Alf: Three Months Later

Alf on His Last Day

Alf on His Last Day

I feel the need to write about Alf. It has been almost 3 months since he died, and we are coming up on his birthday (on Thursday, July 10). My friend and mentor, Michele Grace, says it takes 12 moons to process through bereavement, and I need to share how the grieving process is working for me. I find that I am very reluctant to even write about it for fear of raising painful emotions (painful emotions that I am, quite frankly, tired of feeling), but I know that the only way out of grief is to plow headlong through it. You can’t go around it; it can’t be avoided. You have to wring every bit of anguish out of your heart before it can truly heal. That is how the sensation feels, this grief – as though my heart is being wrung out.

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Word of the Day: Compassion

Mirriam-Webster says that compassion is:

sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it; [in other words], a feeling of wanting to help someone who is sick, hungry, in trouble, etc.

Today’s thoughts about compassion:

I find it interesting that compassion seems to have a relationship to empathy. As an empath and a deeply compassionate person, I have been crying all morning because of animals in pain, confusion, and suffering. I want to help them. I want to alleviate their distress. Unfortunately, I am too far away from most of them to help, or the damage has already been done and there is nothing left to do but weep — and then spread education so the same thing doesn’t happen again.

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Word of the Day: Expressive

My helping spirits have given me a new discipline. They want me to start a “Word of the Day” blogging practice to help make (or keep) us aware of the power of words. I expect to give the dictionary definition and then muse about the word for a bit, what it means and perhaps what kind of power it holds for me.

Now, just because this is “Word of the Day,” don’t expect it every day. I will only be blogging on words that resonate or reach out to me on certain days. If a day or two goes by without a word, it’s not a big deal. The idea is awareness.

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My First Near-Death Experience

(An excerpt from my soon-to-be-released book)

human soul In this life, I have almost died twice. I say almost died, because I never went into the light, the way people often describe. But I was out of my body and aware of what was happening around me as a spirit this first time. It happened when I was about 5 years old, and it remains a vivid memory.

I loved raw potatoes, and would always beg a chunk of potato from my mother when she was cutting them up to cook for supper. I received my chunk of potato and was happily munching away in our living room when I heard the back door open and what I thought was my father’s voice. I thought he was arriving home from work, and started to run out to greet him the way I always did when he came home. I stubbed my toe on the end table leg in the process, started crying, and inhaled the potato.

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Weekend in the Hudson Valley

fleabaneAs much as I love my home, the farm, and my work, once in a while I have to get away. My partner and I went to visit my friend Beth and her husband Mark over the weekend. They live in the Hudson Valley, which isn’t really that far away from here — about a three-hour drive. We had a great time!

Beth and I are old friends from our Morrisville College days. We were in the Equine Program together, and even though we have been through a lot of changes in our lives and live relatively far apart, we have remained the best of friends for 29 years.

The four of us rented bicycles on Saturday morning and rode the Rail Trail. It was beautiful, with all the honeysuckle and spring wildflowers blooming! It was good exercise, and a great way to re-connect and catch up with recent events in our lives. We had a late lunch in Copake. That evening we headed for the Blackthorne Resort in East Durham to see Black 47, an Irish rock band who is on their last tour, after which they are going to retire. The show was fantastic!

Yesterday morning we hung out at their farm (lilacs blooming everywhere), visited with the two resident mares, walked the 20-acre property and just had a lovely, leisurely day until it was time to leave so we could get home at a reasonable hour in order to feed my own horses. The Catskills are magical and beautiful and being surrounded by them this weekend was good for my soul.

My plans for today involve weeding the raised bed gardens in my yard in preparation for planting.

Hope your Memorial Day weekend is a happy one, too! And thanks to all the veterans who served our country. We are deeply indebted to you.