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Flannery's Blog (62)

Ashes, Judgement and Mythical Closure

I glanced at the book Small Victories by Anne Lamont today and as I was getting ready to place it on a cart to be re-shelved a small voice inside said, ‘read this.’ I’m trying hard to listen to that voice and so I curiously opened it directly to a page where author Anne Lamont is recalling spreading her friend’s ashes.


This caught my attention fast. I still have most of John’s ashes except a few cups I released into Lake Michigan last year. I often think of releasing what is…


Added by flannery on December 8, 2015 at 12:30pm — 3 Comments

Death Is Not a Catalyst For Positive Change- So Please Shut-Up Already

There are those memoirs or blogs or random stories of people who will tell you that something beautiful came out the death of their loved one. That they found their true calling or that they became more empathetic and kind, or that suddenly the fragility of life made them looked around and they became a better person in their world because of that death. Shut-up already, I haven't heard one actual person I know say that.

I don’t personally know one single person that has…


Added by flannery on November 20, 2015 at 9:30am — 9 Comments

Showing Up, Sometimes That's The Best We Can Do

This week I attended the funeral of a friend’s mother. Since John died funerals are harder than they used to be. I flash back to few memories I have of the week John died, of his funeral, of his body there but not there. It’s hard to be present for others in their time of need when your mind flashes back to such trauma. But we try to be don’t we? The best we can, we try to…


Added by flannery on June 26, 2015 at 8:30pm — 4 Comments

Connect the Dots-A Fear Based Game

I’m wondering if anyone else goes through life trying to connect the dots? If anyone else out there looks at the weeks or months leading up to their person’s death and tries to see a pattern or warnings that they might have missed the first time in an attempt to keep it from happening again? Then again-maybe it’s just my special brand of crazy talking here. My deep desire for some sort of logic or understanding or feeble idea of control around the uncontrollable.  Either way, this week I…


Added by flannery on June 26, 2015 at 8:26pm — 4 Comments

To Plant Or Not To Plant - My Need for Roots

My need / desire for home runs deep. A need that wasn't ever filled until I met John and of course that itself was such short a time span experienced that even now I sometimes wonder if I made it all up in my head, the cute house, the loving husband, the shared respect and love. I sometimes wonder if I made up this fantasy life of unconditional love and safety because it's what I longed for and dreamed of for so, so long. In the years that I John and I were married my home was with him,…


Added by flannery on May 21, 2015 at 1:30pm — 2 Comments

Lessons Learned As A Touchstone To A Loved One

A few nights ago I went out with my girlfriends to celebrate our spring birthdays together.  We saw a show, shared a meal and had lots of laughs, hugs and lots of love. It was a lovely night, a night in many ways I had to attribute to John.

I was a bit surprised to find myself whispering ‘thank you, thank you John’ as I walked by myself to the bathroom before the show. I was overwhelmed with gratitude for him, for him teaching me to seek out, plan for and expect there to be…


Added by flannery on April 21, 2015 at 7:00pm — 1 Comment

I'm So Over Grieving, Could Someone Please Tell Me Heart That?

Today I am feeling so over grieving. So over the hardness of the work it requires. So over its permanency in every nook and cranny of my life. Too bad my weary mind and body can’t somehow tell that to my heart in way it can understand.

As a matter of fact, I’m so over it this morning, that for the first time in a very long time, when I got into my car to go to work I really just wanted to keep driving. The weary part of my spirit wanted to simply drive away from all the work, the…


Added by flannery on March 26, 2015 at 10:00am — No Comments

Living (patiently) in the Gray

I have never been a hoarder. I have never been one to keep things because someone gave me something that might be asked about later, or that perhaps “someday” I might need. Mostly, this has served me well albeit occasionally I have had to re-buy something that in a de-cluttering frenzy made its was out and should have stayed in-but this is a rare occurrence. Still, I always think I can do a little better so I recently bought a book about tidying up to which my mom said incredulously while…


Added by flannery on March 2, 2015 at 11:30am — 4 Comments

If You Love Fiercely You Will Certainly Grieve Fiercely Too

It’s been weeks since I’ve allowed myself to be still. To write, to be truly quiet, to feel. Today, is the first day in nearly a month that I’ve had both the time and the emotional fortitude to be still and so I made myself go into my studio and to my yoga mat. Two poses in and the tears sprang into my eyes and rolled down onto the mat, pooling like little wells of physical sadness, proof that my heart is indeed broken, my soul weary.

