Posts Tagged With: Dealing with loss

Day 2477: Can’t stop, won’t stop

I can’t stop, won’t stop

  • blogging,
  • letting go of the past,
  • having hope for the future,
  • enjoying the riches of the present moment,
  • writing original songs,
  • telling everybody about the healing power of groups, and
  • taking photos of what I see around me.

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I can’t stop, won’t stop posting videos of my performances even though I have — OMG! — only 18 subscribers to my YouTube channel. Here’s the latest video:

 

 Can’t stop, won’t stop singing about triggers until all the worst triggers go away.

Can’t stop, won’t stop expressing gratitude to all who help me keep going every day, including YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 2476: It’s okay!

Yesterday, somebody in a “Coping and Healing” group suggested that we share thoughts and feelings about “It’s okay,” especially since the week before we had focused on “It’s NOT okay.”

I hope it’s okay that I share what I wrote in that group:

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It’s okay that my “It’s okay!” poem is on its side.

Here are more photos residing on my okay iPhone:

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It’s okay that I missed last night’s spectacular sunset, because I was facilitating the Coping and Healing group.  Yes, somebody else took that much-more-than-okay last photo.

Here‘s OK (Anxiety Anthem) by Mabel:

 

Whatever comment you choose to leave, it’s okay.

I know it’s okay for me to end these posts with gratitude, so thanks to all who helped me create another okay post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 1410: Let it out

Yesterday, when I was letting it out at cardiac rehab, Danise let it out, like so:

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Danise — who helps people, like me, who are recovering from cardiac surgeries let it out on exercise machines and in other healing ways  — let it out by telling me about a dream she’d had the night before.  After the TV coverage let it out that Donald Trump was on his way to winning the U.S. presidential election, Danise dreamed she found Hillary Clinton in her home flipping things over (as Danise is demonstrating, above). In her dream,  Danise  said to Hillary, “Let it out, girl! ”

After I let it out with Danise and others at cardiac rehab, I went home where I let it out with our two cats. I also let it out by turning on the TV, where I was privileged to witness Hillary Clinton letting it out with her  concession speech.

I have to let it out with you, my dear readers, that when I typed that previous sentence, I erroneously wrote “acceptance” rather than “concession.” As my boyfriend Michael and I have been letting it out with each other after the shock of the election result,  we’ve discussed how the stages of grief include denial.

Speaking of the stages of grief, my son Aaron sent me these messages, yesterday, from Scotland:

very very odd

it feels like someone died

Michael, Aaron, and I then let it out with each other during two extended FaceTime sessions.

On Facebook yesterday, I let it out by posting quotes by H.L. Mencken, including these:

“On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. ”

“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.”

I also let it out on Facebook by posting this recent, pre-election clip where Patton Oswalt let it out  that grieving in public is therapeutic:

I also believe that letting it out — where “it” includes all your feelings —  is therapeutic.  I will let it out, now, that if I didn’t believe that, I would not have become a psychotherapist nor would I have started this daily blog.

One more way I let it out on Facebook the day after the U.S. election:

I made it through open heart surgery for this?

I think it’s time to let it out by including all my other photos from yesterday:

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If you have  thoughts or feelings about this post, please let it out in a comment, below.

I hope I let it out how grateful I am to all who help me let it out in this daily blog and to you — of course! — for being with me as I let it out, here and now.

 

Categories: blogging, group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 1163: Why?

Why is the title for today’s post “Why?”

I saw that word, first thing yesterday morning, as I was dropping off my car for its first service:

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Why did I take a photo of “Why?” It was part of a bigger sign

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… but I guess I  focus on the Why.

An hour later, I found out that one of my patients had passed away.

When I heard the news, I first focused on the Why. Then, I  went to many other questions, thoughts, and feelings.

I’m thankful  I work at a hospital where those who knew that patient were able to connect and

  • ask why,
  • shed a tear,
  • share memories, and
  • express gratitude for knowing her.

All day, I met with the living and took other pictures. Why?  Because that’s what I do.

Why do I do this, every day?

Because sharing my thoughts, feelings, and experiences here helps me, every time.

Thanks to all who visit my blog, without asking “Why?”

Categories: blogging, in memoriam, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Day 885: Believe that you’re going to be okay

Yesterday, during a therapy session. I wrote this on my office whiteboard:

I wrote that for somebody who’s been having  some very painful and stubbornly unshakable worries about the future. Recognizing that as a helpful antidote for the cognitive distortion of catastrophizing, she took a picture of it, so she could look at it whenever the negative, frightening thinking came back.

As you can see, I took a picture of it also, to help with my own automatic, fortune-telling thoughts.

I think that picture  has been working, because I do believe that I’m going to be okay … today, tomorrow, and the next day.

Do you believe that, now, for yourself?

Here are some other things I believe that helped me (and perhaps others) to be okay, yesterday:


                   

Okay! I do love adventure, but I don’t think I should howl at this particular moment.  I believe that howling is okay, but it’s extremely early in the morning, right now.

