Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Silence


It's been ten days, and I just cannot seem to think of anything interesting to write here. I seem to be in an emotional slough of despond.

The weather here has been miserable. I'm pretty sure the sun has not shone here since February 1. And, yes, I mean that literally, not metaphorically. (Though the latter would be true also.)

I know stuff is happening in the Anglican world. I continue to read your blogs, but I cannot muster any energy to comment on the blogs or to write anything significant here.

In Missouri, today is a state holiday, so I've been home. Alone. Without stucture. Big mistake. Accomplished nothing more than the mournful fox at right. I suppose it was fortuitous that the two weekends since Shug's death, I had things that I had to do, places I had to be, people who were counting on me. Not so today.

The vet's office called this morning. Shug has been cremated, and her ashes are now ready for me to pick up.

And it is the liturgical season of dust and ashes. So there was nothing amiss in my quietly weeping Sunday through the Great Litany and the rest of the first Sunday in Lent.

I still need to develop a liturgy for Shug's burial. I am paralyzed and weep every time I try to turn my attention to it.

Scotty has spent most of today sleeping, curled up with his tail over his face. He has the right idea, I think.

60 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, ((Lisa)))

The Lord comfort you, and just be near.

Love,
Grace.

2/12/2008 5:35 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Grief is such a heavy burden to bear. Sometimes, you just need days like today. It's okay, love. You're really not alone, you know. Some of us are right there with you, just a prayer away.

2/12/2008 5:49 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Thank you both for these kind words. I have felt desperately alone, and am grateful for your comfort.

I was just listening to some music, and it reminded me how glad I am that I decided long ago to get rid of the guns I grew up with. Some moments, the temptation to end the ache would just be too great.

2/12/2008 6:43 PM  
Blogger FranIAm said...

Dear Lisa- I send you so many prayers for healing, for peace, for consolation at this time. Sometimes keening and howling like the mourning wolf is all that we can do.

You are held in prayer at this time - do what you need to for your heart to heal.

2/13/2008 6:45 AM  
Blogger Nina said...

(sits down by Lisa, offers hug)

2/13/2008 7:55 AM  
Blogger Catherine + said...

Lisa, a liturgy for you is on its way by email. I pray it will be helpful to you during this time.

In Christ's mercy,

Catherine+

2/13/2008 8:56 AM  
Blogger David said...

O God of peace, who hast taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, in quietness and in confidence shall be our strength: By the might of thy Spirit lift us, we pray thee, to thy presence, where we may be still and know that thou art God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP, p. 832)

It's one of my favorites.

Peace of the Lord, sister.

2/13/2008 9:09 AM  
Anonymous Lindy said...

Peace, peace, peace, peace. I know the temptation of which you speak. Peace sister. Peace. Peace.

2/13/2008 9:27 AM  
Blogger Rowan The Dog said...

http://www.nhepiscopal.org/artman/publish/printer_279.shtml

2/13/2008 9:34 AM  
Blogger Grandmère Mimi said...

Lisa, it's hard, isn't it? The missing them. Prayers for healing and for inspiration for Shug's liturgy.

Perish the thoughts by the power of the Holy Spirit.

2/13/2008 11:34 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

Now I'm kicking myself. I have stopped by here every day and not added another comment to let you know we're caring about you. You're not alone. And yet, of course, you are, for you have the painful task of mourning Shug and we cannot do it for you. Still, our hearts are with you. May this day bring you what you need.

The peace that passes understanding keep your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.

2/13/2008 11:35 AM  
Blogger Suzer said...

Ditto what everyone else said. I, too, have stopped by many times without leaving another comment. Please forgive me, and accept my continued condolences and prayers for you in your time of grief.

I, too, have been to that dark, dark place. It doesn't help when the sky is literally so gray and the weather is bleak. It will soon be spring, though. If you ever need a trip to Atlanta, with its warmer weather and sunshine, do let me know. We'd be glad to have you.

{{{Lisa}}}

2/13/2008 12:02 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

I have been unable to write something worth publishing too. ;;sigh;;

This too shall pass -- I have had kidney stones and I know. Lee Hayes of The Weavers.

FWIW
jimB

2/13/2008 4:16 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Deep thanks to all of you. To those who offered prayers and kind words, and to those who offered kind head-butts and presence. I am truly grateful for the notes and prayers you have left.

This morning when I awoke, I was so glad that I had to go back to the office. I'm not generally happy there nowadays. But I recognize that it provides some structure and distraction that I can't provide for myself.

