John Corson's Blog

WRITING & RANTING
for November 19, 2021

JOURNALING THROUGH MY GRIEF

It has been a rough week. If you have read the last two or three blogs (the ones from November 13, 14 and 15) you know that I truly lost my best friend. And as you can guess from the way I started this blog I will be talking about him again.

I am sorry if I bore you, but the purpose of this blog is truly not to keep you informed of my day's activities and how my pursuit for peace. I do that, but the real purpose is therapy. Along time ago, when I was in post-marital counseling over the pending divorce from my first wife, I was told that it would be a good idea of "journal" my thoughts; to write them down and contrast the thoughts from my feelings. Dr. Frank Gripka was a therapist who utilized two forms of therapy, one of which was Ratio-Emotive Therapy and the other was Transactional Analysis (TA). He seems to rely on that more heavily in my case.

TA is simply a model that divides the emotions and actions of a person into one of three aspects of life, viz. The Parent, the Adult and the Child. In other words, the object in this kind of counseling is to get the Parent to take control over the child in life's decision and to create the proper order of mental and emotional actions and decision making. In other words, the manipulative, screaming immature child in me had taken over in my decision making and the undertaking of responsibilities and, like in real life, he is not mature enough, nor qualified through experience enough, to rule over the parent. In other words, my immaturity was paramount. I was, and, to a certain extent, still am a manipulative son-of-a-bitch.

So, I journal - not that much I'm afraid to say - looking for those ways my inner child was making important decisions. How the child always thinks his way is the best, when, in reality, it was the worst. I saw how the child kept me from maturing and making proper decisions as the ADULT, and then moving on to grow the PARENT and move him into the position of authority and decision making.

What's this got to do with the last few days? Well, a lot. But that is not the point.

The point is the journaling. This blog is it and I should feel free to say and write whatever I feel. The facts of the matter are three-fold:

1)   It's my blog;
2)   It's good therapy; and
3)   No one reads it anyway. It's just there so I can say: "Hey! I have a blog too!

So, Reggie is gone. I still feel a great need to talk about him. I certainly don't know where to begin. There is so much to talk about. But, since this blog is about my feelings and thoughts for the moment, let me begin my saying that the last five days have been filled with making adjustments. I have had to function as if life goes on when I am around church folks. I have had to "pretend" that I am OK while in the Deacon's Meeting on Monday Evening, at the Office Tuesday, meeting with church folks and holding hands. A hospital visit this Wednesday which was unexpected; in the office on Thursday with my Secretary (who knows all about Reggie's passing) and when the Finance Secretary showed up for work. Being around folks and attending meetings when I was not in the mood and just wanted to sit and cry.

These were distractions and although I resented them as they were happening, I do know that I should be thankful for the pause each gave me from my crying.

I have literally shed more tears over Reggie's passing that the passing of my Mother and Father combined. I have shed more tears over him that I did when my first wife left me, even though it was 100% my fault. I think I have cried about a pint of tears. This was not a dog! Sure he walked on four legs, he barked, ate without using a hand, lapped water like an animal, wagged his tail, didn't talk in a human vocabulary and all. But he was a constant companion.

Since this is good therapy (or, they say it is good therapy), I am writing down a list of all the things Reggie did for me. I can also say that some of these things came naturally from him, some, I think, he acquired by observing what Princess did for me before he took over the duties of watching over me.

These are gifts he and Princess both gave to me:

  • They were friends - for life;
  • Unconditional love and acceptance;
  • Emotional support in times of stress;
  • Total devotion;
  • Kisses;
  • Stability during life's ups and downs;
  • Nurturing;
  • Loving companionship;
  • Respect;
  • Protection and Security (you should see that little dog Reggie growling and barking out his orders to stay away from me. He thought he was as big as a German Shepherd);
  • They brought smiles to my face;
  • Encouraged exercise and healthy routings, like walking them in the neighborhood and running around in the yard;
  • Purposefulness;
  • A comforting presence during times of stress;
  • Genuine forgiveness;
  • A cheerful greeting every time I returned home;
  • Hugs;
  • A lifelong teacher of what's really important;
  • Undying loyalty;
  • A truthful and empathetic confidant;
  • Entertainment and partner in play;
  • Never-ending adoration;
  • Health and Happiness;
  • Sensitivity;
  • Validation of my best self;
  • Faithfulness until the day they passed

How does one give up on all of these attributes? I don't want to. But now, Reggie is gone and I don't have these to secure me. For the last five days and now into the sixth I have felt like melting ice cream, or worse, milk left out of the refrigerator left to sour.

