My Grief Challenges

Ride them, bareback !!! Mar.15, 2014

In our younger years, one of my sisters always wanted a horse. Her dream came true, in a way, when a new a couple brought their horses to our pasture. You see, during our growing up years, Dad would lease pasture sections. Well, these new folks, told us that if we fed the horses, brushed them down, and walked them, we could ride them, bareback !!!  We were  given instructions, as to how to get on a horse, with no saddle, and how many of us kids could be on at a time. Not only was my sister thrilled about this, but so were the rest of us 7 Millions.                                                                                                                                         The cows that had, previously, pastured there, had done a good job at eating the grass to a fairly short, and they also, maintained the paths. The horses seemed to be comfortable in their new place, and they were not afraid of us kids.  What a treat.       The pasture, on the house side of the road, was fairly smooth/level and quite spacious for a pleasant ride.  Plus, there was a creek, that, in places, was easy for the horses to cross-even with riders.                

 One sunny, afternoon, we were enjoying the grace of our new large pal, and doing pretty good at bareback riding.      Suddenly, the horse jerked its head back and whinnied. A couple of moments later, it reared up, on it back legs. I don’t remember what happened to the other riders, but I do remember being flat on my back. I caught my breath and opened my eyes. The horse was up on his back legs, again. I cringed as I saw the hoofs coming down at me.   Yep, that pretty much hurt, indescribably. I could tell the horse didn’t want to land on me. Had he put his full weight, on his landing, I do not think I would be here today. It seems that some of the on lookers thought this was funny.  Don’t know why.  Oh…, it was a small garter snake, that had spooked the horse.                                                                                                            

I do not know if we told anyone. What I do know, is that it did not take long for the hoof mark to show. Smack dab in the middle of my chest, in kind of a heart shape. A Human Heart  Having grown up with asthma, the pain, during breathing, did not seem too much worse than normal. So, I was pretty sure everything was fine.  This was just another minor farm incident. Like the gash in my leg,  from barbed wire, or my swollen pinky,  from playing baseball, out in the pasture, with no mitt- because I hadn’t learned how to use a left hand mitt. You see, when a cow pie base was not dry enough, it would be slick, sometimes causing a mishandle of the ball.              Anyway, the colors of that heart hoof print were so pretty.  As the weeks rolled on, the pretty colors turned yellowish brown, and the kind of heart shape became distorted. which made me kind of sad.  The piercing pain, eventually, eased, it was, actually, worse than my normal asthma breathing.  No, I have not had an elephant on my chest, like in the COPD commercial, but I sure know what it feels like to have a horse step on my chest. 

                                                                                   65f6aca36299f31a3e2ac5c1ee98d6cf                       I tried to find a photo, looking up while a  horse was rearing up, in hopes of better illustrating my experience.                                                                                                                                    It might pop into your head, ‘what does this have to do with Kathy’s grief journey regarding Shawn’s goneness?’ 

Fact of the matter is, it has been more than 33 years since I thought much about the horse hoof  incident, until this past week. I had woken up from another nightmare, gasping for air. The dream was regarding a cardiac situation Shawn had before his end.  My dream was at a moment when Shawn had no life signs. The staff had told us how many minutes it had been-I can’t remember. I believe the medical people had spent 20 minutes, Someday, if I ever need to put a clock up in my home, I will display this! DIY inspiration: recycled pallet clock:   doing compressions, rotating to the next in line, after a few minutes. I remember each one’s face, as they put all their care, for Shawn, into each  compression. The tears and sweat mixed on their taut faces. I remember it was time to call Shawn “dead”, when suddenly one of the doctors heard an ever so weak heart beat. The room was hushed. The heart beat became stronger. The doctor gave the okay, saying Shawn was still alive. I remember the sighs of relief, at that moment, from all.   ***This was my recall, from my vantage point, by the sink. If others wish to add their recall, I would not mind.

  The American Heart Association recently released updated recommendations for performing CPR that include new suggestions for chest compressions.: While I had been watching the compressions, I was amazed at the strength each had to apply. I remembered how my chest had been hurting, throughout Shawn’s whole procedure. The horse hoof pain. Later, when I saw  Shawn’s chest, I swear it looked like the same shape I once had, on my chest.                                                                                                                    I tried to remember each face, of those who performed compressions, so I could thank them later. I hope all the medical staff ,at Harborview, know how much I/we appreciate ALL their efforts to save Shawn’s life.

