Warning: This Muse Is Not Merry

RIP Rumor: Smart, Courages, Beautiful


Warning: This is not a very merry muse. I will return to my regularly scheduled happy in a couple of days.

My mom lost her Doberman (Rumor) today due to a sudden and brutal intestinal infection. She is, of course, heartbroken. We all are, and it triggers in me a feeling that has been gnawing at me for a while. I look at my life and see a lot of loss and heartbreak coming up and, frankly, I don’t want to do grief again. It Sucks.

When I look at ‘What’s next? in my life, there is a part of me that starts counting the people and pets I’m close to that will more than likely die before I do. I’m not certain that I won’t go first, but it is likely I will outlive my parents, older family members, and Rascal. Sure, I am destined to inherit some very nice jewelry, but even the thought of a nice diamond on my ring finger isn’t cheering me like it usually might.

What do we look forward to, now that we are middle aged? Kids go off to college. Most of us are not going to be able to afford that villa in France. Most of our buckets have a hole in them due to the sinking economy. The question is, what will make the second part of our lives worthwhile, meaningful, and exciting? If you say, family, I am going to look at you and say…Really? They are just waiting to pull the rug out from under you and die, or leave home and move a thousand miles away (sorry, Mom). Ok, maybe they don’t plan to do either of those things, but it does happen all the time and they leave you high and dry holding the short end of the stick.

Seniors (over 70) wish they could return to the age we are now with our newly minted AARP cards and warn us not to waste this time in our lives. Old age, they tell us, is not for sissies….Time is too short to sit around feeling sorry for ourselves. If we have our health we have everything.

But I do feel sorry for myself and I’m afraid, confused, and worried. I do not want to waste my last few good years feeling sorry for myself—alone, looking frumpy, with awful looking stringy hair and a chin hair or two (you would tell me if I had chin hairs, wouldn’t you?) without even a spouse to blame it all on. I am sure those of you with spouses worry that they will die and you won’t even know where the bank box key is… among other things, of course…

I feel a little guilty raining on the happiest time of the year, but I have extra seats at my self-pity tea party, and misery loves company, so maybe if you feel what I feel we can figure out what’s next together.

I realize there are lots of holes in this post….I am so sad about Rumor, and so sad for my mom, and my anniversary—which was never a big deal when i was married—is looming like a wet blanket (December 23). I did not mind not celebrating my anniversary when Joe was alive because we usually forgot to celebrate our anniversary but I don’t like not celebrating it alone. And then there is the whole “until death do us part” that makes me wonder if I should not, not celebrate at all. Just consider this post a work in progress—a random muse—which I hope you will add your two cents to because God knows it could use a little of your clarity and wisdom… Odd Loves Company.

15 thoughts on “Warning: This Muse Is Not Merry

  1. I am right with you at your pity party, my friend. I don’t remember being told how much life can suck as you get older and the losses begin. The loss of a sister, a husband, parents, kids move, precious pets die. We lose our looks. The wrinkles set in and the pounds become harder to shed. We lose our desires. The fun things we use to enjoy are no longer fun. We lose our minds. Become forgetful. We are scatterbrained and frustrated. I have felt the same way you are feeling for a long time now. You are so right. Old age is NOT for sissies. So. Here I am, joining your party. I am sad for my mom who is suffering in a hospital, unable to walk, losing the use of her left arm completely. I am sad for my dad who is losing his once brilliant mind to dementia. I am sad for you and your mom. No Joe. Beloved pet dies suddenly. 😥

  2. i have had those same thoughts myself – it is sad and scary. I feel terrible for your mom. I know Rumor was a special dog, a champion, but more than that a loving companion like our fur babies are to all of us.
    As far as kids moving far away, I am there. It feels almost surreal because it happened so fast – one day we are all having dinner, doing homework, rushing off to football practice…..then suddenly it all ends. They are adults and gone. I am still trying to adjust to being an empty nester and it has been two years….kind of.
    We are very blessed that we both still have all of our parents….so I think we have to focus on what we have today, not what we will lose. You have been through more than most of us losing Joe so early in life. That gives you perspective most of us don’t have. We think “what if?” but you already know what it’s like to lose someone you love.
    I have no answers – just enjoy every single day with Cole still at home and make sure he goes to college somewhere close to Chicago. 😉

  3. (((Hugs))) to you Katybeth. I’m right there with you on the “what’s next” page. We know that severe loss is inevitable, even more so now that 50 is in the rearview mirror. Like you and Stevie, I still have both of my parents, which is a true blessing, even though I up and moved two-thousand miles away a couple of years ago. The airport is just 30 minutes from the house – my Mom assured me that was the only requirement, but not being able to drop in for a minute has left a void. My dear Aunt Anne used the line “old age ain’t for sissies” for years – she was a 30+ year cancer survivor, beating all of the odds for decades. I never heard her complain, although life dealt her the shit end of the stick many times over. Her last words in my presence were to Carter – she said “I love you too sweetheart”. Her friends said it was the first time she had smiled in a week or so. We love you – and as far as we know you’re stuck with us for a long, long time!