January 22nd my beloved beagle Abbey,…


Added by flannery on February 20, 2015 at 11:30am — 9 Comments

Dancing Toward the Edges

Early on, when loss shattered the life I had so painstakingly created and loved,  I couldn't see how anything or any place whatsoever could feel correct or right again,  let alone actually good and content again. Early on the grief was so all encompassing, I was surprised that anything continued on at all, even bodily needs. I remember having to pee so badly a week or so after John died and thinking to myself, “how is the still going on? I haven't eaten. I haven't slept. I haven't drank…


Added by flannery on January 24, 2015 at 8:30am — 4 Comments

A Winter's Nap

I was recently taking a nap with my aging beagle beside me. It was one of those rare afternoons when nothing was actually required of me, not that something didn’t need to be done, but no one was expecting me anywhere so I threw in the towel for the day and headed to my studio. I tried to write, I tried to paint, I tried to read but all I had the energy for was laying down. So I grabbed some blankets and made a fort of sorts on the floor so I could wrap myself around Abbey the beagle and…


Added by flannery on January 2, 2015 at 9:00am — 7 Comments

A Prayer to Be Mothered

A Prayer to Be Mothered 

Beloved Mother, I come to you not asking for divine intervention but for the abiding grace and shielding force of a mother’s love.

I ask not that you implore for blessings from beyond your reach, but that you will gently lift up and hold all the broken parts of me, in your healing arms.  

I humbly tug at the hem of your gown and plead to be swaddled tightly against your breast, so my weary spirit may find rest in your…


Added by flannery on December 29, 2014 at 11:00am — 2 Comments

Following the Intuitive Compass-The Healing Model for Those Who Are Actually Grieving

I was in so many ways destroyed by John’s death, literally brought to me knees, or more accurately I was brought even lower than my knees, as I spent nearly every night of that first winter after his death curled in a ball, huddled next to a kitchen cabinet sobbing, lost, scared, lonely, and absolutely bereft. At that time, I never wondered how I would move from that spot. I never thought about what road I would travel to stand upright again or what avenue I might seek counsel so that my…


Added by flannery on December 12, 2014 at 12:30pm — 8 Comments

Bravery, The Necessary Other Side of Grief

I was given an unexpected compliment today. I was told by a co-worker that she admired that I was brave enough to leave my last job and come back to the library as a substitute only, facing permanent employment uncertainly and the great unknown.  I don’t take compliments well and this one being so unexpected I was unsure of what to say, but it certainly gave me a lot to think about.

The back story here is that roughly nine weeks after John died I switched jobs. It sort of came…


Added by flannery on December 2, 2014 at 12:00pm — No Comments

A Hermit Crab's Survival Plan For Holiday Chaos

I feel a bit peevish and grumpy today because of all the forced socialization this time of year demands. With the first week of holiday gatherings behind me, I hate to admit this, but I am already feeling like digging my own hobbit hole, grabbing the beagle, jumping in, and pulling the door closed tightly behind me. From there we could wait it out, whiz right past Baby New Year and into late February. It’s not that I feel all “bah-humbug” about the holidays, it’s that I feel all worn…


Added by flannery on December 1, 2014 at 1:59pm — 5 Comments

Slowly, Slowly, Slowly Goes The Widow

I’ve been filling in at the library I worked at when John died these last few weeks and it has been a good change of pace for me. It’s been good to see co-workers I didn’t realize I missed as much as I do, and to do work that feels important and feeds the greater good. All in all I’ve been happy that I’ve stepped back into the environment I abruptly left after John died, but it hasn’t been without it’s challenges or insights. 

Because the public library is exactly that…


Added by flannery on November 13, 2014 at 1:30pm — 3 Comments

The "D" Word, An Impolite Reality

While finishing up with my attorney last week, having FINALLY gotten around to having a will drawn up, the attorney, a friend of mine, stopped purposely and stared at me. She seemed somewhat puzzled, and not uncomfortable, but hesitant. After a moment she said to me, “In all the years I have been a practicing probate attorney no one has ever sat across from me and used the…


Added by flannery on November 4, 2014 at 6:30am — 4 Comments

Forgiveness- A Not So Talked About Healing Component

It occurred to me yesterday after I left grief counseling that grief has another aspect to it that I personally haven’t read much about, but which I think is incredibly useful toward healing. Forgiveness. It’s one of those words you read about and hear others talk about and it sounds comforting, soothing, easy even, and of course it’s the “right thing to do”. While mulling this idea about it became slightly overwhelming the number of those that must be forgiven in order to heal, in…


Added by flannery on October 28, 2014 at 8:30am — 6 Comments

Acupuncture, An "Out of The Norm" Path Toward Healing

Three months ago I started to go to acupuncture specifically for grief and depression, I had benefited from acupuncture before for other ailments such as insomnia and allergies, so I had thought about trying it for grief for a long time, but like many things since John died, I had to get brave enough to do it, to step into yet another unknown.

From the first moments I was on the table and Jay, a soft spoken healer with incredibly kind eyes said quietly,…


Added by flannery on October 22, 2014 at 9:01am — 1 Comment

Can You Please Get Back to the "Before" You Already?

A few days ago I had a friend confide in me that someone I have a casual friendship with complained that I have “changed” that I am “really different” since John died, that they would really like me to “get back to the old me because they missed that version of me”. Well, no shit, I miss that person too. 

Of course as she went on, what she meant was she missed the me that was more outgoing, as a introvert I find that statement hilarious because I have never been…


Added by flannery on October 20, 2014 at 3:00pm — 9 Comments

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