Catherine and Lindy: I have found a few liturgies, and I'm glad for the links you sent. Perhaps I will post a compendium of the ones I find helpful.

David, that is one of my most treasured prayers in our BCP. I pray it fervently when I am feeling lost and desperate. This is one of those times.

Oh, Suzer, I so often wish I were back home in Atlanta! You have no idea.

Friends, please don't feel you need to apologize for not adding comments. I often visit your blogs, am moved by your posts, but feel I have nothing worthwhile or articulate to add. Don't worry about that. I didn't expect you to keep giving me warm head-butts. I seem to be feeling quite painfully alone right now, but it's not because of you. It's me.

Here's part of the thing, about which I have not written here because it is so hard: I feel terrible guilt. If you've been reading this blog, you probably know that Scotty has been near death twice in the past 16 months. So all my keen observation powers were focused on him. I thought Shug was healthy and might outlast us both. Now, I see that there were warning signs I should have picked up on or which I misattributed to Scotty. It just never occurred to me that it was Shug was sick and (eventually) dying. The guilt on top of the grief . . . Well, they feel unbearable now.

Shug's death, on top of the loneliness I feel, has set off a stronger emotional reaction than I can really understand.

2/13/2008 8:18 PM  
Blogger Earthbound Spirit said...

Here via MP - if you've seen his blog, you know I'm in a rotten spot myself. But - I'll hold you in the light as best as I can. Peace...

2/13/2008 11:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

((Lisa)) I didn't know that you felt so alone.

Prayers for you all the time, my dear sister. Wish I were there to hug and comfort you in person.

Love,
Grace.

2/14/2008 10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lisa, This is my first comment on your blog, which I discovered through Paul (the BB, et alia)

I have 7 beautiful pottery containers on a special shelf in our living room. Each lidded vase evokes cherished memories of that cat's personality and appearance. Sometimes it take a long while to find the right vase, and then even longer to actually transfer the ashes. I can't bring myself to bury them.

Some of our friends think it is just too too weird. I don't care. Everyone I know who as "sight to see" can still sense the spiritual energy that emanates from them.

If you're from Atlanta, you probably know that many native peoples have rituals to "keep the spirits" of departed family. These cats are our family, neh?

Thomas Pynchoncat was a stunning gray-blue mackerel flecked tabby. He also loved dairy products so much that we called him the "cream cat" or our little butterball. Pynchie too passed into Starlight from renal failure at the remarkable age of 16 years.

Finally, we found a sugar bowl and cream pitcher in exactly the same shade as Pynch's coat. His ashes are in the sugar bowl, a flower in the pitcher.

BodhiCat died a month and a day after my father's passing, and of the same condition. His urn is a striking black vase with metallic gold squiggles that suggest Sanskrit. The vase is shaped like a Tibetan prayer wheel. Yes, of course, Bodhi was black as night, with piercing amber eyes, and a bodhisatva's disposition.

I pray that your ritual, and your eventual disposition of Shug's ashes, bring comfort.

Raven~ (ravnwing@one.net)

2/14/2008 1:32 PM  
Blogger Caminante said...

Just checking in from Quito to say you are in my prayers and the mourning that you are rightly experiencing. May you again find the daylight but know of heartfelt prayers from wherever I am.

2/14/2008 8:32 PM  
Blogger Caminante said...

This last note doesn't make sense... the brain is tired... what I meant to say is that I am praying for you as you go through this mourning. The words may come out garbled but the intention isn't.

2/14/2008 8:33 PM  
Blogger Nina said...

Lisa,

It's so hard to think about what might have been, but please don't be hard on yourself. You didn't know then what you know now.

Having seen several cats with renal failure and several outcomes (ranging from early to late discovery, from death within hours of diagnosis to being maintained on intensive, costly, and frequently painful medical care for years), all I can see is that the signs often aren't clear, all the choices are hard, and no course of action is anywhere near perfect.

I believe you loved Shug and took good care of her all her life.

2/15/2008 9:50 AM  
Anonymous Lindy said...

I am still here too.

2/15/2008 2:16 PM  
Blogger Suzer said...

The invite to Atlanta is always open. I know where you're at right now, and it seems like empty words to say "feel better" or "I hope each day gets easier." Sometimes the darkness lasts for a while. Just know that we are here, keepin' an eye out for you, ready to lend a hand if needed.

2/15/2008 10:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lisa, this comes with prayers and to let you know that I share your sorrow in Shug's death. Grief is deep -- and painful -- and rich.