Throughout the week, I have received cards and letters, a few from church members and a couple from Reggie's doctors and nurses and tech who took care of him over the past four teen years. There was the usual card from Portsmouth Animal Hospital where the pet owner is reminded of the place this side of Heaven called "The Rainbow Bridge." If you are not familiar with the story, I want to tell you about it and I do this because IT IS GOOD THERAPY and it allows me to shed a few more tears. Maybe by crying some more I can loose a few more pounds from the liquid mass of my body:

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

God, how I wish this is true. I pray to God daily that this is true. That, to me, if I only had the green pastures to lie down in with Princess, Reggie, Lady, Toots, Al, Feisty, Ginger, WeeDoo, Pretty Girl and Sugar, that is all I need in heaven. I don't want a big mansion. I don't want streets of gold, or gold itself. I don't want beautiful colors and expensive possession. I would love to see my Mom, my Dad, my Sister and all my family who have gone before me, but to live forever with my dogs and cats - the very ones who showed and gave to me all those gifts I listed above. Is that too much to ask from a mighty God who gives life?

There was a letter I received from the Cove Animal Hospital where we took Reggie Saturday night. It was the last place Janice and I held him in our arms and petting and loved on him while he breathed his last breath. In the letter it says:

"We are all sad about Reggie. He was such a sweet and brave dog, who was greatly loved and will be greatly missed."

It was signed by the doctors and team members of the COVE. Then came this poem which, I swear to God, made me cry for hours! I post it here for my therapy! But maybe, some day down the road, someone will perhaps come across this blog who has lost a special loved one and it will help them too.

I'm not there with you today
But know that I haven't gone astray.
I am the wind blowing through your hair
and the warmth you feel in the air

When that smile creeps on your face
Remember that I am in a good place.
And when you're feeling sad and down,
Recall memories of me running around.

You don't need to look low and high,
Just search way deep inside,
And know that we'll never be apart,
For I have left my paw prints on your heart.

Well, therapy session is over. Yes, I will go out to Reggie and Princess's resting place again today. They lay side by side with a little space in between for I have asked that on my death, I be cremated and my ashes placed in a metal container and buried between these two loved ones. You may ask why I won't be buried next to Janice. Well, she wants her body to be donated for medical research and when they are finished that her ashes be interred near me and next to her beloved cat daisy who passed away on January 20, 2009. Her resting place is just twelve feet away from Reggie and Princess. We both want to be with our beloved pets who were more than pets; they were family.

I will spend a few moments, or maybe, like last night, an hour and a half, with the piano music I have mentioned before which is music that Reggie and I and before him, Princess and I, listened to over and over again. It is so soothing, so tranquil and yet, so pensive as to cause tears to flow for what seems like endless hours.

So, I wanted whoever may read these rants to know, I am still alive. I am pushing on. I am trying to make it through the grief process. I have smiled a few times thinking about the funny things Reggie used to do. But, when the laughs and smiles abate, there comes the tears. That means, I am nowhere near the fourth stage of grief yet, i.e. Acceptance. That's a long time in coming.

Blog for November 15 Blog for November 23

Blogging

Blogs are about the blogger. It's as if he or she merely toots their own horns about the things they do, say and love.

My life is boring. I read, I watch Glenn Beck and Mark Levin. I listen to Andrew Wilkow. I engage in some conversation with those who are willing to listen (they being masochistic and enjoy killing themselves with my banter).

I plan on just laying out the things that bother me and the things I love. Nothing in-between. I hope you find whatever I put here amusing.