Grief

The Passage Of Time

pansies

Every year in mid-May the tree that hangs over one corner of my patio bursts into tiny white blooms. The heady scent perfumes the air. Butterflies and bees hover over the flowers.

I sit outside and breathe in the scent. So sweet and fragrant.

Then in a week or so the blooms will fade. Tiny bits of the blooms will fall all over the patio and make a mess.

white flowers

It serves to remind me that for everything there is a season. Life is precious and often far too short. But seasons pass on by, I know. To the next one.

petunia

Grief is a wide yawning hole. You stand at the precipice and look down into a bottomless pit of sorrow. And then you fall in.

You swim in it until you’re so tired your arms grow weary. Sometimes you wonder if you should just give in and stop fighting the tide.

The worst part is that you have no choice in the matter. Life can take what is most precious to you. And suddenly you’re left to swim in a cold dark place that at times threatens to pull you under.

It can happen in an instant. You can be happy and life is normal. Until it isn’t.

flowers

I smell the heavenly scent of the white blooms on the tree that I enjoy every year, and I feel no joy.

I think of my sweet Abi, of her bigger than life personality, and I can hardly bear it.

On the last day of Abi’s life, I took two photos. I hesitated before I took them. I didn’t want to remember her in pain. But I couldn’t stop myself. I photograph life, and what happened is part of life.

A desperately sad period that I won’t want to remember. But it is part of my story. It is Abi’s story.

I couldn’t let her go without recording her alive. Before the vet arrived at my door.

abi

She was sick and weak. Her left paw was wrapped due to the intravenous fluids she’d been getting. It was the place they’d put the needle into.

abi

There are all those firsts to face.

First time I took photos of the patio after Abi died. First time I mopped the floor after Abi died. First time I went out after Abi died.

Surely the firsts won’t lost too long. Or spring into my mind as a reminder of my loss.

I think back weeks ago to when she started wetting my bed. The urine was colorless, like water. It had no odor. I remember finding that so odd. I had a bit of premonition then I think.

I watch Charlie and if he exhibits any strange behaviors or changes in habit, it strikes fear in me. I tell myself he is grieving too and it is nothing. But the mama in me is on high alert.

This morning I finally stripped my bed. I couldn’t bear to do it before. It was where Abi slept. I wore the same clothing for two days because I’d held my baby with those clothes on.

Then my daughter came yesterday to take me to lunch, and I reached into my closet for something else.

petunias

I know you don’t want to come here to read about sadness. I’m sorry for that. Writing is how I’ve always made sense of things. How I’ve come to terms with things.

I know they say that time heals all wounds. That the passing of time is balm for the soul.

I know that the odds are that I will feel joy again. That I will smile and laugh again.

I just don’t know when.

***

Here is a great link for signs that your dog may be dying.

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70 Comments

  1. My dear friend…listen and don’t listen to what all of us have to say–including me. You own. We writers need and audience, that doesn’t always mean we need people to ‘get us’.. I’ve been a blogger enough to see pets go, spouses, children, and bloggers themselves. I is serious mourning because we do have this world of ours here.

    The last picture of Abi, so small, sweet, cute and fragile. My heart is breaking thinking that you will never cuddle her again-because i know of your relationship with her and Charlie. They have been your anchors.

    I’m crying now as I write. I’m making huge decisions, and my dogs are my best friends, I’m holding them closer than ever. Milo does’t have long. He’s more than fourteen and in remission from cancer. Any day. Any day. We NEED them. When you said that you didn’t change your clothes, I heard you. I have pondered what to do with his dog bed and blankets…collar. He’s everything. I can’t bear it. Today I realized that I was looking at him thinking of how many day until he’s gone, instead of how many days he has to live.

    I love you, sweetie. I’m here.

    Jane

  2. Your post today is very beautifully written.
    Wishing you the best as you heal and begin the next chapter of life.

  3. Please talk as much as you want because it does help you to heal. Time is on your side and you need to grieve as much as you feel you need to.

