Grief- we all experience it at one time or another. Grief can be deep or it can be shallow. It’s sting can stay a short while or it may last for a lifetime. Some try to run from it by pretending it doesn’t exist. Some hold onto it and dwell in it until their identity is lost in it. Grief can come on us suddenly- a freight train. Grief can come slowly with continuous stings over a long period of time- the slow removal of a bandaid from tender skin.
Grief is a wound that can heal over time but will always leave a scar. The deeper the wound, the more time it takes to heal. The more time it takes to heal, the more sensitive the scar. One touch can bring back deep pain instantly and empathy for other’s grief becomes deeper.
No two people will have the same grief timeline. No two people will even have the same response to it. The process for each of us is different. Some process grief through verbal communication with others. Some through music and art. Other’s need God’s words continuously poured over them. A combination of all of the above mentioned and journalling seems to work best for me.
Grief can come at different times too, not just in death. The parting of friends, the split of a church, the emptying of a nest, the loss of a job – all reasons to allow in grief.
There are many things we ought not embrace-irrational fear, self-loathing, uncontrolled anger- but grief is not one of them. By embrace I don’t mean to dwell in. I mean grab hold of and let it take place. Let it’s sting burn for a time. Let the tears come and release sorrow. To fight against it will cause an infected wound. A wound that will take longer to heal. Or even worse, never heal.
A Time for It
I’ve experienced deep, deep grief after the sudden passing of my father in 2002. Hit by a freight train is a decent description of how I felt physically and emotionally. My heart was left mangled and my mind numb. It was also the beginning of the deepening of my relationship with my Heavenly Father.
There are no words to describe how God’s love poured over me at that time. But, I can tell you this- as deep as the grief went, so also was He. He met me right where I was and breathed air into my lungs when I could not. It was a painfully sweet time.
It was the death of my father that began my relationship with grief. I say relationship only because grief comes and goes like an old traveling friend. He comes for a visit to remind me of my humanity, of my dependance on my Savior and Comforter, and of my empathy for others.
So, from time to time Grief will visit me. I’ve learned to let him in and let him make his stay. I give him a hug and tell him he can stay for a while. Then, the Lord reassures me he won’t stay for long and that Grief’s purpose belongs to Himself. He urges me to embrace Grief because it will speed along his departure.
Letting Grief in. Saying Goodbye to Captain.
Our beloved old buckskin gelding, Captain Jack Sparrow, had to be put down this past Tuesday. We decided this some months ago when we realized his quality of life was diminishing quickly. His old body was just giving out on him.
We had him from the time he was about 20 until 30 something years old. We never knew his exact age but the vet thought he was between 20-22 years old when we first purchased him. We bought him when our oldest daughter, now 21, was 12 years old. The lady we bought him from really loved him but just didn’t have the time for him anymore. She painted a picture of him and gave it to us along with some of his tack. I remember telling her he would stay with us until the end of his life.I’m glad we were able to keep our promise.
Captain was a great first horse for both our daughters. He had enough spunk for an old horse to make him a little challenging but at the same time completely safe. He was a “been there, done that” kind of horse. He had no spook in him whatsoever but he did develop an extreme fondness for our mare, Diamond after a while. He despised being separated from her.
I was pregnant with our youngest daugher at the time we brought Captain to our home. She’s know him since she was a baby. I remember putting her on his back when she was barely sitting up. Captain taught both of our girls how to ride and care for horses. Our son also enjoyed riding him from time to time.
Saying goodbye to Captain is like saying goodbye to a part of my children’s childhood. Captain will forever hold a special place in my heart not just because he was a great animal but also because he helped make fond memories for my children and myself.
Goodbye Captain. Welcome, Grief.
Others may see my current and wonder why. They cannot see where I have been and know how far I’ve come. They cannot see how much energy it took to get here because today it appears to be easy or it appears I struggle too much with it still.
My experiences are my own. My education in life is my own. No one but my Lord and I can see how far I’ve come. No one but my Lord knows how far I still need to go. And, I’m ok with that.
**This post is not directed at anyone. Just some thoughts I wrote down in my journal last year
Today is the one year anniversary since my last post. I had not planned to take that long of a break but I guess I needed it. Looking back on last year’s events and tragedies, it’s no wonder I couldn’t find the time to post. I think it all comes down to being overwhelmed.