 Oh I get so frustrated with my emotions. The pain in my chest=my ache for Shawn. 

Was I so wicked,/selfish, wanting Shawn to have every chance to survive ? Did I add to everyone’s load, because I couldn’t give up ? How much is too much ? 

The thoughts that haunt me the most;  was Shawn upset with me for either dragging his situation on, or was he upset at me for giving in to the doctors and others and allow the machines to be stopped ?  AND,  how is God going to judge my actions ? How does one know the best choice, in a life or death situation ? 

Just this moment, the Christian station K-Love, I am listening to, during this write,  mentioned the verse for today as: Psalm 34:18 

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I am so exhausted trying to shield everyone from my emotions. Have I gone bonkers ?  It would be wonderful to be able to take a break, away from everyone, come back when I was better able to deal with this phase, of my life.  As I have mentioned before, asthma, menopause and grief are not issues I can stow away. They are not my choice. They are all very stressful. Not one of them do I like.                                                                                          At present, I have many who do not communicate with me, anymore. I am too self absorbed. ?  I have been told to not make such a big deal out of this and move on. I am too emotional. ?  I am too negative. ?  What if being around me would cause some of my issues spread to themselves ?  Just an FYI, none of the 3 things I am dealing with, are catchy. I believe they are assigned to me, by God, my creator, for what ever His reason.  I am a slow learner, and have yet to see how God can be glorified, through these things, I cannot see how these make me stronger, and why do I need to be stronger ?    I don’t mind being God’s biggest wimp.

Here is what one of my friends did, this past Thursday, usually, my numb day.   Not this week. Hard as my exhausted body tried, I could not hold in my emotions, regarding Shawn’s goneness. Somehow, my coworkers knew, as I was clocking in..???  One of them walked with me, to my bus. With breathing being a challenge, for both of us, very little was said.  What makes this so endearing, my friend has been dealing with issues caused from the exhausting trials of, lung cancer and the various treatments for it..                                                           Our friendship is special. I will never forget our school layovers, a few years ago. He would come to my bus door to see how I was doing. He seemed to know before I answered. I still do not get how folks know when my lungs are being a bother.                                                           Our situations are different, but we do share: pain in breathing, difficulties in getting enough air, and, we are always having to be careful about triggers.                                                      For my friend to walk all the way to my bus and back to the bus house, knowing his challenges, oh, so special. This is not said to lessen the value of others. Each moment, we don’t know who may need us, because of our special qualities. For me this past Thursday, the gesture of my dear friend, gave me the oomph to put my bus driverness on, and approach a usually difficult kindy run.  It turned out to be one of the easiest kindy runs I have ever done.   Maybe, someday, I will be able to be encouraging to someone, in a bum spot                             It was asked of me why I am being so public about Shawn’s goneness.                                        I find it easier to write raw, to explain, weekly, how things are.                                             This is to be a place where all my family and friends can read, at their leisure,  how things are. If questions come up, ask. Well, not how I am. The posts should make that, ever so clear.          I find a, kind-of, release in my raw writing. Every post takes hours. Each post causes many tear flows. Maybe, that is a healing thing.

Each post contains several ideas I can draw from, later, for other writing.                              The writing is helping me create a memory trail, for Shawn’s children,  so they can  remember Daddy Shawn.  I have many  ideas to organize and put together, and the posts are one tool I can draw from.                                                                                                                             Each post is flawed, in time I hope to reread to see the improvements I can make in them.       So,  whenever you read a post and come upon something that could have been done better, or for sure, differently,—pause— and realize, that sometimes this is what all of us do to God, The Potter.   I do not think I am the only one who cannot figure out, what The Potter, is up to. “We are the clay, You are the Potter; we are all the work of Your hand.” {Isaiah 64:8}:

 

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One thought on “Ride them, bareback !!! Mar.15, 2014

  1. Pingback: Just Kind~of Stuck January 16, 2016 | Moving Mercifully Forward

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