  4. Poor sweet Abi you can just see the pain she was in on her little face. I’m so sorry for your pain and your loss, my friend, it’s just unbearable losing one of our sweet furbabies. I’m sure Charlie is feeling it as well, and unlike you he doesn’t understand what happened to Abi. Someday you will get past this intense grief, but of course you will never forget your sweet Abi. But you may be able to open your heart to a new sweet baby to join your little family. That’s what happened to me when my Reilly died unexpectedly at the age of 7 – my sweet Lily needed a home and she helped to heal my heart. Then came the Monkey and now we have sweet Molly also. I love each one of them so much – three completely different personalities, each one unique, each one precious. Sending you hugs, my friend – xoxo

  5. I also have a picture of my girl Roxanne and her little ashes and a paw print in clay. I’m so sorry for your loss but I am so glad that you are sharing. I think it’s good to let other people into your grieving. We all care about you are our hearts are with your right now.

    Tania

  6. I feel your pain and grieve with you as all your Readers do. I wake up and think of your loss and how you’ll get thru the day. You’re on all our minds. It’s tough I know and I’m so very sorry for your loss.

  7. I know that you are a strong woman Brenda…you will never forget her but it will get easier and you will smile and laugh again…always remember the funny little things she has done…

  8. So sorry for your loss…your grief is……very understandable….. a piece of your heart is with Abi . You are a caring and loving human Brenda………

  9. Brenda, I wanted to tell you that I took photos or my dear Tavi a few minutes before he was euthanized, but I have been unable to bring myself to look at them on my camera and feel tearful and a fresh sense of loss every time I think of doing so. I will someday but only when I am ready. Thank you for sharing the last ones you took of Abi.

  10. Oh, Brenda, your pain and grief over losing Abi are more than welcome by me and your other readers. Sometimes others assume that you should be over the deep sadness and sense of loss in whatever their time frame is. But only you, the grieving, know when you are “over” it. And sometimes even though the pain is less sharp it is always there and will be until you are laid to rest. Having lost a baby many years ago and just recently my beloved Labradoodle, Tavi, I do identify with the grief and sense of loss that follows. And I do know that it lessens, but also at times comes back in full force. You just ride the wave and survive. I know your grief over the loss of Abi will not be as sharp and constant as it is now, but don’t hurry it or put anyone’s time-table on it. I expect and welcome hearing how you and Charlie are doing without your beloved Abi for a long time to come in your posts. Thank you for trusting those of us who love and read your posts with these most personal feelings. I send Love ad Peace and give litttle Charlie some pats from me.

  11. Please don’t apologize for sharing your grief. We who come here everyday love you and that little perky Abi was part of our everyday also. Time heals but as you say, you don’t know when. Our hearts are open for you at this sad time.

  12. Brenda, Grief has no time table and your readers are the “take the good with the bad” kind of people who will be with you every step of the way on your journey toward healing. Be gentle with yourself and just love on Charlie. Write as you wish, Write as you need. Writing is your gift of comfort and understanding. I think it is as therapeutic for you to write as it is for us to read. We are here.

  13. Brenda, grieve away. All of us that have shared our lives with animals understand. Time will take away the sting. I can now walk thru my vineyards and no longer think of Fred with sadness. Now I think of the way his ears flopped when he ran thru the vines and I am happy. When I get to the area he is buried I can say hello to him and smile. This time will come to you as well. Give Charlie some extra hugs from me. Many hugs to you, Brenda.

  14. Sorrow and grieving for our lost loved one are legitimate and painful emotions. We all experience them in our own ways, and we all work through them in our own ways, in time. Don’t be so hard on yourself, Brenda! Those of us who have lose a beloved pet companion understand completely your feelings. Yes, life goes on, but we take it back into us one step at a time after a loss, and each of us has a different pace.

  15. You can share your grief with us, and we will share our “Abi” tears with you. When someone dear to us dies, it is important to talk about them to others. While many of us have lost pets , they will always be remembered. My fox terrier died 18 years ago, when he was 14, and I miss him still. But now I don’t cry, I smile and remember every single habit or goofy thing he used to do. Just know, dear
    Brenda, your grief will soften, and sadness will linger, but the smiles will come, they really will, hang in there sweet lady. Hugs from WI, Bonnie

  16. I know the grief of losing a beloved pet – they are so much more than that.

    I remember losing my first animal, a cat, to cancer. Our other cat seemed to be experiencing the same symptoms. We took her to the vet and he explained that it was how she was experiencing grief.

    I hope your grief lessens soon.

  17. Animal owners know you’re pain. It is good to talk/write about it. Your heart will have a spot that will never heal, but will scab over to be picked at forever

  18. Brenda, as I read this there are tears streaming down my face because I know exactly how you felt at that moment. It takes awhile but the grief subsides and I had her cremated. I have her ashes and I know that my girl had the best life ever, as did your sweet Abi.

