I have not been on this website for almost a year. I last posted a blog in August of last year. I quit coming here as the changes that had been made to the site made it more difficult to navigate. So many people left that I no longer felt the community that I had experienced the first couple of years I had come here. Then, life seemed to be getting better. I was functioning on a higher level. I was able to handle stress and a lot of responsibility. I was not obsessing about negative things, I did not want to die, I could even say I was enjoying life.

Right after Christmas things got busy with my mother being sick. I had to keep going to visit to take her to doctors’ appointments and tests. In April we finally got a diagnosis: lung cancer. I was still OK. Mom immediately wanted to have surgery to remove it. Her words: “Cut it out!” Timing for surgery and illness is never good. But, I had a lot going on. When Mom scheduled surgery, we really thought she could attend my daughter’s college graduation three weeks later. Boy was that off. I knew she would have a tough recovery. I was not surprised, as my sisters were, when the surgeon said a week in the hospital was expected. But he and all of us had no idea that Mom would not do well at all. She refused to sit up in a chair like she was told. She refused to use the spirometer (a device you suck on to force you to take deep breaths and hold). She would not try to walk. She just wanted to lie in bed. Sure she had a lot of pain from the incision. But surgery is painful.

The more she lay in bed, the harder it was to get out. Because she had not been standing or even sitting, when she did sit up, she was dizzy. She was light headed. But she fought everyone who was there to help her and refused to do the things that would help her. Now almost 3 months after surgery she still cannot walk on her own. The most she can do is a few hundred feet using a walker. I could go on about the struggles I have dealt with her, but I won’t. Just know that it has been a battle. And I was handling OK.

During all of this, the sister who lives near Mom has been drinking again. I have known since before Dad died that she had been drinking. I would get strange phone calls, texts or emails from her. I would hear reports from friends and family that she was texting them at odd hours of the night. (Before texts, she would call people while drunk. She thinks texting will keep her secret). I know I have no control over her behavior. She alone is responsible for her sobriety. I am responsible for how I react to anything she does while drunk. I was OK. I was not getting drawn into her drama.

My daughter graduated college. My husband and I packed her apartment and loaded into a truck with the help of friends and her in-laws. Her husband flew in from 2700 miles away. We then drove them across the country to his military base in 5 days. I helped her unpack and set up her kitchen. I was prepared to finish the rest in the next three days I would be there. I was handling it all. I was OK.

Then, we got a call that one of our dogs was sick. It did not sound like much. The dog sitter thought it was just nerves from me being gone for so long. But in the middle of the night, after our son returned from camp, she died. Darcy, the fun loving, adventurous diva dog had died. And what’s worse, is that it appears that she and her brother were poisoned. Mr. Sippi started to get sick after she did. We had our son take him to the Vet ER after she died as we wanted to do anything to save him. Rather than stay a couple more days with our daughter and then return to my mother, I flew home to be with our son.

I have cried more over the death of Darcy than I did for my father. It’s not that I did not love my father, nor that I did not miss him. It’s just that his death did not hit me like this. Remember, I was OK. I handled it. I handled everything up to this point. Dad’s death, Mom’s cancer, sister’s drama, daughter moving away, and oh by the way, we’re moving with husband’s job next spring. I was OK. I was handling it.

Guess not. My psychiatrist said that it is not unusual for all the grief that I am experiencing (death, illness, relocation, empty nest) to come out at one time in the death of my beloved dog. I still cannot come to grips that she is gone and I will never see her again. (Please DO NOT tell me about the Rainbow Bridge. I do not believe in it. You may, and that is fine for you, but I do not). I cannot believe that someone was so evil to poison her. She was not a bothersome annoying dog. (Those dogs do not deserve to be poisoned either. Their owners deserve something, but not death). I just cannot get past it.

I have no desire to do anything. I only do what I have to: cook, laundry, personal hygiene, minimal cleaning. I returned to my mother’s to take her to a doctor’s appointment and for an appointment with the nursing home staff on her progress. Right now I am at home alone. My husband is working in Texas each week. He leaves at 4:30 AM on Mondays and returns on Thursdays or Fridays. My son is away on a service project trip. My daughter now lives 2700 miles away instead of just 45 minutes. So it is just Mr. Sippi and I. We are both pretty pathetic right now. Darcy was his litter mate. He was always with her. I just cannot stop crying. I feel guilty because I am crying over a dog, not a child or a spouse. There are others who have it far worse. Even if you consider that I am mourning so much more than Darcy, that I am mourning the loss of my Dad, the loss of my life here in Louisiana, of my daughter moving away, of my son about to leave the nest, there are others with things much worse. So on top of my depression I have guilt. Guilt for being depressed.

All right then. I am not OK. I am not handling it. I guess I really am still depressed.

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