Gracious Gratitude
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Gracious Gratitude

Day 356

Pushing it

Today is one of those days on which it’s hard to find any gratitude. One week ago Truman died. A handful of days later I opted to put aside my need for mourning and self care to take a trip that turned out to be less than healing or soothing. Today I get on a plane to fly to Philadelphia for the funeral of my uncle who passed away on Sunday.

I know that I should allow the feelings and put my eyes towards healing and positive thought. I know that. Right now I want to put my fist through a fucking wall. The last place I want to be is around people. I’m sitting in my house getting some work done to make up for another day or so lost and keep hearing that happy whimpering noise Truman would make when I enter the room. I think it’s a squeak coming from a ceiling fan. I do not intend to fix it. At least not for a while.

A few minutes ago I left my other three pups at Hydrant Club, where they’ll stay until I get back. It’s less than 48 hours that I’ll be away from them and every second feels like it’s being stolen.

People keep asking how I’m doing. I don’t want to be a negative dark energy and say how I really feel. I want to try and embody all that was good in Truman and all for which he stood — strength, wisdom, compassion, steadfast presence. That’s one thing I want to do. Mostly all I want to do is scream, cry and tell people to fuck off and leave me alone. That I’m not fine. That I don’t want to be fine so soon after his death and that suggesting I must be may well land my fist in their throat.

It’s showing me those with whom I can entrust my tender vulnerability … and here’s the good news. More people than not fit into that category. I’ve crafted a family of choice and tribe of people who not only get me, but deeply understand that the connection I had with Truman was not about his being a dog. He was my person. He made me a better me. He helped me become who I am today. He also was a singular spirit. He may have been a dog, but he was far from just a dog. He was remarkable and magical, and anyone who spent a moment with him knew that. Those are the people to whom I turn now and say that I can never repay the kindness that has been shown in the last week. Nor the continued support that is coming my way.

Right now I have to gather myself and get to the airport and am hoping that on the other end I find some grounding. I need to steel myself to be present for and of service to my dear cousin, who now mourns her father and my mom, whose older brother is now gone. Balancing between being of service and being mindful to continue to care for my own needs in this time … like I’ve said before, varsity level testing from the Universe this week.

UPDATE: Landed in Philadelphia about an hour ago. More tomorrow on the surreal sense of being in a place from which I’ve come that feels entirely foreign. Purpose of the update is to share that my row mate on the flight was a delightful fellow named Bill…who lost his fur person two days ago. Dotti was a cat. We spent much of the flight sharing pictures, sharing stories and crying together. We walked from the plane together and as we prepared to part ways — he to Uber and me to taxi, we grabbed each other in the kind of hug that only those on the same lifeboat can understand.

There are no accidents.

Today’s Gracious Gratitude. I am grateful for:

  • Those who “get it” when it comes to the pain I feel today
  • Generous and kind friends who don’t hesitate to reach out and help, especially in those moments when I don’t even know that I need it
  • Hearing the quiet whimper of joy that was Truman’s hallmark sound when he felt joy and hoping that means he’s with me
  • Going back to letting my tears flow and feel the pain of my loss and ignoring those who would question the validity of my pain
  • Fresh blueberries and almond milk
  • Really strong black coffee
  • Waking up in my own bed and the last image of my dream before I open my eyes, is Truman gazing at me
  • Knowing that there is a long stretch of time ahead to dig into my grief, unpack it fully and heal

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There are studies that show a simple practice of gratitude awareness can be a real game changer for productivity.

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Cathy Brooks

Cathy Brooks

Raconteur and Silicon Valley expat who’s gone to the dogs … literally. Read more here https://www.linkedin.com/public-profile/in/cathybrooks

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