Being Real

This summer, when we had taken my nephews to some sort of kid’s play space, a woman came up to me and started to tell me all her woes that resulted in some career decisions her husband had made.  My sister-in-law, Patti,  heard the tail end of it and seemed astounded at what this woman was telling me.  After the woman went on her way, Patti wanted to know if I knew that lady.  I responded that I had never seen her before in my life. 

As far back as I can remember, people have just told me things.  Strangers, friends, mere acquaintances…so many of them find their way to me and unburden themselves.  I don’t know what it is about me, maybe I seem safe or comforting, but I hear a lot of things that most people are clueless about.   So many things are shared with me…yet…I don’t share with others.  I have no  problems at all about sharing all the silly, unimportant things that happen in my life…it’s the real things that make me tight-lipped.  If something is bothering me, I have a tendency to hunker down.  I just want to be left alone to lick my wounds and wait until the skies are sunny again.  I realize that’s not the healthiest way to handle things…that’s how I seem to do it though. 

I’ve been trying to blog. I remembered during NaBloPoMo how much I truly love to blog.  Goodness knows there is so much that has been happening in this busy month of December.  I have a whole list of things that I want to record.  We’ve had birthdays, setting up the tree, dumpster diving…all sorts of silliness.  Yet, try as I will, the words simply won’t come.  I think that I need to record the sadness that is in my heart right now.  If not for you, Dear Reader, then for myself.  Then maybe I can start to let it go.

A week ago today, my cat died.  Some would say that wasn’t such a big deal.  After all, Taigoo was eighteen and a half years old…she’d already lived way longer than anyone ever thought she would…it was her time.  I would’ve been fine with this…except for the fact that about a week before that, our beloved dog Shelly, had died.   We had no idea she was so ill and her unexpected death was really hard on all of us. 

The deaths of our two family pets seemed to jar something in me…feelings that I thought I had suppressed deep inside of me.  The bone-deep knowledge that life is fleeting.  I keep thinking back to earlier this year when my strong and robust father laid small and frail in a hospital bed for nearly two weeks.  He was fighting a  horrible infection and complications from what should have been a simple surgery.  I keep thinking back to calling 911 then watching Shaun being rushed to the hospital in an ambulance.  Against the doctor’s wishes, I watched his body jumping on the table as his heart was restarted. 

These are things that I haven’t really shared because I thought they were my cross to bear.  I’ve just kept it buried deep inside like I always do.  I had no idea, until my sweet Taigoo Cat died how much it was really eating me up inside.   Please forgive me for Being Real…it’s something I’m going to try to do if I ever need to do so again.   I’m not, by any means looking for sympathy.  I’m just hoping that writing this will be cathartic  for me.  I don’t want to go looking for some woman with kind-looking eyes to spill my sorrows to. 

Hopefully I can finally wipe away my tears and get back to being my usual goofy self.  Just know…if I get quiet again…there’s something going on, and I’m not being real…feel free to call me on it…

Edit to Add:

Thank you…all of you…so very much for your kind words of support and encouragement both here and privately.  It really means so much to me.   Interestingly, I find that my heart truly is lighter.  I don’t know it that is from the support you all have shown to me, or from the simple act of writing it down and letting go.  Either way…thank you once again. ~S

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20 Responses to Being Real

  1. Tylor says:

    You know, I tend to be a similar way. I tend to keep my personal things to myself. I used to blog them but I decided to stop.

    For me I tend to think that my concerns are my concerns and others probably won’t care. I’m a contradiction, though, because at the same time I feel not only sympathetic but honored when someone feels they can share with me. Even though I’m just one of many readers I guess I feel a bit that way now.

    So I’m here for you. No need to keep things bottled up.

  2. Brandt! says:

    First, I am sorry to hear about your pets .. as much as I complain about our Golden .. our pets are family.
    Being real has been really difficult .. like you, I have always buried.. the traditional “I am fine …” ..I found blogging to be an outlet,even though I never quite told the full truth.
    The emotion burying has started to poke it’s ugly head out; and as much as I want to keep it buried, it’s getting progressively more difficult. I don’t think we are meant to keep things inside.. we are natural born care takers, we need to take time to take care of ourselves before we can care for others. Be kind to yourself .. give yourself the ability to let it out!

  3. Rick lamp says:

    I love you

  4. Hilary says:

    I’m so sorry about the losses you’ve endured. I’m glad to know that you feel you have this wonderful blogosphere where you can open up your heart and let it spill. We’re not really strangers, are we? Strange, maybe.. but not strangers.