Believe that I’m going to be okay today at a conference on medical practice innovation in Boston (and afterwards, at one of my therapy groups at work).

Before I leave, is it okay if I share some “Believe that you’re going to be okay” music?

I believe that you’re going to be okay with one of these “Believe” songs.

“Believe”‘by Mumford & Sons:

“I’m a Believer,” performed by the Monkees:

“Reason to Believe” by Bruce Springsteen:

I believe this is the last song it’s okay to post: “I Believe in You” from the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying starring Robert Morse (who I believe that you’re going to know  from “Mad Men”):

Believe that I’m going to be okay if you suggest another song (or express anything you believe is going to be okay, in a comment).

Believable thanks to everybody who helped me create this okay post and to you — of course! — for believing enough to visit here, today.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 50 Comments

Day 618: Holes

The title of this post was inspired by this comment, yesterday, by Sitting on My Own Sofa:

The tree must be down by now. It’s probably left a hole in the sky. How are you feeling about that?

I am not sure how I am feeling, but this is what I am seeing out back, where the tree used to be:

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When I am not sure how I am feeling, it sometimes helps to free-associate. Here are some of my thoughts — without self-editing, judgment, or other barriers to flow –about the word “holes”:

  • When I was born, the doctors speculated I had a hole in my heart that had closed, leaving not a trace of the heart’s natural pacemaker.
  • There are no other posts I’ve written, so far, with the word “hole” in the title.
  • When I searched my old posts for word “hole,” it showed me Day 361: That whole bad day/good day thing, again, which implies that WordPress, like me, enjoys playing with words.
  • I think I’ve heard the word “hole” used, derogatively, about women.
  • “Holes” is a book people seem to like, which I haven’t read:

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… which was made into a movie

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… which, according to Rotten Tomatoes, 77% of people surveyed like, and which I also have not seen.

  • There are holes, in this post today, regarding formatting and many missed opportunities to re-use the word “holes.”
  • Swiss cheese has lots of holes in it. I wonder why?

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  • Strangely enough, my Google Image search for “holes” did not return a photo of swiss cheese. However, there was a whole category for “Fear [of Holes]” which included this image:

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  • Now I’m wondering if I should be afraid of lotus flowers.

I’m realizing I need to wrap up this post, holes and all, because there are no holes in my schedule at work this morning. AND, I don’t have my usual room for my therapy group at 10 AM, so I there’s some extra work for me to do.

As far as I’m concerned, are there any holes in this post I need to fix, right now?

Well, I did want to show you these images, of two more treasures I found in my recently retrieved box of memories:

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I’m afraid I’m going to leave holes where explanations should be, in this post, rather than be late for work.

However, I want to show you JUST ONE MORE image:

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That’s the plate my son just left behind, when he left for school. What’s missing from there?  One thing: Avocado slices.

How about some music?  I’d like to fill a hole about that, right now. Some Beatles music, for the first time in this blog. Let’s see if I can.

(YouTube video found here)

YES!

Thanks, everybody!

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , | 27 Comments

Day 572: Tell Her You Saw Me

“Tell Her You Saw Me” is a song by Pat Metheny.  Here’s a live version of it:

(found here on YouTube)

I listened to “Tell Her You Saw Me” a lot, when my mother was ill and dying, in the summer of 2008.

To this day, I find it very beautiful and sad.

Yesterday, when I was walking to work, I took this photo:

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I thought: I’ll tell my readers I saw that.  I’ll use those initials —  “F.B” —  to share some thoughts about FaceBook, a topic that often comes up in my therapy groups. Plus, my mind seems tuned for making connections, so I was sure I’d identify other F.B’s during the day.

Throughout the morning, I thought of other ways I could use the initials F.B., in order to create a Fine Blog, perhaps, for you.

For example, the doctor I recently mentioned in this post  (about a patient whose application for disability was initially turned down) has the initials  F.B.!  I considered taking a photo of Dr. F.B., for this potential and planned post.

Just then, I checked my email and found that another patient of Dr. F.B.’s, who was also in therapy with me,  had passed away.

Those who worked with this amazing woman, including Dr. F.B., immediately exchanged messages, sharing our surprise and grief.

Later that day, the good doctor F.B.  and I met in person, to talk and reminisce. We agreed that our late patient — despite her many illnesses and challenges — had a spirit so indomitable, we expected her to outlive the two of us.

All day, I remembered and imagined the deceased — her voice, her expressions, the way she met the world.  I heard and saw her, as I worked with other people,  and when I walked  and sat near a quiet brook.  I looked and listened,  the rest of the day, but took no photos.

And I abandoned any previous plans for today’s post.

When I walked back to my car, still not taking photos, I heard “Tell Her You Saw Me.”

I want to tell you this: I loved working with this woman.  She lit up my office, every time she appeared. We shall all miss her, very much.

Even though I’m working on my reactions to death, I still cannot believe that somebody is so there, and then they are not.

If I saw her again, what might I tell her?

I’m grateful I knew her.

Thanks to all my readers,  for looking, listening, and joining with me, today.