This time last year I had a lot to take care of. One of my 4 dairy goat does died suddenly after overeating grain. She had two orphaned kids that we ended up having to bottle feed. We incubated too many chickens and ducks. We also had meat chickens and turkeys to take care of. There was just a lot. Too much I guess.
This year I decided to take a break from raising any poultry. We won’t even be raising any meat birds. I’m sure I will raising poultry again next year but this year I’m taking a break. We have had only one goat kidding this year. One little buckling was born without any complications a week and a half ago. He’s a cute little guy that’s getting a lot attention being the “only child” on the farm.
Now that I’ve take a one year sabbatical from blogging I think I’m ready for blog life again. I am committing to writing one post a month. I can’t guarantee the posts will be interesting or entertaining but I will do my best. I may even post pictures if I can’t think of anything to say or get my thoughts together. I’ve decided to release the pressure (I put on myself) to have perfect blog posts. I’m done with trying to make things perfect. Especially where my grammar and sentence structure is concerned. I’ll tell you right now, I’m not going to fuss too much over editing. I will try not to make mistakes but I’m done with obsessing over it. I hope that doesn’t sound negative. I don’t mean to be negative. I’m just trying to not to obsess anymore because obsessing takes a lot of energy I would rather use somewhere else.
I will still be sharing a lot about my healthy living journey but I’ve decided to concentrate more on helping myself,, as well as others try to figure out why we do things the way we do and then take steps to change from there. I really don’t think there is enough discussion on the “whys”. When it comes to finding information on the Internet, there are plenty of “hows” How to make cheese. How to fold fitted sheets. How to lose pounds. How to tone your abs. But what about the “whys”? Why does food comfort you? Why are you not happy with your body? Why are you tired all the time? Why is your health declining? I think by asking the right questions, healing can take place. That’s my hope anyway.
Like I said, I am committing to one post a month. I may post more but not less. See you next month, if not sooner
This is a long overdue update. So much has happened since my last farm update. This update is all about goats, goat births and kids.
We had four pregnant does this year. Olive and Whisper, our 2 year old does gave birth to their first kids. Whispers was first. Her delivery went extremely well. She had her kids in the middle of the day and our 8 year old daughter got to watch the whole thing. She delivered on a cold snow day in April. We named the kids Frostbite (buckling) and Whisper’s Snowfall (doeling).
I’m so thankful it went so smoothly because Olive’s delivery didn’t go so well. She delivered early in the morning a few days after Whisper. I wasn’t prepared for what to do when a baby goat gets stuck in the birth canal.Her first buckling came out fine but the second was either dead when it got the the birth canal or shortly after. We finally got him out after instruction from the breeder (over the phone) on how to get a kid with a head and one leg presenting.Olive had two huge bucks and the surviving buck we named Moose.
About 6 weeks later our other two does, Sweetheart and Bo Peep gave birth to their kids. Right after I breed these two I realized their due dates were the same time as the women’s retreat I planning on going to. Actually, I was heading up the retreat so it would have been really difficult if I had to cancel my trip. I had everyone praying for my goats and that they would wait till I returned home to kid. Well, God is good and cares about our wants. The day I returned from the retreat Bo Peep delivered her single buckling. It was a smooth delivery and she had a healthy kid. Though we did have to help the buckling out.
Sweetheart was the last doe to deliver (a few days later) and besides having to pull her large buckling out, all went well. Sweetheart had a buckling and a doeling. The buckling was so adventurous right out of the womb, we decided to call him Huckleberry Finn. Which means Bo Peep buckling had to be named Tom Sawyer. Sweethearts doeling we named Widow (Douglas), partly because she’s mostly black but also because of the Huck Finn theme.
All the kids and mamas are doing well. It’s been fun having the kids around. They are so much fun to watch. I’m now if full milking mode. I’m milking 4 does in the morning but as of now only 1 at night. But that will change soon. Eventually I’ll be milking all four morning and night. My forearms and hands are going to be so buff. You can just call me Popeye
We plan to keep Snowfall because her mom, Whisper, is the best milker here.Very easy to milk. Munchkin milks her for me on a semi-regular basis. I’m hoping her doeling is just as good of a milker. We will also be keeping Sweetheart’s doe. I like the idea of having two young does together. All the boys will be going to new homes.
Why so many does in milk, you ask? Well, our next adventure is in pig raising. We plan to feed our pigs goat milk. I’m told goat milk raised pigs make amazing pork.