  19. The comments sent your way today express our feelings much better than I can. We want you to talk about Abi, we loved her too.

  20. My heart is still breaking for you and with you, Brenda. But your ability to express it so honestly and eloquently is helping me to deal with my loss of my fur baby 16 months ago. When my tears flow (and they do) they are for me,for you,
    for my lost baby and for the sweet Abi that you so generously shared with all of us who read your blog. Your words and pictures of her and Charlie made them so real that we all feel like we knew them personally. Please keep writing about her and your feelings. Believe me, that helps all of us.

  21. Brenda,
    You have been in my thoughts and prayers. I was lying in bed last night and thinking about you when I started remembering when my Romeo died and how terrible the pain was in my heart.
    It is unbelievable how badly your chest can hurt with the feelings of loss and pain of your dog. Such unbearable pain, and the continual tears and sobbing that goes on for weeks.
    One of my daughters thought that after a couple of months, I should not be crying about it anymore and thought I needed to get some counseling. I was terribly insulted and no longer talked to her about my pain.
    I am still grieving for him and his passing has left a huge hole in my heart and my life is not the same. I am writing this with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat.
    You need to grieve as long as you want to and please feel free to talk to us about what you are going through. We all care about you and your little babies, and we will willingly share in your heartache.

  22. Pets are like family….. I still miss my Artie after four years. He was one of your babies… you and your other baby are in my prayers…

  23. Dearest Brenda,

    It is good for you to tell us all how you are feeling. You cannot keep this inside. You HAVE to do that as it helps in the long road that is called healing…It is different with each person that inhabits this earth and whatever way that helps you to get through this, is what you need to do. We are all here sharing in your loss and sadness, but it is your very personal journey that you are taking right now. Will it get easier, yes, it will, but it will take whatever time you need. Nobody can tell you how long or how many more tears you will cry before it does. Hopefully it will get easier with each passing day. You WILL have joy again. Please understand and believe that, although right now there is none . You look at other people who are happy and you cannot understand what they are so happy about while you are grieving such a loss in your own life. I get it. It’s incredibly tough and definitely NOT easy. I will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Blessings for strength and endurance, my friend.

  24. Brenda, as a writer and as a feeling, caring person, it is your job to chronicle your life. As readers we absorb and feel your pain, your heartbreak, and when it returns, your joy. Never apologize – please continue to write what is in your heart. It’s healing.

  25. There are so many things I want to say but everyone has already said it so much better than I can. I read every post and occasionally leave a comment – today I’m going to leave a BIG HUG!

  26. It is good for you to share your grief with us. I think it helps more than carrying the burden by yourself. Most of us have been through the same thing and know exactly how you feel. I agree that time can make things better but I don’t think you ever completely get over it. We always carry the memory of our love for them and their’s for us. We are all thinking of you and praying, too.

  27. as bobbi said everyone has nailed it love, happiness, death, sadness it is all life and will continue but we all want you to know we are here for you and will listen….happy or sad may you have charlie and both of you have good health for a long time pupster mama

  28. I lost a loved sister this week. She was my best friend. Grief shared wraps around us
    and shows us God’s love. Bless all who grieve.

  29. Grief is so personal Brenda and like everything in life it is something we do not chose to do but sometimes are forced to do. It sucks and you have to endure the pain, loss and heartache. The only positive on grief is that time helps to make it easier to travel through it. Abi looked so tired and her eyes were telling of how she just wanted peace and no more pain. So when you look at those pictures remember she was asking you to do what was the best for her. You were so loving and unselfish to know it was time to let her go and to relieve her pain and suffering. I am sure Charlie is wondering what happened to his sister and feeling confused. Extra hugs for him and I wish I could come by and sit with you in your garden and give hugs to you and Charlie. This hurts so much. I have been there too and I will remind you to breath when the pain and hurt is at its worse with you. Deep breaths help. So sorry Brenda. Prayers and hugs for you.
    Kris

  30. at some point i know i will read all these wonderful comments. i just can’t this morning. but it’s this kind of friendship that means something. it sustains us in the dark.
    i’m so glad you took her picture. she was a little camera hound you know. i think she loved it. and she so loved YOU. nothing else mattered. so it’s fitting you have them.
    and even crying i can still see that she’s saying “i love you mom.”
    sending you love. xo

  31. I think it helps to share your grief and talk about your loved ones . Abi was a special little gal and I appreciate your sharing the ups and downs of life with her and Charlie. If you didn’t share your deep feelings, I would be concerned. Pour out your heart, for as long as you need.