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, tribute | Tags: , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 528: Transported (random thoughts and shots)

I became aware of a theme of “transported” as I moved through yesterday.

On the way to work, I noticed …

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When I got to work, I did a group, where we talked about many things, including modes of transportation.

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Then, I was transported, by car, to yet another dental appointment. I was scheduled for my 3-month teeth-cleaning, but I had lost track of that as the reason for the appointment. And, I could not get my teeth cleaned, yesterday, because I hadn’t been pre-medicated with antibiotics. However, I was very glad to be there, because I’ve had a toothache for about a week.

Michel, the dental hygienist there, was glad to see me, too.  She transported me with her kindness and great stories  — including how an adolescent Michel, who did not want braces or glasses but got them both at the same time, proceeded to (1)  lose her glasses and (2) remove her braces with a pair of pliers.

Here’s the not-quite-as-rebellious Michel:

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Note that:

  • there are many photos of dogs on the wall, which reminds me of my doctor’s office (although all the photos there are of one dog).
  • Michel (and my dentist, Dr. Luis Del Castillo) carefully explored the cause of my toothache, which turned out to be a chip in a filling.
  • Michel is still assertive, these days. For example, she does not like having her picture taken.

After the dental appointment (and rescheduling the cleaning*) I was transported back to my car, through the Public Gardens:

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I went home, to boyfriend Michael and son Aaron.  Soon, I discovered that Aaron had received a lead role in a local production. That was transporting, in a different way.

Later, I saw this being transported:

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I remarked to Michael — on our last evening before he leaves, today, for a work-week away from us — that I was surprised anybody needed THAT much of that particular product.

Which reminds me of something else written on my work whiteboard, earlier yesterday:

“There’s never enough.”

Thanks to Michel (and others on my medical/dental team),  to Michael and Aaron, to all those who are transported (or transporting) in any way, to rebels everywhere, to people who are coping and healing as best they can, and to you — of course! — for transporting yourself here, today.


* From now on, I won’t be getting antibiotics intravenously before a teeth cleaning AND the cleanings will be once every four months (instead of three months).  My medical/dental team believes oral antibiotics and this frequency will be enough to prevent any re-occurrence of endocarditis. I find all that transporting, too.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 387: Why I’m not afraid of going out today

There are lots of reasons why I SHOULD be afraid of going out today, including:

  1. It snowed last night.
  2. It’s 9 degrees, in these here parts 1.
  3. The expected high is only 18 degrees.
  4. I don’t know what the friggin’ wind child factor is — how the outside world is SUPPOSED TO FEEL, according to some cockamamie calculation by some weather wonk — but, I can tell you this: that’s not good, either.
  5. With all of the above (plus my personal health “conditions”) 2, today has more obvious dangers, than yesterday did.

And in posts past, I have certainly written about my fear of the elements (see here, here, here, here, here, or basically any post I’ve written during the winter months,  for obvious or subtle clues about same).

So why aren’t I scared, this morning?

Well, I’ve had some practice — at this point in the winter of 2013/2014 — of dealing with all of the above. And I’ve lived — no worse for the wear. So that definitely helps.

What else helps?

In a previous post, I referred to books I’ve re-read many time, including The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, by Mark Toby.

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Several years ago, I ordered this book, from Amazon, so I could own it again.  While I did not take the photo above, I thought I could have when I wrote that previous blog post, because that book I ordered (plus the one I owned in the 1960’s) looked just like that picture.  However, when I was writing that previous blog post, it was easier to find a photo online, rather than look for the book.

Why?  Because of something else that usually scares me: Looking for something I own, for fear I will not find it.

I’m upstairs, while I’m writing this portion of the blog post. I believe that book is downstairs, somewhere. Today, I’m not afraid of looking for that, either, and I will, in just a moment.

But, wait!  I haven’t revealed WHY I want to look for that book.

Here’s why: This is my memory of the last line of that book, which has been echoing in my head, since I started writing this post:

Fall in love. Love will make you brave.

Aha!  There’s another reason I might be afraid to look for that book: fear that my memory might not be good enough.

Hold on. I’m venturing downstairs.

Hmmmmm.

While I found other treasured books from my past:

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…. no sign of The Courtship of Eddie’s Father.

What do I deduce, dear readers, from that?  Well, the book could have been destroyed, when the basement flooded at our previous residence. Or, it could be somewhere else, lurking, where we live now.

But, you know what? I’m not scared about any of that. And I’m not disappointed, either, even though I can’t use  my original plan for the ending of this post: A photo of the last line(s) of that book, which I figured would be close enough.

Instead, here’s another ending, which I love.

Thanks to all those reading, today, who love, are loved, or are brave for any reason. And that would include you (even if you don’t know it).


  1. That’s just my way of saying “Fahrenheit”, these days.

  2. Not to worry. I have a pacemaker and recently received a new diagnosis of atrial fibrillation, but I’m fine.  Really. I’m not just saying that! I just need to be more careful about injuries — like slipping on ice or getting into a car accident — because I’m taking anti-coagulant medication.

Categories: inspiration, Nostalgia, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

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