Sunday, December 04, 2016

Sunday Afternoon Tea - Grief at Christmas


Well, this is not what I had intended to write about today.  However, I can't get my mind on anything else but the grief I am feeling.  I see her things everywhere I look. I have washed her kibble dish and placed it in a dresser drawer where it can hold my jewelry.  I cleaned her water container and it is ready to store in the garage.  Just in case.  But I can't even think of another pet right now.

I told my daughter that even opening the blinds on the French doors in the Family Room brought tears.  For years and years (and years), I not only opened them but lifted the blinds about a foot on each door so Victoria could see the birds and the squirrels on the deck.  I had the same reaction in the Study as I realized I would no longer see our kitty girl on tippy toes looking out the window.

Everything is seen through a fog, even the Christmas tree appears to have lost some of its' twinkle and the decorations appear to have gathered a layer of dust.  Life has become... dim.  Sad.  Tearful.  Empty.

I have felt the grief of losing a loved one many times before but this is the first time it happened during the Holidays.  I told my husband about the many well wishes on the blog and how she would have wondered why I would be surprised for I may be the writer but she was definitely the star.  :)

This had already been a different sort of Christmas.  I mentioned that I had sent two (eventually three) boxes of much loved Christmas decorations to charity.  It was just... time.  I've spent the last two years simplifying other areas and it was time to make Christmas decorating simple, too. 

I think the epiphany came when it was a few days after Thanksgiving and I still had not pulled out the many boxes of decorations.  Instead of a joy, decorating had become another chore.  Only eliminating a lot would make it easy and now that I have kept what I absolutely love, decorating is again a joy. There remains plenty to make the house festive and pretty and Christmasy.

I know that intense grief passes and not too far in the distant future, I can look at her photos and smile.  I can remember all the happy times together for that cat was.. Some Cat.  But not now.  Not yet.  I yelled at God today while doing the dishes (my husband wasn't home so I could get away with it).  Why so suddenly?  Why now?

But I know I'm not alone and many, many people this Christmas are feeling great loss.  Too many tragic news events prove that is true.  Then there are the thousands of stories which never make the evening news.  Sad things happen all year long but it does seem at Christmas that grief is magnified. 

Thank you for reading my words of sadness and woe.  Acceptance will return soon.  Then some Christmas joy.  There is so much for which to be thankful. 

21 comments:

Lee Ann said...

I'm so sorry about your loss of Victoria. She was beautiful and you brought her so much joy because you showered her with love. I've felt that loss too many times myself.

Harold Ellebracht said...

Praying for you all. We lost our beloved Oreo girl suddenly in January of this year after 14+ years. You are so right about all the daily reminders of our furbabies.
Love,
Nancy

Kellylynn said...

Hugs....

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

Such a sad loss.......But how good that you had the joy of her companionship for so long.......Still, that does not make it any easier...I see a Church near us is having two "Blue Christmas" services for people who are grieving this holiday.....

Ian's Girl said...

Oh, I am so sorry! She was a gorgeous kitty, and I know you're heartbroken. These precious babies bring us such great joy, and their passing is devastating. We will all miss her, too, and I know I won't be the only one saying prayers for your comfort as your grieve her.

Anonymous said...

Brenda I am sharing in your sadness, this June I too lost my kitty Maverick of 17 years. I loved him dearly as he was my best companion. He loved Christmas with the gnawing of the tree, box jumping & tissue hiding. They certainly have their personalities, quirks & have brought us great joy, haven't they? I pray you find comfort in remembering Victoria's habits, favorite spots & the love she brought into your home. Cherish those memories & the photos you have of her.
God Bless you one day at a time as you heal.

Kindly,
Ruth

Anonymous said...

Victoria was a family member. When family members pass, it is only natural to morn. Hold her close to your heart and remember the joy she brought you.
Kathi in Florida

Vee said...

Wish there were some special words that would give any comfort at all. Life's griefs are why He came. I look forward to all that The Lord will share with you through this Advent season. And, yes, Brenda, He cares about this because He cares about everything you care about. Sending love and praying for comfort.