Joan

2/16/2008 9:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.dogchurch.org/graveyard/dogfuneral.html

This could be adapted for a cat or any other pet.

My prayers are with you.

Peace,
Andy

2/17/2008 7:39 PM  
Blogger FranIAm said...

Hi Lisa- Just coming by to say hello and to keep adding prayers of consolation and healing.

Peace to you my sister.

2/18/2008 6:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Lisa,

Just coming by again to let you know that God put you on my heart today. Prayers, and hugs.

Love,
Grace.

2/19/2008 3:57 PM  
Blogger Suzer said...

Still checkin' in here. Hope you are hanging in and that you can feel all our prayers, as well as God's Love and Mercy, surrounding you. :)

2/20/2008 12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stopping by, extending sympathies.... Healing is slow, and never quite complete. Give Scotty a hug, as I'm sure he's feeling it too, and allow yourself to remember that spring thaw WILL come, however tentative.

IT

2/22/2008 12:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa.
My beloved 17 year old black cat died Feb 14 3 years ago. She was so sweet and snuggly and warm and loving and the softest thing I have ever felt. There were many circumstances surrounding her illness and subsequent death which still haunt me. I wonder if I did all I could, if I was as attentive to her as I should have been, if I made the right decisions. I have come to the point (most days!) where I choose to believe that I did the best I could given the information I had at the time. I loved her and she loved me and I'll treasure her memory always. Three years later the pain of her death is sometimes still raw. But mostly I am glad for the blessings she gave me in the time we had together. She made me a better person. Of course I cannot know what you are feeling but I can sympathize. I know that I relied on the people who love me, my other cats, and of course I had many, many conversations with God. By the way, I buried her in the back yard near the bird feeder (!!) where she liked to bake in the sun. After I buried her, a white rock rose to the surface of her grave. I LOVE that rock!! I have been praying for you, that you find peace. --Susan

2/22/2008 12:50 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

A warm hello. I do stop by each day; you are not forgotten. (((((Lisa)))))

2/22/2008 3:40 PM  
Blogger Nina said...

I'm checking in, too.

2/23/2008 7:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lisa,
Just letting you know I continue to lift you up in prayer. Peace.
Susan

2/26/2008 11:46 AM  
Anonymous Lindy said...

Peace.

2/26/2008 3:33 PM  
Anonymous JCF said...

Passing through to wish you, by God's grace, a brighter day, Lisa. May memories of your furry friend hurt less and comfort more...

[Here in Michigan, can't wait for Spring, also! :-/]

2/27/2008 1:50 AM  
Blogger sharecropper said...

Just checking by to say hello and send you love.

2/27/2008 8:01 AM  
Anonymous Mary Clara said...

((Lisa)), here is a hug from another cat-mama who has had to say goodbye to some of the best kitties in the world. I know the place where you are and how empty it feels.

Guilt almost always attends grief, and I can't tell you what to feel, but I am sure that you gave Shug your best and made the right decisions when they had to be made. God sees every sparrow fall, but we finite creatures can only notice so many things at one time, and God doesn't ask more of us than that. Actually, I don't think cats do either. So much is beyond our ken and our control, but nothing falls outside the love and mercy of God. May you be comforted, sister, in this and in all things.

2/28/2008 4:23 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Hugs and continuing prayers Lisa.

Love ya!


FWIW
jimB

2/28/2008 5:16 PM  
Blogger Suzer said...

{{{Lisa}}}

Hope you're still hangin' in there. Peace to you, friend.

2/29/2008 8:00 PM  
Blogger Kirstin said...

I tried to check in a few days ago; Blogger ate my comment. Paul just reminded me to stop back by.

((((Lisa))))

We are still here.

3/01/2008 9:31 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

As I just put in response to you at my place:

Lisa, dear heart, I am sorry you are in such a rough patch. You may emerge happier and stronger and more whole (I have faith you will), but right now it just sucks and I feel for you. So, let the rest of us hold you, remind you that you are worthy, and don't worry about not blogging!

What I did not put there:
I know what it is to be shamed growing up and vulnerable to feeling unworthy for the rest of my life. Gradually I am getting better but the battle is never over. It's crippling. Thank God I do know God accepts and cherishes me, no matter what, but that is pure grace. If only I felt worthy in the world's eyes, and that is where I battle. Cyberhugs and anything else I can offer coming at you!!!

3/03/2008 7:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(((Lisa)))

Just want you to know that I'm still prayin. We all love ya, Lisa.


Grace.