  32. Brenda, share all of the photos of Abi you want. We love to see them and we are grieving with you. When my dog died last summer it took me until December to get rid of her bed because it still smelled like her. Grieve how you need to, and joy will return.

  33. Your flowers, your patio, your photos, your words are all so beautiful and they help not only you but your readers understand and know your love and your grief. Thinking of you and wishing you a lighter heart and wonderful memories of your Abi.

    Not sure if this will help you but when my terrier died, I started a “Charlie” journal. Every day (or at least every week) I would put down on paper a memory of that wonderful dog. I know the pages in the journal are all crinkled and soiled by my tears but I sure enjoy reading that journal now. I think it helped me with the grieving process and now I can smile when I read the pages.

  34. Brenda,
    Experience your grief and ride with it,good days and bad ones.
    When my husband died way back in 06,I was one of those people that put a smile on my face and told everyone I was fine,which was about as far from truth as I could get,my world had crashed and burned…In 2010 I had to put my beloved dog to sleep,that was the catalyst for sending me into a deep,dark depression,medicating with alcohol that I came very close to not surviving.
    I think when our nests are emptied and our kids move on with their own lives,our first babies become substitutes for our nurturing gene.
    Take all the time you need,reading your blog is a daily bonus.

  35. ” I THINK THE HARDEST PART OF LOSING A DOG YOU LOVE ISN’T HAVING TO SAY GOODBYE . . . IT’S THE WAY YOUR ENTIRE WORLD CHANGES WITHOUT THEM AND THE EMPTINESS THAT’S LEFT IN YOUR HEART WHEN THEY GO. ”
    I STILL GRIEVE FOR EVERY BABY I HAVE HAD THE PRIVILEGE TO HAVE LOVED ME. AS PAINFUL AS IT IS, I WOULD NOT WANT TO MISS A MINUTE OF THE JOY THEY BROUGHT INTO MY LIFE.
    I AM A BETTER PERSON BECAUSE OF THE EXPERIENCE.

  36. We come here to hear what you are thinking and doing. Sad times and good.
    We are here to listen and support you and Charlie. ❤️

  37. Your grief is my grief. Again, I sit here reading your words with tears streaming down my cheeks. My tears for you, for Abi, for Charlie. For the loss of my own loved furry ‘children.’ Grief is harsh. Grief is needed. Sending love and wishing I could lessen your pain. Keep writing. You bring hope amidst the pain as you are a gifted writer.

  38. Abi was a beautiful girl, and I mourn her loss with you. For those of us who have loved and loss our fur babies, we understand and share your gnawing grief. In time I hope your sweet memories will soothe your pain.

  39. Allow yourself to grieve however you see fit. Write what you want to write, we will read it. We love your blog and you and grieve along with you and Charlie.

  40. Brenda, there is no timeline for grief. Embrace it, along with the lovely memories you have of sweet Abi. I too know the pain of losing a beloved pet and it does take a piece of your heart with their passing, but it does get better each day. Please continue to express your grief in your writings and we all will cry and be there with you as your support. Spend time with that adorable grandson of yours and see the beauty in life and the simple things that will bring you comfort, peace and perhaps a little smile. Carol and Molly

  41. Brenda, we all want to hear your feelings whether they be grief, sadness and joy such as the times you share with little Andrew. Your words are so comforting. All weekend when I look at my little Morkie I think of you and Abi. Her loss will never leave you but she will make you smile again one day when thinking of her.

  42. My Mom and I were close before she passed away. I was wearing a green with thin black stripes dress the day I held her hand and told her it really was ok to let go – that I’d be fine and I would make sure Dad would be taken care of too. After that day I could never seem to want to wear that dress again – but I also could never let go and get rid of it. I still have it. This year will be the 22nd year since I heard her voice. I’m not sure what it all means – my hanging on to the dress and yet to never wear it again. I especially miss her today. Grief for our loved ones are different for each of us. You need to grieve the loss of your loved one however you find comfort. My heart goes out to you. It does get better with time – but I don’t think it ever really goes away. When you miss someone – you just miss them.

