9.06.2015

A VERY PERSONAL SUNDAY SELFIE

At this time of year, I find the "light in my attic" shining into some of its darker, dustier corners. It seems not all that long ago my life was downsized from a large home full of the collections of people and pets, marriage, family and life ... what remained was placed into a few small memory boxes, soon thereafter to travel on a moving van northward, as new chapters in my life began ...


"We must let go of the life we have planned, 
      so as to accept the one that is waiting for us."      
Joseph Campbell

In my head-and-heart I tucked away the rest.  Over time, there has been a startling realization about grief.  It may ease,  it does not leave.  What often hurts, what is sad ~ and I now tell myself this, so I will remember it with care and concern for others who live with loss ~ there is the time that arrives when no one else goes up to the attic anymore, no one else turns a light on up there, pushes aside the cobwebs, dusts away the dust ... With the passage of time, the listening ears for your grief move on.  I guess that's OK, life does move on, for all of us.  But right now, for me, memories are sharp, clear, they are not years-ago memories. They are last week, they are yesterday ...

November 2011 

"Let's do a photo of us with Mags and Zoey"  he says.  

"OK" I respond, "and then maybe we can even put in on a Christmas card if I Photoshop some Santa hats on it!"   

Of course, if we actually thought the photo would turn out decently, we might have dressed a little bit better . . .

And of course, had I known it would be the last photo of us, together with the kitties . . .

And of course, had I known it would be our last Christmas together . . .

The Cat On My Head Sunday Selfie Blog Hop


40 comments:

  1. A beautiful photo (the casual clothes matter not a jot) full of love and contentment. What happened to you all still fills me with sadness. I so understand what you mean about grief ... it never ever goes away, you just learn to live with it. The more you have loved, the more grief hurts ~ because love and grief are two sides of the same coin. There will always be a Vic shaped hole in your heart ~ and a longing for that happy home and your beloved cats ... but yes, life does go on.
    Sending you love and hugs and understanding, dear friend.
    Love Jan xx

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  2. A very beautiful photo and a very beautiful memory. No need for fancy outfits. The love shines out from the photo. Xxx

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  3. Wow Ann that is such a great picture. So sorry that you are having a hard time but very understandable. You have lost a lot. I know just how that is. Just have to remember the good times. Have a great day.

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  4. That's a very lovely memory!

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  5. A lovely picture..clothes do not make the memories..memories are feelings..not always happy not always amazing..but honest and heartfelt..we all could learn to live each day as it is meant to be lived..as we are not promised tomorrow..take heart that you had these beautiful times to remember and as long as you do they never really leave you..yes life goes on but we are allowed to carry those memories with us.Hugs to you as you turn the light on in the attic..Fozziemum xxxx

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  6. What a wonderful photo to have! I hope you've framed it and placed it somewhere really special!! {{{{hugs}}}}

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  7. OMC Ann you are such an incredible writer! Such a huge thought so beautiful and succinctly put. I am going to print it and keep it forever. Ya know 2011 was not that long ago...thank you for keeping us in touch with your lives, past and present which (thanks to you) blend together--as they should! - Heartwarming picture, one to always savor. Carol

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  8. It is a great photo. Life never goes as one thinks it will, so one needs to live every day as if it is the last.

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  9. We never know tomorrow until it is today... Purrs...

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  10. What a beautiful post. I've been thinking of you and Vic a lot lately and all that you wet through. I understand how it seems others have "shut the door" to grief after a while. I know there are many times I feel people no longer want to hear about Elinor.

    Love,
    Sharon

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  11. It's a beautiful photo...and a wonderful memory. Purrs....

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  12. What a wonderful photo full of love and happy memories...Grief never ends, it just becomes a little more bearable as time goes on, but it never really leaves because love never dies, love is forever and the physical loss of love creates a wound that never completely heals since a huge, important part of our own lives is also lost when our loved ones must leave us...I understand your feelings and send love and hugs to you always; I am here to listen anytime you want/need to share...xoxo...J

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  13. Time marches on but the memories are with us forever.

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  14. Beautiful photo and beautiful post. (((hugs)))

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  15. Hold on to those memories. We never know when "the last time" will be, so we should treat each day as precious.
    --Purrs (and wags) from Life with Dogs and Cats

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  16. So beautifully written, and a wonderful photo to have. And you both look well and happy (and of course the kitties too).

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  17. A beautiful photo with a lovely memory. And it does seem like only yesterday, doesn't it? I am always surprised at how much time passes and it seems like nothing-hugs-

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  18. A lovely photo and I feel everything you are saying. I'm sending g you live and gentle hugs and complete empathy for tides of grief that can at times tsunami and then gentle laps at your feet you don't even feel at first till the chill sets in. Empty pillows on the bed can be so piognant. Xoxoxo

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  19. Ann such a poignant posting you did today and every word you wrote is true. Those of us who feel the sadness of the Grief everyday in our lives amazed that others seem to blithely waltz by unfettered by the emptiness within our hearts of love and loss. No one feels it the same, yet there are elements that each of us finds and shares. I can only say that loss and Grief incorporate themselves into our lives,assimilate and change us. We are never the same and nor should we be. It's hard seeing the world move on seemingly untouched while our own hearts feel like they skip a beat over the ones we miss the most.

