo Cat)

Whew, last night was rough.
The searing pain of loss caused me some physical pain for a while
and it took a bit to fall asleep...I did... by 2 AM... or before...
I knew today would be hard.
One huge blessing was seeing the 
Thou will be kept in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee 
verse from Isaiah 26:3 ... that is my birth verse, the verse that was given to by my Mom
when I had my rather emergency c-section 42+ years ago! 
And there it was on today's date on the flip calendar I have had for nearly 30 years. 
And Cleo died on the old calendar leave-taking of the Feast of Christ's transfiguration
and today (new calendar) is St Phanourios' day and we were married on his day,
old calendar, 13 days later...so that was really special...
So many Cleo things seen today, in the fridge, in the pantry, in the bathroom...
did you see the white frame with rose print above on the chair?
Mr Husband is letting me hang that (got it for 6$ at the VNA rummage sale) on the wall
where Cleo's liter box was (under)... and another 2 cute VNA prints framed already
that are going to be in our other bathroom...
I know the added beauty will help me... one of my friends 
told me how Cleo loved beauty too... I think that is true... and she was such a beauty herself... 
So, I felt like I did a lot of self-care... took a hot bath.  Ate my Indian leftovers for lunch.
Tried to stay well hydrated. 
Sometimes the pain was overwhelming, the loss; I cried on and off through out the day...
I watched I think 2 more Perry Mason episodes.  I read a little more in the L' Engle book.
I was really tired from the difficult night's sleep...
I prayed a lot, simple prayers like
Lord help me or Lord help me through this or
and I was SO pleased to hear tonight that Cleo's grave was not disturbed at all and the flowers
are still there as "artfully arranged" to use our friend's words... 
I had prayed for her grave to be guarded and I have prayed that God
will comfort Cleo...I was comforted just thinking a little bit about
Cleo being in a garden in paradise well happy and knowing that I would be there
one day with her (Lord so save me!) ... I could not think otherwise
and the book I got about animals in heaven while not claiming to know what NO one knows
(what heaven is like), but instead looking at how God called ALL of His creation good
and how He cared for all the animals, having each of them in Noah's Ark, etc etc... 
I had a hard time in NYC at first.
I felt like the grief was going to swallow me alive.
And for a short time I felt the anger of it, a stage of grief I have had years ago.
This depth of grief and my awareness of it I have not had in a long time.
But each loss is different and I know enough to know that one must not 
worry about how one is grieving as there is no right way to do it. 
My Mom talked to me today about how the loss of Cleo is so fresh, it is
understandable that I would feel sorrow and still be sad.
It was so so awful and strange to not have Cleo here.
To realize how much her presence meant to me; 
as if I did not know; but one never knows how the loss will feel
or realize the depth of comfort that one had received
 from the loved pet or loved human one lost.
I am still sorting this part out but I understand now how God gave me
Cleo to comfort me in very specific ways and the loss of this is very painful. 
But I am slowly sorting it out in my mind and hope, as one does when one loves to write,
to write an essay on it in the future... 
I found that if I remembered my birth verse
You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.
And prayed the Jesus Prayer:
Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me or
Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me a sinner
then the grief was shared, did not have the intensity of pain...
and the worry of a life without Cleo, 
the bleakness of the loss, that for the rest of my days there will be a without Cleo
I was relieved that I did not break down sobbing in NYC... 
I was falling asleep on the PATH train in,
which is why I immediately took myself to one of my favourite diners for food...
I had a consult about framing the needlework and got yarn at Michael's and 
stone beads to make into a prayer rope for my purse... 
and new knitting needles...
Mr Husband and I had Chinese for dinner...I had egg plant, he had shrimp with wide noodles,
I had some of the wide noodles, that was nice.
Tomorrow DV we are going to liturgy for Dormition, then out for fish
and going grocery shopping and then back home and resting.
I got some treats from Trader Joes for the weekend.
I kept trying to do things that would help me look beyond the pain I feel now
and to reaffirm that there is life after this loss
but I know also that I have to go through the pain to go to whatever is next
in our life... my sister-friend and I texted and I agree with what she said,
losing Cleo was like an end of an era in my life.
I was in my last semester of school and then on to getting full time jobs and
becoming an adult in this way, and then later dating 
and marrying Mr Husband and moving with Cleo
to New Jersey... Cleo moved down before I did so she officially lived in NJ about 7 years
and here she is buried... 
I told God years ago if I was to go through the pain of loss, I better grow because of it,
or NO DEAL. ( :) )... I think God in His mercy will take me up on it, as long as I am 
willing to grow through it...
L'Engle's book the other side of the sun is (as is all of her "adult" fiction) emotionally 
intense...but the lesson of that you have to go through the burning sun to
get to the other side has stayed with me...
the only way to deal properly with this loss, this pain, this loss of sweet Cleo
and her sweet cat face, so soft, so beautiful, is to go through it,
to feel it, to accept it, to look the loss in the face and deal with it.
The only way to the other side of loss is to go through the loss. 
But I can say that God will give us all we need when we need it,
just like my Grandma told me years ago... 
I pray that whatever that pain is in your life, that 
you will turn to Christ and be carried through it...
even when it seems impossible... 


Lisa Richards said...

So sorry for the loss of your friend. I'm glad to see that you're taking care of yourself and filling your days with things that are uplifting. It's so special that your life verse came up today! I love that verse. Hugs and blessings to you. Keep on sharing the burden with Jesus.

Emily H. said...

I'm sorry for your loss. She'll always hold a dear place in your heart. Love and peace to you!

Lisa said...

Beautiful needlepoint! You will heal, Elizabeth. xo

Granny Marigold said...

Thinking of you and also continuing to pray that the Lord will comfort you.

GretchenJoanna said...

It is a huge change!