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Into The Darkness

The lack of mental health resources for emergencies is available for an extremely limited fortunate few. The lack is especially significant in rural areas. Even if a patient is under a psychiatrists care and requires immediate care they are instructed to seek out an emergency room. Straightforward? Yes. Practical? No.

The reality for rural residents is a very long wait as rural physicians are alone, have their regular appointments in clinic, care for inpatients and cover emergencies. In triage, psychiatric care is in a long way down the list.

The argument is the lengthy time these patients represent. Treatment options can be medication, talk therapy or hospitalization as examples. Each of these in turn have their own problems. Rarely is their a bed available on acute care, medication has to be supervised in case of drug reactions, worse is any self medicating the person may have done. Talk therapy takes a lot of time that is not usually available in emergency rooms.

I see first hand the challenges but no solutions that can be implemented any time soon.

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Autumn

autumn leavesThe leaves float through the air as nature is telling us it is time to be grateful for what we have and to prepare for the winter that is coming.

Canning the bounty the garden gave us, the fruits that will taste so nice when the land is snow covered and cold. The jams and jellies are in the pantry and the freezer is full of chicken, beef and pork in bacon form.

The children are busy with their secret plans of Halloween costumes to trick or treat in, and I am pretty sure they are thinking about what to carry all that candy in.

I am not one who goes after the dark side of Halloween but it is one that I decorate for with smiling jack-o-lanterns, strings of coloured leaves draped over the railing and fence. There are scarecrows with smiling faces around and up the sidewalk to welcome the little ones. I like to set out a few straw bales to really round out my décor.

I enjoy the excitement the trick or treaters show when they are anticipating what treat they will get from this house. The costumes range from pre-made ones to ones that are rather hobbled together from home.  It is their joy that makes me smile. One very interesting item from them last year was that every single one of them said “Thank you” before they left the doorstep.

 

Now What

I have been a widow for about three months now, I am still trying to define who I am without my sweet husband beside me. Advice is volunteered after each, “How are you doing?”, and my reply is always, ” Fine, managing alright”. There is nothing more to be said at that point. Inside I am crying at the loss and smiling at the memories. Too precious to share with anyone yet.

For now, I am content to be home, paint, scrapbook, read and watch old movies. I need the quiet right now and I am appreciating the healing time, for what else can it be?

My heart is filled with love for my family and has been brought into sharper focus since my sweet husband passed away. I have a deeper love and appreciation of my children, grandchildren, siblings and family in general. I know it is never a waste to say, “I love you.” to those special people in my life.

I am so thankful we had such a happy home, appreciated our time together and smile at our differences and how we celebrated them. I can rejoice in the passing of my parents and now my husband because of my Lutheran beliefs in Heaven and I can cry because I selfishly want them here with me.

There is no one size fits all manual on finding my way through this because we each have our own experiences and beliefs that equip us on this new journey. I can recall the happy moments shared with family members from my great grandmothers and on through the family tree. Faith and family are the bedrock I am building my new life on with each tentative step into my future.
Wild Flowers

Losing You

It has been about 12 weeks since I lost my sweet husband and I miss him so very much. I find I am in this new role as widow. I am not sure what a widow should be like, there is no prescribed plan to follow and no books to tell me how to feel and act. I am also grateful that you left a Will to ease the burden of administer the business part of death. I have been fortunate in that I have very supportive family and friends who have been such a store of strength as I work my way through this new life I find myself in.

I visit his grave a few times a week and try to keep it clean, even though our prairie winds like to bring dried grass to rest against the headstone.
I am not sure what else to do because I want to do things for him and since he has passed away I do find myself at a loss as I loved taking care of him. I think taking care of someone is a part of me that I find so fulfilling. I love being a homemaker, I love being a mom, and I love being a homemaker. Loving the grandchildren is just the cherry on my cupcake.

Thanks to my strong Christian faith I know he is in Heaven and is richly blessed, rest easy my love.