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  20. What a great photo and sweet, sweet memory.
    ((HUGS))

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  21. That is a nice photo. I am sorry for all you have been through.Sending you a hug.

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  22. Dear Ann...this is a beautiful photo of you all and one to be treasured! You are a wonderful writer! Grief does not end. You just have to find a "new" normal. Blessings to you...

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  23. And some days the grief just sneaks up on you and smacks you. One day I was in the elevator on my way to my office. I guess it was within the first year of my father's death. I was in a perfectly good mood. A man got in the elevator wearing a sport coat just like one my father had worn many times over the years. It (the grief, the loss) hit my like a ton of bricks. I burst into tears. By the time I got to my office, my tears were dry and I had happy memories of all the special occasions, dinners out, to which that sport coat had been worn. BAM! said my grief...Sending rottie kisses and a hug from me.

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  24. That photo has a wonderful story, and means so much for you... Sweet memories. Purrs

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  25. That is a wonderful photo. It's almost like you were being pointed in that direction, and I'm sure that is what it was. We never know what will happen from one moment to the next. As Jacqueline said, grief never ends. It just fades slightly over time. Big HUGS for you from M.

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  26. A lovely picture and and sentiment.
    We send you much love and purrs.
    This is a thought I found recently on the internet.
    "Grief never ends.., but it changes.
    It is a passage, not a place to stay.
    Grief is not a sign of weakness
    nor a lack of faith.
    It is the price of love.
    author unknown

    Purrs Georgia and Julie,
    Treasure and JJ
    and mom Nancy

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  27. It's a lovely selfie. You both look wonderful, smiling and happy. You could not have wished for a more delightful picture. We never forget, we just change a bit to cope better don't we?

    Thank you for helping with Peanut and with Bootsie. We are so fortunate to know you.

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  28. It's a beautiful photo full of love. Grief never leaves, it is always lurking in our hearts. Happy memories fill our hearts to try and keep grief in the background.

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  29. ON the other hand, thank goodness you DID take that photo - what a precious memory! It is very hard to lose as much as you did in such a short time. Others may seem to have moved on, but know that we do think of you often and hope for happy days for you.

    Woos - Ciara and Lightning and Mom

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  30. Pain of loss doesn't go away. It changes, it drifts along with us, and occasionally it lifts up it's head and stabs us anew. It's not easy, it's not fun, it just is. We can learn to live with it for the most part, but some days...
    Hugs from the heart.

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  31. It's a lovely memory, captured forever. And a great reminder to cherish each day.

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  32. Aren't you glad that you have that photo? Just the other day, I came upon a casual friend sitting next to a trail crying, with her dog by her side. Her spouse died almost 2 years ago, and she told me through her tears that she never lets anyone else see her cry anymore. I knew that I was meant to come along at that moment - to tell her that all of us still know that she's feeling deep grief but no one knows what to do to help, after that first year or so. And to tell her that we all love her and want to be there for her.

    I have never experienced the kind of loss that you or my friend have. But your words help me to understand. I do think of you often, when I see your name in blogville, and I hope that you are finding happiness in the midst of your grief. Lots of love from all of us.

    And that photo is absolutely wonderful. You both have such sparkle in your eyes!

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  33. Special thoughts for you as you remember your time with Vic. The hurt will always be there and yes, sometimes it feels like you are the only one is who still experiencing it. Time has a way of healing the loss, but it never takes it away. My prayers for you are that your memories of happy times will stay in your heart and mind. Love you.

    Mom Paula

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  34. The photo is fine as it is. It doesn't need fancier clothes or adornment. It's a picture of two people in a happy moment shared with their beloved kitties. It's perfect!

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  35. That is such a lovely photo, and a beautiful memory, Ann. The love just emanates. It truly does. Hugs to you, dear friend.

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  36. Sweet Ann I don't think this picture could have been any better. It is a beautiful picture and I love it. You are so right about grief and some days are just hard no matter how long it has been. I took my 8 year old daughter to the emergency room one day 16 years ago and had to come home less than 24 hours later to tell my family she had passed away. I still grieve alone for her and I don't think it will ever stop. Holding you near in my thoughts and heart sweet Ann. Love and hugs

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  37. What a great photo and sweet, sweet memory <3 <3 <3

    XOXO

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  38. Ann; no good memory is ever truly gone; it may be tucked away, or shared with another, but it will resurface....when you need it....most......♥♥♥ Laura ~~~~~

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  39. As the anniversary of Vic's death draws near, please accept our sympathy and condolences. We know the pain and grief for you are still fresh. You both look so happy in the photo, and that is what counts...not your clothes. Sending lots of purrs and prayers from us and our mom. XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

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