Hi there

How are you doing?

I find myself in December again. How can it already be December?  This will be my 57th December. Impossible! That number just won't register in my brain.

I'm aware that I haven't written in a while - longer than is usual for me... Truthfully, I believe I have been busy. Busy avoiding, resisting, denying....

I have begun a few attempts at a Post but each time it quickly leads me back to this and I have walked away. Until today, when I am beginning with the very thing I am avoiding...

It has been a very harsh few weeks and I know I am not alone in this. October, my favourite time of year, snuggled up with September and November either side has generally brought me incredible Autumn colours, chilly, sunny mornings and crisp walks with our beautiful Cocker Spaniel. However, this October brought a kind of gnawing. A sense of dread. My heart sank and - just checking - it still hasn't risen back up as yet.

Full Of Grief With Intermittent Happiness
We had our usual lovely Autumn break planned in our favourite seaside retreat up in the East Neuk. Usually filled with anticipatory Joy, however we were both filled with sadness and dread. We could see the signs but had no facts at that stage... Our beautiful Silky Black Cocker Spaniel with his luscious curls for ears and furry Yeti feet had just turned 11. He was officially 'old' yet everyone who met him said he looked so young.

Crying Silently In Other Rooms
November then confirmed our worst fears; our precious friend who loves us and we treasure him so deeply, is very ill. Many have said in the past about their own or other's; "it's only a dog.". Our dog, who is such a sincere Soul, kind and loving. We have done our best to avoid him seeing or hearing our grief because he so sensitive and empathic and therefore our pain is his pain. We can discuss our pain, but he can't and I believe that makes it worse for him as he will have no understanding of why we are going through another wave of devastating grief. He would snuggle in to us, try to comfort us, trembling in response - which is why we will not cry in front of him. When we are calm and strong we tell him how we feel about him and about losing him.

There have been many rapid changes in his behaviour and health in the last month which have been extremely painful to really See and acknowledge. I'd much rather not know... I'd much rather be oblivious... why can't this all be a big mistake... but it is impossible to ignore.

Frantic Moments
I have experienced some frantic moments. Irrational at times - but grief does that to us I believe, like when he was in such a deep, deep sleep soon after his diagnosis and he looked so frail we believed that that was his last night with us. I sat up all night staring at him, stroking his Yeti paws, thoughts flitting through my mind recalling him sitting contentedly on top of the ironing pile just a few months old to suddenly panicking that this could be the last Dawn Chorus he may hear and tearfully sought out a beautiful Dawn Chorus on You Tube for him to listen to, just in case.... I tried to count how many mornings he has awoken to the squawking Crows and chirpy, whistly Starlings in the Beech Trees opposite. Wild, crazy, scrabbling around in my Mind, thinking of all sorts of thoughts other than our beautiful Boy is dying.

...and still my Inner Critic harshly judges me about sharing this Post with you. "who wants to read about this!?" he cackles at me. How could I not? It is where I find myself right now and I have nothing else to share but this.

Thanks for reading...
My wise and good friend reassured me that this may not only help me but help others too and so I hope that somehow, in any small way, this may touch you.

Thanks for being here,
Back soon