Terminal Grief

I have never been cured of my terminal grief

Each time that I believe that there is any chance, life kicks me in the teeth. 

I will never get over the loss of my father.

I will never get over the loss of my sister, Faith.

And now I add that I will never get over the loss of my fake family. 

I’ve been fooled and betrayed, the pain cuts through my soul. I should have know better, my father warned me and I failed to listen.

My failures add up so high that the sun is no longer visible from where I sit. 

My two sweet dogs keep me together when I drop to my knees. 

Meanwhile, my estranged husband works on my emotions day and night, never allowing me any time to heal.

Terminal grief does not kill, it is not lethal. 

It simply leaves you hollow and wondering for the rest of your days.


Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

Did you expect this to happen, for this to be my future? Certainly you could not have predicted that your family would have left me as well. Did you believe that I was really as strong as I pretended? I am not.

It is just me and my dogs now. Everyone else is an illusion, they will pretend for only so long as they need my assistance with him. They will act the part long enough to ease their lingering guilt. But in the end, I am alone.

I always believed, because you told me, that I was strong enough to be all alone. That I was a loner – but no, it was because I had you. 

Now I don’t have you. It’s just me and my dogs. Where are you? You promised! I love you and I trusted you. At fifty, such a child still.

Wherever you are please watch over me and make me strong – I need you and love you.

Always your daughter…


I don’t want to discuss it but he’s back. 

Bullied, meant to feel guilty and back to the wall; I caved

There is nothing to talk about now. 

No words. 

Fooled, backed into a corner and taking two steps backwards..

His paranoia seems to have waned but his restless selfish demeanor remains fully intact. 

I am confused:

• the wife who can’t live with her husband

• the wife who can’t believe that she may end up alone

• the wife who misses what she has romanticized 

Perhaps things will feel better tomorrow.  (Insert sitcom laugh track here)

Her Father’s Daughter: A Short Story (in progress) – Preface & The First Step 

Her Father’s Daughter: A Short Story in progress


She walks in his well-worn shoes and is not conscience of the great parallels of their lives.  

In her mind he is a myth: brilliant, perfect and strong; a memory that she clings on to each day for survival.  

In her world his flaws, obvious but always forgiven, are overlooked because his love for her overshadowed them by far.

Too proud that she carries many of his traits, it is of surprise when she realizes that his darkness so closely resembles her own.

Her father died far too young with a simple few years of true freedom, if that at all.

Expectations. Did she fulfill his and did he live up to his own?

Did he ever resolve his sense of obligation? Would she?

On a cold January afternoon she sits perfectly still as the ferry bounces up and down along the choppy Hudson River.  

Once again her mind filled with unanswered questions.

Step One:

This session left her questioning her mortality; the quality of the shrinking years of her life. 

Hearing the reality: “you’ve probably got thirty years left – twenty where you can do anything you want” left her breathless.

What was she waiting for, her father lived within the same self-imposed confines but managed to find sorted joy. How?

Where was her joy?!

Her love of dogs, now a source of pain and loss, compartmentalized. “I can’t – not until – what if“. 

Each and every day missing the unconditional love in her world of piercing emptiness; it would never be “the right time“.

Staring out at the fog as ferry ride turned Manhattan into a fading illusion, she screamed.

Before she lay her head on the pillow that night, she had adopted fraternal twin basset hounds. 

Heart bursting with excitement, the boys would arrive by the end of the month. Is this joy?

The ridiculous happiness that she believed could never be replicated, the warm smell of ears and paws, it was going to happen again!

A life filled with guilt, self-loathing and almost void of the flutter of love; how did this happen? 

Childhood memories of her “perfect” father’s face when he thought no one was looking was now a mirror of her own self-sacrifice. 

He adored her dogs almost as much as she did; they gave her comfort every moment of each day before and especially after he passed. 

Waiting was not an option. She looked down at her feet and his shoes – it must be time to stop punishing herself for unknown crimes.

Just as he adjusted by the decade in order to survive, it occurred to her that she could walk barefoot in the grass. No shoes – his or mine. 

The romping of two excited hounds and a barefoot girl, imagine: no guilt. 

Be Happy“: Her father’s mantra repeated time and again since she was a child.  Because there was no example she invented masks to fulfill his edict. 

Hearing his words, she had an overwhelming secret guilt in any happiness that was exclusively hers. 

Get Rid of the Guilt!“, her doctor had said week after month and year. His words filled the quiet office, he spoke in a language foreign to his patient. 

And so…

Days later, despite commentary, lack of help or mutual excitement; she knew it was right. She was due.

These sweet dogs would help her untie the first notch of the self-imposed noose. The noose; a painful and cumbersome necklace she’d worn for almost as long as she could recall. 

Yes, slightly loosened: Small Step One.


Step One: The Boys!

My Real Truth

My real truth is too frightening to say out loud; thus I carry it around my neck like a noose.  A noose which grows heavier each day until eventually it will choke the air out of my lungs.  

I don’t want to die.

I hate my life.

My life is not what I want it to be.    If I were to dare say these words and they touched the air, certainly my world would shatter.  Or, even worse, nobody would be listening. Those who are  left around me would turn my truth into their world.

I do not live, I exist only for the collective “them”.  There are so many, just countless mornings that I dread the day ahead.  Waiting for the hours to pass quickly I listen to everyone else’s problems and absorb them into my body.

My misery, loneliness and pain are being compounded by the fact that I’ve chosen to burden myself with toxic pain. Toxic, selfish and sick people who believe I’ve got shoulders of granite.  My body is ravaged by their constant stream of needs, wants and arrows shot at close proximity.  

I hate the life that I have created.  I fantasize about the sweetness of freedom. To be alone and no longer burdened or attacked, closing my eyes tightly it is real. Sadly, eyes opened, I am a hostage to the life that I chose.

That, is My Real Truth.

Screaming Voices in my Head

There are too many voices screaming in my head. 

I cannot think clearly any longer. 

If I could scream louder an drown out the voices perhaps there would be peace. 

Instead, I implode in painful silence. 

Listening as each voice screams different words, their complaints and pleas. 

There is no relief except at night when the medication takes me far away. 

Meanwhile, I’ve no human support and nobody to talk to about the screaming in my head. 

The man in my life is selfish beyond explanation. 

He couldn’t care if he tried; simply put: he does not know how to love me. 

To the voices in my head, I say; PLEASE leave me alone and set me free.  

Let me have a life of silence, peace with just me and my dog. 

The sounds is breaking me. 

Nothing to Say

I fear that I am empty

There is nothing left of me but time.  

The acceptance that my days will be spent as a butterfly who is a caretaker – never free

Nothing left to say.

Imagine, this blog is more than I can emote. 

Do I have anything to say? Worth listening to any longer…

Who wants to hear the words of a caged butterfly?


• The smallest chore overwhelms me

• Laundry piles up, both clean and dirty

• The bed goes unmade although it bothers me 

• I’ve given up on so much, there will never be a novel or even a short story

• My weight will always remain unmanageable 

A lost friend has been discovered and I wonder how long before she disappears

Nothing to say – I pray for the tides to turn. For my friend to stay with me; for me to bond and work on being connected. 

Otherwise, empty. 

A caged butterfly.