(One thing I learned quickly when Fioré passed was that there were many household noises that I had always thought she was responsible for...not so! They continue and I don't believe in kitty ghosts. And don't be surprised if Victoria jumps up on your bed either. )

Rita said...

I am so sorry for your loss of Victoria. My Sammy girl cat looked just like Victoria and passed two years ago she was 17. My heart hurts for you.

Deanna Rabe said...

I am feeling your sadness and grief. Though I mostly don't consider myself an animal person, I am. I love my kids pets and felt Rachel's dog Sadie's loss deeply. That was nearly a year ago already.

I know you have suffered loss before and you wisely know that you will have joy again. praying for you to feel God's deep love for you.

Victoria will live on in our hearts, thank you for sharing her with us.

Anonymous said...

I do understand feeling it harder in December...we lost our last wonderful dog in Dec. while we were in Israel...but that visit we stayed with a lovely dog lover lady who grieved with us. It was GOD ordained to happen thus I think. Actually, all my loved ones that I was closest to, left us in the dark winter months...all of them (even the one whose live was snuffed out by a drunk driver)!! It is harder when it is dark outside!! Give yourself all the time and space you need to mourn. Why not? She meant so much to you!! When we shared with our beloved rabbi friend how much we longed to have our dog in eternity he said: "Well, why not? Life does not end here...why think it would end for a beloved pet either?" Interesting...never thought of that before...

Elizabeth in WA

Susan said...

My heart goes out to you, I'm so sorry for your loss.

Victoria is beautiful, I can't imagine how much you will miss her each day. Be extra kind to yourself in these early days of grief. Adding my prayers to all the others.

I've been having difficulty with posting, but wanted to send my thoughts at this sad time.

Veronica said...

It's never an easy time to lose a beloved pet, but the holiday season is the hardest. Years ago our family dog died on Christmas Eve. It was so hard to explain to the kids and I did put away her stocking. It was rough, but every time we started to get upset someone would say Nikita would want us to be happy. I was very proud of my children. We did get a new dog in February, which helped.

Jennifer said...

Know that I am thinking about you over the holidays. I know how sad you must be. I will miss the pictures of Victoria on your blog. Hopefully, each day will be a little less 'heavy' as time goes by.

Morning's Minion said...

I hope never to be without cats in our home--but it does mean that over and over through the years we've had to bear their loss--whether 'full of years' or due to some accident or illness that has taken one in the prime of life.
One goes on for weeks expecting to see the loved form stretched in a pool of sunlight, curled in a favorite chair.
I am so sorry for your loss of your dear feline companion. I have always enjoyed the photos of her in your posts.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. We lost our sweet, little dog last summer, he had grown up with my children and was truly a member of the family. I know how hard this must be for you. You are in my prayers.

Jessi Lashakmitis said...

It is so sad to read about your loss of Victoria. We really hope you will feel better soon. Sending a big hug.
Casey

Heather LeFebvre said...

I'm so sorry Brenda. This year you will have a unique voice to speak to those that struggle with grief during the holidays. I know there are so many out there....and I suppose in different ways the holidays bring to each one of us a sort of grief (since the world isn't perfect) but for some the grief is fresh and raw and very deep. I'm thinking of a few friends right now who need prayer for this...praying for you too!!!!

Linda said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved companion.

Anonymous said...

so very sorry for your loss - hugs.

Maria (viola33) said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I can relate to your feelings, six years ago we lost our cat of 20+ years on December 27 after she had been sick for some time. She was a true family member and my son grew up with her, she was always on his lap when he made his homework or played computer games. The holidays were very sad that year. I am so sorry for your terrible loss, I wish you courage to overcome it.
I was not able to adopt a new cat though I knew that I eventually will. I was just waiting for some cat in need that will come across. After two years it happened and I adopted a tiny stray kitten, and last year yet another one. We (our family) still often recall our old cat and she will always be loved in our hearts, even now when I write this I have tears. Be patient, let yourself grief but try to go out as often as you can, be in places that don't remind you of your beautiful Victoria (I always enjoyed her pictures on your blog, I will miss them).