  4. I will not join your pity party because my faith in Christ has taught me two things. The first is that this time we live in is very short and these aging bodies will wither and die. The second blessing is knowing our glorious spirits will never end. I rejoice with the knowledge of my future in paradise with all people and creatures I love. May the peace of Christ comfort you and your loved ones, the Almighty is in control we may not always enjoy the journey but it will all be glorious in Gods perfect time. I love Christmas because the infant Jesus brings such hope for all. Cheer up my friends everything is going to be grand. I know it! All from an Android

    • Very nice but God gave us emotions including sorrow, so it is OK to grieve when we lose someone we love, people or our fury friends.

    • Nancy, I disagree most heartily with you! God has lots of people with Him and He doesn’t need mine. I want to love my people and my dogs until I’m ready for God to take them! He has a lot of my relatives and a lot of my dogs and I WANT THEM ALL BACK!!!!

  5. Thanks for saving me a chair at your party. I am a newbie where loss is concerned and it terrifies me. My frequent and fervent prayer is that I go first. I figure I have about a good year and a half left, before the weddings and grand-babies start piling up and a whole new cycle begins.

  6. I’m in on your party. Losing two dogs, breaking my shoulder, my husband – knee surgery. Can’t wait for this year to end.
    And frankly I have NEVER liked the Holiday season. That’s why we leave and go to warm faraway places. It’s also because of you Katybeth, that we get to do that. I do not trust my ‘kids’ in any one’s hands but yours and Cole’s. There. I said it. Hate this time of year.

    Your Mom has got to be heartbroken. I am so sorry. And there is not a word anyone can say to take away the void.

    Gotta have the pity party once in awhile. It helps a little.

  7. Poor Katybeth! You’re suffered so much lately, and the last thing you need is Rumor’s death. I truly understand your need for a pity party. I lost my dad three years ago this month, and things have been discombobulated without his steadying presence. Throw in a string of grey days and rain, and you’ve got the perfect setting for your party.
    I think you might start with not “celebrating” your anniversary this year, but initiating some new way to recognize the occasion — perhaps take Cole out to eat and a movie — something that will be enjoyable for both of you. Maybe do something fun in Joe’s honor. He’d have liked seeing you two get on so well, and as you mentioned, Cole will be off to college before you know it!
    This lousy economy has cast a pall on ALL of us. We wonder how much worse things can get and when it’s all going to turn around. We can always find folks who are worse off than we are, though.
    Sounds like you need a big cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows — that, or a stiff shot of Irish whiskey!
    Chin up, my friend, and know you’re on my prayer list.

  8. Oh Kb, I’m so sorry for your loss and your Mom. It’s sucks to lose a love one, whether it’s family or pet. Just few days ago our closest friend also have to put their dogs to sleep and we both cry almost the whole day. It sucks! I do too, worried, affraid of what next. The unknown scares me. And you know this about me how I worry too much. I guess that just mean we have been blessed with a beautiful life with beautiful people that in it to enrich our life otherwise we won’t be so affraid and so worried about it. Things are always easier said than done, I know the feeling of being alone (regardless of how many friends you have) or feeling vulnarable and I hate it! Here’s some (corny) advise from me, lets just try to cherish the wonderful memories and keep smiling. Don’t forget to thank Him for everything, what we think as a cursed or tragedy is sometimes a blessing that we just haven’t discover it just yet. I will always keep you in my prayer for you to be given strenght and smiles.
    If all fail, hope in the plane, come to Denver, I promise I will show you a good time!! 🙂

  9. I’m so sorry to hear about Rumor. Your mom must be crushed. I know Matt, Ben and I still mourn for our “Max A Million.”

    December 23 – I hope you find some good things to celebrate that day. If it helps any, that’s Joey’s birthday and he’ll be with you and Cole. So maybe you can all howl at life’s crappy moments together, then have some cake. You know Joey would like that. And in an odd way, I think Joe would too. Except for the Joey eating cake part. Bacon, yes. Cake no.

    Hope this comment cheered you a little. I do know it must be brutally difficult for you.

  10. Thank you one and all for the insightful and generous comments. I think this post deserves a follow-up in January! Let’s keep talking about, “What’s Next.”

    Life does go on, and while it is different life, it’s still a pretty wonderful life.

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