After He’s Gone

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

My heart continues to feel a loneliness that was not present when my husband was alive. His passing was sudden and unexpected which has it’s own set of grief responses. I can honestly say there is about 3 weeks where time meant nothing to me and my memories of those days are non-existent. I was aware of people around me but what was said and done are lost to me.

One of my daughters and three of her children stayed with me for several days after the funeral and their presence helped facilitate a return to the normal rhythms of day to day living.  Children live in the moment which serves as a reminder to live in the here and now. The past is over and the future is not yet here; enjoy the moment that is here.

One thing that does not seem to be addressed upon the demise of a loved one is the business part of death. There are funeral arrangements to be made, which in itself has a myriad of choices to be made. There is asking friends to be pall bearers and someone to give the eulogy, clergy to be contacted and worked with, music, programs, and obituaries that need to be done. Business. A funeral director can be a great resource to draw from and believe it or not, they can be a valuable resource about finances for the entire business of the death.

I do not deny myself the tears that come from nowhere, I enjoy the smiles that come with a sweet memory.  I do not deny my emotions and live them in the moment.  The day to day business of living carries on and memories come at will and the emotions evoked honoured.

Living a day at a time, taking things a moment at a time, and honouring my emotions work together to facilitate a starting point to my new normal.

landscape mountains nature rocks

 

 

 

 

My Time to Rant

9c5f9398b6b678d5e263e360c75f993fI have given up watching the news, not sure if I ever will again. Between the reports of crimes against humanity, crimes against disadvantaged persons, crimes against children, crimes against animals, crimes against nature and my list continues. Why oh why are we allowing these things to happen?

I have grown to learn that we do not have a justice system, we have a legal system. I have learned that in Canada a life sentence is not. I have learned there are not enough people to oversee criminals once they are released from prison, mental health institutions, put on probation or parole. Just why?

If anyone speaks out against the injustices we see or the calibre of media output, we get branded as red neck, bigoted, having a secret agenda, or any number of things that are defamatory, quickly becomes the target we live under.

Many people don’t speak out about anything because they do not want to be signalled out in a negative light. Living in a small rural community the pressure to go with the status quo is expected and for the most part these values are part of the most hated group in Canada now, Caucasian, Christian, Albertan, and English speaking.  Men bear the added burden of their gender.

Time for the pendulum to swing to centre, stop the insanity and make people accountable for their actions and choices. Now is the time to realize that consequences can also be very positive.

 

Global Change

It is not a secret the climate has been delivering some interesting and strange weather to many areas on our planet. Record rainfalls, flooding, mudslides, extreme heat, drought, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, raging forest fires and so much more. With political will changing and climate accords being ignored what are we left to do? Await an impending demise?

On  global scale I believed we could save our planet by planting more trees, growing home gardens, encouraging farmers not to use chemicals but return to crop rotations and natural fertilizers on their fields.  The family farm is no more for the most part.   Farming is now big corporations contracting to ensure commercially viable options for our food production. Chemical companies by default then become our food suppliers. Scary thought. How could chemical additives and genetically modifying seeds for crops be a healthy alternative to their organic counterpart?

On a small scale, we have planted ‘food’ trees and have vegetable gardens as well as flowers to feed the bees, butterflies and birds in this area.  Evergreen trees have been planted for wind breaks and weather protection as well as offering a safe home for birds and some small critters.  We actively chose organic products when they are available to us and have found a an organic, family run farm to buy our eggs. We only buy wild salmon and avoid farm fish. We do not immerse ourselves into the latest food fads and do not believe one product is the cure all for everything.

When we do buy meat and poultry products we try to get organic or at the very least have not been raised on meat by-products in their food.  Small steps but important ones as food supplies and availability can be compro10703932_10152237731467271_5846619980639634150_nmised by world markets.

These are not big steps by any means but they are at least a step forward to helping us stay connected to nature and living as naturally as possible. The consumer can vote for change with their wallet, supporting business with ethical practices and locally produced.

When the world seems to be spiralling out of control we can take our power back in the choices we make with our spending and living habits.