grief & comfort

Saturday, December 15, 2012

my happy place, my comfort cat - Oliver

There are some griefs so loud
They could bring down the sky,
And there are griefs so still
No one knows how deep they lie,
Endured, never expended.
There are old griefs so proud
They never speak a word
They never can be mended
And these nourish the will
And keep it iron-hard.

Of Grief - May Sarton

Earlier this year near the beginning of the fall my anxiety/worry/sadness affliction got a hold on me. A hold so tight and so frightening feeling I sought out help. My hypervigilant take on the world was once again feeling dark and bleak. Try as I might everywhere I looked I either saw badness or sadness, or if I couldn't quite see it I could imagine it in vivid meticulous detail. A constant steady stream of increasingly painful "what ifs" would swirl around my mind at high speed. What if while driving the car I hit an animal ... a cat or a dog. What if Winnie died ? What if Sam got loose and ran away and we couldn't find him ? What if my neighbours aren't looking after their beautiful cat ? What if Doug got sick and died ? What if while walking the 5 minute walk to the post office I saw something bad, sad, cruel ? I felt desperate and crazy. I felt like I didn't want to leave my home, my protective bubble. I felt afraid. I felt afraid of everything.

Thankfully (& serendipitously) I found the most amazing therapist and nearby. I saw her 4 times. She helped me understand some of the "why" this happens to me (and that No, of course I'm wasn't crazy), she also taught me that at times like this I needed to learn to become my own comfort - I needed to create a world in my own mind that was good & beautiful & kind & safe - that was & always would be - comfort.

Times like today when I look out at the sadness happening in the world I live in, we live in ... when I look at the sadness here in my own village, or the sadness in the lives of some dear friends or when I try to imagine the pain of the shattered parents in Newtown and parents everywhere  ... I feel those same black feelings. How can this be a good world & how will they ever bear this grief, this sadness  ?

I feel so very lucky, I feel grateful.
I feel love & I feel comfort.


  1. A wonderful piece of writing by May Sarton...Susan dear,I can relate to some of your sadness. I am glad that you sought help.
    A beautiful photo of Olver, there is something very comforting about a cat, their purr, their soft, fluffy tummies, their little paws, their ears, everything.
    A tragic day in Newton, I feel for those little lives snatched away, for all and those left behind and the grief that they will have to endure.
    xoxoxo ♡

  2. As I have wallowed in my sadness of the loss of my mother and missing her so this holiday season, I’ve ordered her Christmas flowers, decorated my Christmas trees with all the special ornaments, hung the stockings for me and the cat, bought presents for my nieces and nephew, and was ready to start on the cookies and such, and the events of yesterday occurred. How awful for all those families, the children, the community, our nation, and the world in this season of hope. I look at my cat, Gracie, and ask myself what would I do without you dear girl. I would be lost for she is my happy and comfort place and I am and so lucky to have her too!


  3. Hello sweet Dianne - I am still struggling with creating that "good" place in my mind that I can retreat to when life seems overwhelmingly dark. Oliver (as many of you already know) is a very exceptional cat, I remember when I said my final goodbye to my red retriever Jake and I felt such pain & grief, Jake felt like my everything and my everything was suddenly gone in a blink, in a day ... I remember my comfort cat Oliver - he slept on me, sat beside me, purred at me, with me, comforted me & he still does - always.

    xo Susan

  4. Hello Galestorm - grief is a healing process, I don't believe you are/were wallowing I believe you are healing yourself through your feelings and you are loving. You are missing your mother and creating new rituals to celebrate that big love. I'm glad you too have a comfort cat. Hugs & loads of comfort to you & Gracie this Christmas

  5. Susan, we live so much inside our own heads, creating our own realities, and sometimes like an old LP the needle gets stuck ...

    There still is magic. There still is love. Reach out when you need help.

    The world is still a good place. Why ? Coz YOU are in it.

  6. Hi Susan, may you be cocooned with warmth, love, happiness and comfort. Take care and have peace of mind this festive season. Happy Holidays.

  7. if admiration is comfort please know that I admire you - for stating your truth and working towards healing. I recently heard someone say that you are not responsible for your illness but you are responsible for your treatment. I found that helpful - hope you do too.

  8. thank you so much for this comment of comfort Nancy.
    Great big comfort xo Susan

  9. Gulp - I have this too. What if The Gardener got sick and died? The cats? Etc etc, much like you. And then he reminds me of what I have, and says "What are you grateful for today?" Always the emphasis on the 'today', and I feel better.
    Much love to you and your lovely tribe x

  10. What a beautifully written post and I've so missed reading and connecting with your world. I'm still dashed with the loss of my father just a little over a year ago.

    Love you. Love your heart.


  11. Dear Susan,
    Whenever an evil act like this happens -- for every sick individual who does something so violent and merciless -- think of the millions of people (and animals) in Canada, America, and the world over who would lay down their lives to protect these little ones. Several good souls in Newton did just that. Look at any disaster, and the person who panics, a few moments later is stepping up and helping someone to safety. Our world is full of "angels". You did the healthy thing by reaching out. That takes strength. Peace and blessings to you all. -Terri


Hey ! We LOVE comments here at 29 Black Street.
Thanks for stopping by.