Friday, August 18, 2017

Our doggies feel his absence, too.

We moved to Arizona with Snuggles, our little, adorable rescue pup. Five months later we added another rescue pup, Sterling, because we thought Snuggles should have a friend to grow up with. They both are about the same age.

Sterling became very attached to my husband and the two were just about inseparable. So, during his illness, Sterling knew something was wrong. He'd sit on his lap and put his paws on the affected area and he would just stare into Warren's eyes.

During the last several weeks, it's been sad watching the doggies look for him.  They go to the rooms where he spent some of his time and look around almost every day.  They sleep on his side of the bed. I placed a towel that he had used (and I didn't wash) on his pillow and the doggies sleep on it. Sterling now follows me everywhere I go, even if it's just a change of a few feet. When I leave the house, he barks and cries and Snuggles just looks at me with a very concerned look on her face. I tell them that I'll be back and that sometimes seems to calm them down.

For the first several weeks, Sterling exhibited definite signs of depression. He wouldn't eat, he would just sit with his head drooping, he would sigh as he lay on the sofa. Snuggles sighs quite loudly and her eyes follow me as I go about the house. When I'm at my computer, she's right at my elbow, always. And so I've lavished an enormous amount of cuddling, hugging, kissing and just loving both of them. Even when my son's dog comes over he knows someone is missing. He, too keeps looking for him.

The looks on the doggies faces have changed. There is a sadness in their eyes, especially when they look at me when I'm having one of my meltdown episodes and when we settle in bed at night.  They crawl right up to my face and stare... I think just to make sure I'm all right.  I cuddle with them, hug them, stroke their heads and tell them I love them.  Doing that makes me feel better and they seem to love that.

I'm thankful that I have them. They provide a lot of love and emotional support and comfort. I hope I do the same for them.

Copyright © 2017, Reisa Sterling Miller. All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Sleep is elusive

Getting a decent night's sleep has eluded me.  It doesn't matter what time I go to bed, sleeping through the night has become elusive. Night after night, my eyes pop open at two, three or four o'clock, I get  up, wander around a bit, try going back to bed hoping sleep will come again. Sometimes it does, for a little while, sometimes I remain up for whatever is left of the overnight hours.

Once in a while I wander into the living room, settle on the sofa and read a bit from a book I've started. Occasionally, the reading sessions last until sunrise.

None of this surprises me. This problem started several months ago and has only escalated recently. There have been some nights when I've managed to sleep almost all night but those are few and far between. But there are days when I find myself napping so I guess sleep comes when it's really needed.

While I'm up in the wee hours, my memories of our life together surface and I spend time remembering so many happy, wonderful things. I remind myself how lucky we were that we had each other for over fifty years.  If my sleepless nights are filled with loving memories, it's a good price to pay.

Copyright © 2017, Reisa Sterling Miller. All Rights Reserved

Friday, August 4, 2017

The meltdowns

It's Friday night, Shabbat. I'm hoping to feel a modicum of peace but it doesn't come.  The meltdowns are coming more often and I think I know why.  The days and nights are getting lonelier. A few friends still call. The inquiring emails have trickled down to almost non-existent.

Being alone is affecting me badly. I was almost never alone before. We were such a team for so long, comfortable in our togetherness, always doing something as a duo. Now the 'aloneness' is so difficult. The quietness gives me too much time to think of the loss. The anguish is still so raw.

Time is going by but I'm not yet getting used to this different kind of life I now lead. I hate it. I simply hate it with a passion. I rage against it. Sometimes I scare the doggies with my outbursts. But bless these two beautiful little creatures. When I am almost out of control, they come to me and nuzzle me. They look at me with eyes of concern and then they lick my nose, my fingers, my arms and, yes, that calms me down.  I'm thankful they are with me.

What a different world it is now for me. It is filled with tears that I can't control. I give into them easily. Maybe someday the meltdowns will subside.  Maybe someday.......

Copyright © 2017, Reisa Sterling Miller. All Rights Reserved