Thursday, April 11, 2013


Disclaimer: This post is simply a personal reflection ... thoughts swirling through my head ... 

I have come through a very foggy period, and the scary part is that I wasn't aware of the fog I was in until I stepped into the clearing. Looking back I realize that I was not functioning as well as I thought I was: I was missing meetings, forgetting what I was scheduled for, behind in my laundry, my pantry cupboard was a disaster, my clothes were all over the spare room. 'Funny how hindsight is crystal clear.

The fog was created by family losses, and the struggle to be supportive and still personally survive. Following Thanksgiving we put down our sweet lab Mari after almost 16 years of having her loving presence in our lives. In December my husband's brother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, placed in hospice house, suffered and passed away in January. Meanwhile our sweet Sophie lost her battle with her health issues and we had to put her to sleep. Then another brother-in-law's cancer returned, and he passed away suddenly from complications with his chemo. This allll happened within a couple of months, and I wonder why I was in a fog?? But really I felt as if I was handling everything just fine. I really did - until I look back at my "performance" and shudder.

It occurred to me only yesterday how much the Bewley family has taught me about dealing with loss. They handle things with so much grace and humor and laughter and cocktails. There are tears mixed in, but the laughter wins in the end. I was raised in an environment where my dad's Germanic tradition was one of "ve must move on and ve must not cry and ve need no help" and my mom's more emotional response of open tears and much emotion. I think that all three coping mechanisms balance nicely. Unfortunately I know that this journey we are on includes many heart aches so I am grateful for the "tools" I have been given.

Fortunately, my relationship with my husband has not only survived but thrived. We are working on our house project and that is giving us so much joy. We are embracing each day and living fully, whether that means taking a nap without guilt, or opening a better bottle of wine for a weeknight dinner. We look ahead to the future without fear and we savor our happiness.

My son is doing well, gearing up for college. He, too, has suffered and in some ways been "deserted" as his mother was dealing with her own issues. I am so proud to say he is growing up to be a strong man, prepared better than many for the hard knocks of life.

Some mornings after cocktailing the night before I look back and know I was tipsier that I realized. This is kind of like that. I look back on those past few months and know I was closer to the edge than I realized. Thankfully through family love and the grace of friends I was able to survive and emerge stronger than I was before.