  43. Brenda, I will add my voice to all of the others, please share your photos of Abi and your grief. It helps just a little to talk about her. It helped me tremendously to be able to talk about my memories of my Munchen and to know that other people who had never met her cared. We all feel your pain and would do whatever we could to lessen it. I wrapped my clothes and her blanket in a plastic bag and periodically I would open it to see if I could still smell her scent, weird to some but that little girl was my baby. I do not have children and Munchen was with me through the ups and downs for over 14 years and 10 months. I hope you go outside and take a big inhale of the beautiful scent that you described, life is short and you will not be able to smell it for another year.

    Joy will come back.

  44. Tears at the photos of sweet Abi. I am sincerely saddened by your loss. Your readers understand your grief and we are reading your posts and wishing you well. Cuddles to Charlie.

  45. Just wanted to express my sadness over the loss of Abi. I’ve been reading all your notes since she started not feeling well and your trips to the vet. All the symptoms that were mentioned and the fact that she would not eat and would only drink small amts. reminded me of the time a family member also would not eat and drink. I was going to nursing school and upon talking to one of my instructors she walked me through trying to figure out why that was. I remember the family wanting him to sit at the table and eat with everyone but he would just become nauseated and had dry heaves. What I learned was that since the kidneys were not functioning normally the urine would back up in the body and after awhile everything would taste and smell like urine so that was why he was unable to eat. I would think this was probably why she couldn’t eat also. I’m not positive since Abi is a dog but it sounds reasonable to me. If this is the case then her passing as quickly and without too much pain was a blessing. It will still be a tremendous loss for you but may help in understanding of what was going on. You are in my prayers as you go through this trying time.

  46. It’s good to talk about Abbi. She looks sad in those pictures. You tried so hard to save her. Again, so sorry. Hugs.

  47. I enjoy your blog very much and love hearing about your pups. Your grief in losing Abi is much appreciated and understood by me as over the years I’ve held more than a few little dogs I loved as they crossed over. I believe they are waiting for us when it is our turn to make the journey.I also believe that the sorrow I feel when they die is made bearable by the pleasure and joy they’ve given me by being in my life. Thinking of you and wishing you comfort. Mary in Colorado

  48. Everyone has said it so well that there’s no point in saying it again. I literally felt like I had a hole in my heart after I put my dog down. I still haven’t washed-or worn-the jacket I wore that day. I thought I was doing better after 6 months but had a relapse a few weeks ago. It takes time and everyone is different. Charlie is confused and grieving. Please stay strong for him. He needs you!

  49. We are always here for you and share in your sorrow. Our world is not the same when this happens–there is a big hole in it. I looked at her photo and saw the love in her eyes for you. Reading the Comments, we have all been where you are and know how your heart hurts. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  50. Grief, unfortunately, is a universal experience. So go ahead and express yourself. While you are talking about Abi, what you have written resonates with me and the loss of my parents, one, then three weeks later, the other. For other people, it will be other lives loved and lost. Grief is individual, yet a shared experience. It’s likely that everyone, in one way or another, knows how you feel, and wishes they could make you feel better.

  51. Do not apologize for your grief or sadness. It is what it is and you are brave enough to share it with us. I know all too well the pits of hell with grief, as not only have I lost fur babies, too but I’ve experienced the worst loss and grief of all – the loss of a child. Yes, sometimes you don’t want to keep fighting and going on, but you have to. The only other choice is to stay in bed and curl up in a ball, and that’s not going to help in any way. So cry, write, sit and stare into space, love on Charlie, call your daughter, be with your daughter and granddaughter. I can promise you that you WILL feel happiness and joy again. It might not be for a week, a month, or several months – but it will come.
    xoxo

    1. Oh Brenda…..I’m so sorry his has happened in your life. Our animals become as important to us as out families….in fact….they often can become our family. We laid one of our sweet pups to rest a little over a year ago and we still miss her. I know we always will…..but it does become less painful with the passage of time.

      xoxo
      J

  52. Brenda,

    I am sure there isn’t one person expecting a happy post. Grief is so personal and we know that we cannot take away your pain, but we all want to lift you up with love and caring. I know you broke your own heart to give your sweet Abi peace, but I know you did not want her to suffer and for that I am positive Abi was so grateful.

