I’ve been having a very hard time since Bella was diagnosed with bone cancer and not expected to live much longer. A psychic told me the lump was not cancer and I should have it removed. But after a first moment of reprieve and hope, I realized that Bella’s too old (she’s 14) to go through major surgery, and I’m too old and too vulnerable to depression to help her through a difficult convalescence. I would also have had to find another veterinary surgeon and that’s really daunting.
So I’m doing my best to stay present with myself and my feelings and appreciate Bella as much as I can. I’ve been cycling through the stages of grief: denial, painful grief, depression, and times of being OK and able to appreciate her presence. As I do now, with her curled up next to me on the couch. She’s handling this much better than I am. Her spirits are good, and she moves along gallantly on three legs.
I’m feeling horrible lonely and badly out of touch with Spirit. I’m really needing contact with people who care about me, and I’m finding it very hard to get in touch with them.
Because I’m in a lot of pain, I’ve been reading through my “Resource” notebook which contains good things that have happened to me, good things I’ve done, good things people have said about me. Came across this passage from August 2009:
One of the downsides of having a really good week is that the slight amount of discomfort I’m feeling now — a little sad & scared — feels like a failure. What’s wrong with me that I couldn’t sustain it when I got there? No, it’s not that I “did something wrong,” it’s that life has ups & downs. And my practice is: to bring compassion to this woman who is angry at herself for being scared & sad. There there dear, it’s natural to feel scared & sad. So much of your life was spent in futile struggle against the symptoms of PTSD because you were traumatized in infancy and didn’t know what happened. You learned to make yourself wrong for being terrified and depressed so much of the time. Dear, you are truly a bodhisattva who chose this lifetime for the purpose of healing. That means all of your work on yourself is worthwhile, even the techniques that failed to help because they were designed for more ordinary lives, not for PTSD. You have learned to be more and more compassionate, toward yourself and toward others. None of your work has been wasted.
This is helpful because it puts my grief for Bella in perspective with the losses and pains of my whole life.