    Hugs to you, Susan. 🙂

  5. Kathy Ariano says:

    Writing things out is very cathartic and you don’t need to seek forgiveness for letting things out. Pet deaths can be really profoundly sad and it’s still a separation; we women seem to suffer these acutely.

  6. Jackie says:

    Pets are family and there is a big hole there when they are gone.
    As for opening up I totally understand. I also bottle. We aren’t suppose to air our dirty laundry for others to see. And going through what i’m going through at this time I’m finding there are people who just want to hear the “I’m fine” response. Cause it makes them uncomfortable.
    And there are others who just don’t agree and attack.

  7. Sheri Siemering says:

    I’m sorry Susan – I remember when I lost a cat the house just felt empty for a while – it’s weird being really “alone” in a house! Maybe eventually you will feel up to giving a rescue dog or cat a new home!

  8. Carol says:


    Tahoe, our first Golden (who I think you’d met?) died on Christmas morning, 2004… the same year that my mom had died on Easter morning. I know the “bone-deep” grief and knowledge of death you speak of. And please never apologize for your silence… just know that there are people who are always here for you.

    I’m home recuperating from ankle surgery (hardware removal!), so I can’t suggest a walk, but please, please feel free to stop by for a visit and maybe a few holiday cookies (what diet?!). I’m supposed to be working between 10 and 4, but if you give me a bit of notice (like 25 minutes), things can easily be moved around.

    Hugs to you!


  9. Susan says:

    I so wish we lived closer- I would take you on a long walk and then for a big glass of wine. I am so sorry to hear about all your sadness. 2009 has been a rough year but I keep trying to find the brightness. I think that knowing that the kids are leaving and this new chapter of our lives will begin in the next couple years also adds another layer of sadness that we have never had to deal with. I will call you soon. Love and Friendship, Susan

  10. lynne says:

    Susan, I said most of what I wanted to say in a private email earlier. Get real all you want. It’s what blogging is really all about. All of us out here in the blogsphere are here for you.

    Thinking of you and sending the whole family this:
    P.S. sorry for being so bossy! 😉

  11. Sending you hugs and condolences. Pet deaths are tremendously difficult . . . and the other experiences you told us about must have been very frightening.

    Being “real,” being goofy . . . both are part of blogging and both are part of you. It’s ok to share all the parts of yourself, whatever you’re comfortable with.

  12. Aunt Mary in Australia says:

    Hey Susan ,

    Looks like 2009 has been that kind of a year for everyone.The planets must be scambled and not lined up right.After losing several friends and Family this year,breaking my arm and missing Bill .I thought the year would never end but NOVEMBER came and what a good month that was.Paula and Andrea who have been my angels had massive improvements in their work situations,and my grandson and his new wife annouced that they are expecting.One door closes and another opens.Lookout 2010 here we come!!!!Love ya all xxxooo,Aunt Mary

  13. There are certain things that really jar us. Every time I watch my 15-year old beagle struggle just a bit as he gets up from his longer-and-longer naps the day he will die flashes through my mind and I know how much it will hurt.

    I’m so sorry you’ve had these losses right on top of each other. I hope the writing helps–I know it does for me.

  14. Brenda says:

    I’m just down the road if you need a shoulder, happy or sad!!

  15. patti says:

    Dear Susie, We love you and wish that we could take away your pain. Come climb upon our laps and let us wrap our arms around you. We will hold you in our embrace and kiss away the pain as we did when you were little and protect you as best we can. Your friends and family love you very much and will hold you and support you as much as you will allow us to. As time passes the hurt will lessen and life will brighten again. A new day is dawning and new beginnings are just out of sight.
    Love, Mama & Daddy

  16. Shaun says:

    Just to be clear, my heart wasn’t stopped and in need of restarting — it was just acting a little funny 🙂

  17. Pamela says:

    I’m feeling so sad about the loss of your pets —
    and understanding the stress of seeing those you love in pain.

    Happy, however, to see Shaun smiling at you from his comment.

  18. Choochoo says:

    I always thought pets should come equipped with a reverse button. That way you could just re-start them when they get old cause it’s so sad when they’re not there anymore

  19. cheremichelle says:

    I just came across your blog tonight and was affected instantly by the post about losing your 2 family pets. I work in the Animal Health field, have 2 of my own dear furry friends and can understand your loss. I’m happy your heart feels lighter; one day at a time and remembering what you do have and the happy life your pets had will make it easier. Happy Holidays! Chere Michelle

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