  53. It is normal and expected that you grieve. Grief actually serves a purpose to face a loss, to mourn and to cherish and celebrate the life you have lost. It is a sad part of accepting what has happened and coming to terms with it. It can help to do something in memory of Abi. Maybe plant something special in her memory or get a frame engraved in her memory to hold her picture. It is not so much what you do but that you do it in her memory. Just like a funeral helps us to come to terms with the loss of a family member or friend a special thing done in memory of Abi will help you. Charlie needs to grieve too but you can help him just as he can help you. Days will pass and hopefully before you know it you will be remembering all the happy times with Abi and you will be able to remember them with a smile and joy. She always brought you much joy and she would want to be able to continue to give you love and joy in her memories. I am so sorry for your loss Brenda. I wish I could help but know I care.

    Bonnie

  54. We love you because you are real, it is real that it will take time to come to terms with what has happened, it is real that we care how you and Charlie are doing. Please continue to let us know are you are really doing. Prayers and hugs.

  55. I think it’s important to share your grief and grief needs to be what it is to “you”. It’s not a time to worry about meeting anyone else’s criteria on what grief “should be”.

    Losing a beloved pet can be a trauma beyond words and a suffering all its own. If others cannot understand this then that difficulty is theirs, not yours.

    Be grateful you could love this much for many cannot and I think that is a gift you possess rather than a fault to be addressed.

    There is no easy way through these darkest of days Brenda.

  56. Oh, Brenda, I understand. I could not bear to clean the storm door for months because it had my little dog’s nose prints on it. And you are right, you will feel joy again. But it will take time. I wish there was someway we could help you, but there is nothing we can do. We can let you know that we care about you; we are here for you. Even though we have never met you or Abi or Charlie, we consider you to be our dear friend. Please know your readers are thinking of you.

  57. Brenda – I think most of us come here to share life with you – all of it, whatever it is you wish to share. Thinking of you during this sorrowful time –

    1. That’s what I wanted to say….God made you so good with words that whatever you write helps us in our own lives. And we all want to help you through this terrible time, and we know that your writinging helps you, so please keep it up!!

  58. Share your grief with us. There is strength in numbers and we are all here for you. Sending healing thoughts to to you.

  59. We do share your pain, Brenda, and your need to express it. When Boo died the grief was so deep and the tears and sobbing came from a place I didn’t know existed in me. But it cleansed and began the healing I thought never could come. It took time. It took tears. It took more time. And even much later tears would reappear and the sadness would wash over me while in WalMart buying food for my remaining two furry friends or seeing a picture or remembering. And just missing his friendship, his spirit. And I chose to take comfort in believing that he was in a better, happier, healthier place and that I would one day see him again. But I missed him… I still miss him. There has been healing and growth; the sorrow is healed, but he is still missed.
    Abi will always be a beautiful part of your life. Let the words and the tears flow, Brenda. And bit by bit the healing comes. We are here for you and understand.

  60. Please write whatever you need to write . I remember some of those same things , from losing pets . If there is any way I can help please don’t hesitate to contact me . I remember what I was wearing the day my Polly dies I still remember her when I wear that sweatshirt jacket .

  61. Grief is grief. No time frame no boundaries. Please share your grief with us. It is an emotion that is a god given instinct. Our fur babies are our families. I often say my Speckles is so excited to see me every day. Even if I just go out and get the mail. He is excited to “find” me again. Continue on with your grief and we will still be here. Share, share, share. we all need to hear someone else’s pain. It makes us human and when we listen to others it helps us to be of service to another.

  62. Brenda, it takes time. I still mourn my Charlie Kitty but its easier as the years go by. No one can tell you how long or how to mourn the loss of your dear Abi. Know that we are all here for you and many have felt your pain and sorrow. I too took one last photo of Charlie before letting him go. I’ve never shared it since he was so sick and in pain, but I needed that photo for myself. Thank you for putting into such beautiful words the pain of loss and sorrow.

  63. We DO want to read your grief. We are desperate to absorb your pain and send healing. To know how someone we love from afar is coping. You AND Charlie. We share the grief with you, for most all of us have walked these very steps of grief and for some of us, many many times over. It’s just as searing each time be cause we loves them all THAT much. We would be far more frightened to not read your sadness Brenda. Thank you for letting us in, for allowing us to grieve alongside of you and to continue to reach out and offer support as you make it through these unbelievably sad days. Love, Marcia