3/04/2008 6:03 PM  
Blogger Nina said...

Still here.
((Lisa))

3/04/2008 7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Continuing to lift you up. Peace.
Susan

3/05/2008 10:56 AM  
Anonymous Mary Clara said...

Keeping a candle burning for you in my heart.

3/05/2008 6:20 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Sending you a big warm hug. Looking forward to the return of your wonderful feisty sassy self.

3/06/2008 6:23 PM  
Blogger Suzer said...

Still checking in, still thinking of you. The Bradford pears are starting to bloom in Atlanta, so it won't be long before this winter is over. As you know, you are always welcome to visit.

Holding you in prayer...

Susan

3/07/2008 10:35 AM  
Blogger Ann said...

Missing your commentary on the Episco-world and you particularly.

3/07/2008 10:00 PM  
Anonymous Lindy said...

Just checking in.
May God be near you.

3/08/2008 4:52 AM  
Blogger Davis said...

It's been two months and we're now finally feeling as though we can go on after the loss of our dog. Give yourself time to heal.

There's a book by an Episcopal priest called "Animal Rites" which has beautiful prayers and liturgies.

3/08/2008 9:47 AM  
Anonymous Barbi Click said...

Lisa, just catching up on blogs...our hearts cry for you...
Barbi, Debbie and Tucker

3/08/2008 7:44 PM  
Blogger Saint Pat said...

Aw, Pobrecita, I hope you are doing better now. "Emotional slough of despond" is pretty descriptive -- I can relate.

I don't have any great words of consolation, but I hope you are finding your way through the pain. You have a lot of friends out here praying for you.

God bless you and comfort you.

Big cyber hug coming at ya (((((Lisa))))).

3/09/2008 2:50 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Just me. That noise you hear in the background is clucking. You know. Like a mother hen.

Know that I pray for you daily.

3/09/2008 3:54 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

Amid scattered puffy clouds the sun shines here this afternoon. May Light pour into your heart today too.

3/09/2008 4:14 PM  
Blogger jerseyjo said...

Shalom and prayers,

- Joan

3/12/2008 8:51 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Dear Friends --

I do not have energy to respond to each of your messages. I am truly touched that you are still sending me messages, after all these weeks when I "went silent" on my blog. I thought I could just go quietly away.

Apparently, I can't. So just let me say this.

I am touched by your expressions of concern and sympathy. ... I cannot possibly begin to respond to all your kind notes, but I am truly grateful.

I am trying to develop a liturgy for Shug's burial. I am having a miserably difficult time with it.

Now, on top of my grief about Shug's death, Scotty is yet again in a diabetic state. Those of you who have followed this blog may recall this is the 3rd time he's gone into a diabetic state. The previous two times, he has "converted" (miraculously). I don't know what will happen this time.

On top of all this, I am having some difficulty in my personal, human-to-human life. That's knocked me for a loop, on top of Shug's death and Scotty's illness. It's just one thing after another.

I wish I could start posting on my blog again, but I don't feel like I have anything worthwhile to say.

3/12/2008 11:33 PM  
Blogger Ann said...

Just to let you know I am thinking of you -- prayers for all you are going through these days.

3/13/2008 4:42 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Prayers for Shug who is at peace. Prayers for the return to health for Scotty and true shalom for you.

3/13/2008 8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lisa!
I am so glad to "see" you! I have been very concerned about you. I continue to hold you and all the critters (human and non-)in and around your life up in prayer.

While you say you don't feel you have anything worthwhile to say, I think with your last post "you just did". And I thank you. Thank you for letting us know what is going on and how you are doing--even though you probably didn't feel like it.

I pray that you come to experience (dare I say it still 2 weeks out?) EASTER peace.

--Susan

3/14/2008 12:35 PM  
Anonymous Lindy said...

I stop by often to see if you are blogging again. I realize that such a loss as yours makes the rest of the world irrelevant. It's OK to maintain silence for as long as you need. I do miss you though and several times I have wanted to click over and see what you had to say. Take as long as you need. God knows, it takes as long as it takes. But, in case you were wondering, your commentary is missed.

Peace and love...

3/15/2008 2:44 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

I stop by here nearly ever day. No one who has not lost a beloved pet can really understand your silence. I still mourn Print, years after his passing. So, take your time, and do not expect to 'get over it.' It is more a matter of deciding to continue on, in spite of the loss.

Love and prayers seek to uplift you, from me, and many who are your friends.

FWIW
jimB

3/15/2008 11:10 AM  

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