Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Finding Her Way Back

"A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed (so sulking in her house probably isn't a good option)."  ツ  --- Proverbs 11:25


(My final post about Charlie Cat.)

Oh. My. Goodness.

No other 5 weeks in my 31 New York state years were this emotionally traumatic. The loss of Charlie Cat shocked my mind. Devastated me.

He was meant to stay 11, 12, years with us and instead? Seven months, only, did he capture our hearts and enchant us. Oh, that young cat loved us! Every day he showed us unconditional affection. 

And how much of that do you find these days?

Wow. I lost ground, like being yanked backward, whoosh! This was different, not just the death of a pet, but rather, an attack. Questions, anger, confusion, self-pity, numbing grief, disappointment, crying at the memories, wondering if I'd made mistakes. Silence instead of speaking. Not wanting to move forward, but rather, to be allowed another chance.

But after death there are no do-overs.

I had to extend much forgiveness toward the situation and everyone involved, even God, who never messes up, but which mostly became forgiving myself for not understanding His reasons for allowing this. For not seeing any good--and doesn't He turn all things for good?

The not knowing why, the possible 4, or so, vet-listed possibilities, one maybe an accidental dropping of a pain pill (a simple aspirin can kill a cat). But again! The not-knowing for certain. The guilt, deserved or not.

Yet after time, I spied comments online from women still bitterly grieving for their pets 5, even 10 years later and I knew that certainly was not God's plan for me. 

I began to choose healing.

God created me to encourage others, to write in this blog, not to hide or open myself to a spirit of grief which focuses only on oneself, her pain and all things gone wrong now and before, even.

"Heal me and I shall be healed," I told God over and over. "Restore unto me the joy of this life you breathed into me." Because Honey, I'd lost that. My future no longer appeared joyous, fulfilling or anticipatory. Just sad until a heavenly homecoming.

Then I felt God tell me, "How about if, instead of finding new cats to restore your happiness, you wait? Wait to return to a simple daily joy in Me, first?"

Two weeks into that, some days I succeed, others I fail, but since Saturday, finally, I'm experiencing more emotionally good hours than sad. At least I'm recognizing my old self and oh my, she's grateful for a God who hung in there with her.

And continues to do so.

I did think of one good thing this tragedy brought about: now if you tell me you've been traumatized, I can sympathize with you much better. I will never forget this devastation.


I kept reminding myself to not let my emotions push me around, but still, I too often sank beneath them. In the mire.

But I discovered good lists, things to do when the initial shock has worn off--

Take walks
Talk with friends who'll understand.
Eat right
Spend much time with God
Take your vitamins
Get out and about
List your blessings
Read the Bible
Be gentle with yourself, but tough against the lies
Begin a new hobby (or return to an old one)
Watch encouraging videos, movies, etc.
Peruse uplifting books
Find a helpful place online (Instagram greatly encouraged me)

---And ask for help if nothing seems to be working or if you can't make yourself do anything helpful.


Some good news:

Naomi has a new job: she's a tour guide at a local vacation spot! So far she's liking it and I enjoy her tourist stories.


Please remember: My posts are always about more than they appear to be. 


 "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15


Betsy said...

Oh Debra, my heart breaks for you. Losing a pet is one of the hardest things, just because of their unconditional love for us. We felt much the same after our Chloe died three springs ago. One day she was literally running though the fields, the next day, gone from a massive stroke. We had to make the decision, but since she could only follow us with her eys, what choice did we have? Oh, but the love they give us while they're here.
I'm going to continue to pray for you. God will heal your heart. He always does for those He loves. I am glad you're finding your way through the darkness now.
Blessings and love,

Pam said...

Debra, I'm very thankful that you're beginning to have more "good hours than sad." How good it is to turn the corner, with God's help and His steady, guiding hand. My heart was blessed by your decision to allow this painful time in your life to teach you how to better encourage others who are suffering. That must please our Lord! If our hurts can somehow draw us closer to Him and one another, it brings peace and a grateful heart.

I will continue to pray for you, Debra. It sounds like Naomi has a fun new job! Prayers will be said for her, too. Sending hugs and hope!!

Debra said...

Betsy--thanks so much for a compassionate comment. This has all been so hard. Fortunately this past week I felt much healing. Thanks for your prayers!

Pam--thank-you, also! I so appreciate your kind words. Too, thanks for praying for Naomi and her new job! That means much to me.

Thank-you much, Ladies, for your faithful comments and for reading here! Blessings, Debra