You Don’t Need Permission From Anyone (Besides Yourself) To Grieve

Give yourself permission to grieve the loss you feel. You don’t need permission from anyone (besides yourself) to grieve. Do you look for permission to feel sadness? Maybe you don’t even know you’re doing it. I didn’t, until this past Friday.

A few glasses of wine, one frozen pizza, a number of tears, and one Disney themed Kinkade puzzle sesh with the Hubs was my most recent Friday night. It could’ve been an episode on a YouTube channel called #Thisis30 because the conversation was DEEP.

My Mom had called me that morning to tell me she just put Kasey down (our second family pet to pass within the last 6 weeks) and had to talk to someone because she couldn’t tell my siblings yet based off how hard they took Kristy’s sudden passing a few weeks prior.

Now, it could’ve been the wine that helped open the floodgates or it could’ve been all the throwback photos of Kasey my Pops was sending me (or both) that did me in, but nonetheless, the tears poured out while looking for puzzle pieces which resembled the seven dwarves and a Hubs repeatedly reminding me my emotions were valid.

Why didn’t I think what I was feeling was valid? Well, the short answer? Because both of my parents have gone on about how both losses have affected them and my siblings, but not once have asked me how I was handling the news. So…if they haven’t asked me then that must mean I shouldn’t be affected because I live far away and haven’t seen her for a number of years, right?

I beat myself up because I’m sad but don’t feel like it’s justified because if my parents don’t think to ask me how I’m doing then I must be fine and I’m just being dramatic or looking for attention, which is an awful trait to possess and now I’m down the rabbit hole of how awful of a person I am.

It’s exhausting to fight with yourself as hard as I fight with myself, for real.

The real question is why do I need permission from my folks in order to feel justified about grieving my pet? Yes, it’s pretty shitty of them to exclude me from the ‘family grieving’ process but the bottom line is, I don’t need their permission. I give myself permission to give an outward expression to the internal anguish I am feeling.

Did you know that grief is the natural result of love? When we love we open ourselves up to the grief that will come because death is part of life. It’s as natural as a reaction as sneezing when your nose itches or sleeping when you’re tired.

I am sad because Kasey was a part of my life for almost a decade and I loved her, too.

So I won’t feel guilty for being upset. I may not have been around her every day for the last seven years but this isn’t a pissing contest, there aren’t rules to dictate when you may or may not grieve.

Maybe my tears that night were a mixture of grief for my old pet and a lack of with my parents.

There are a number of suggestions on how to celebrate your pet after he/she has passed and one was to plant a tree, scatter some of the ashes in the dirt or place a decorative stepping stone with their name at the base of the tree.

Another suggestion was to share a blog post and some of your favorite photos…

Kasey was an adorable pup who enjoyed carrying your shoe or sock around the house. She didn’t enjoy the hardwood floors and would stick to walking from rug to rug to avoid the hardwood. She slept under my Dad’s coffee table for almost 17 years.

I think what also stings is that I was so close to seeing both dogs again and now I never will. I have a flight in April to come visit and now the house I remember won’t exactly be the same with one German Shepard and one Golden Lab roaming around. I don’t have many familiar people, places, or things, because of all the moving and shuffling so when I do have some sort of comfort with familiarity I tend to hold on to those few and those dogs were my something familiar at home.

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Come be my friend on Instagram. I launched a podcast centered around getting to know our homeless youth in hopes to better understand how to stop it by getting to know the young people who survived it. Listen to the very first episode, here

ps: thanks to this article for giving me some lingo.






Washing Guilt Dry

I’m on book 3 of the #ReadWithRD for 2018 and it’s Rupi Kaur’s The Sun and Her Flowers book of poems. Reading poetry hasn’t been my thing, the last time I read anything that rhymed it was underneath the title, Where The Sidewalk Ends.

Why wasn’t I ever interested in poetry before?

Maybe I strayed away because the word seemed too feminine and had over the top emotions, corny jazz music and far out artists weaved beneath its definition. And there was no way I’d fit in there…

So imagine my surprise when I began to enjoy it, which then lead to an embarrassing amount of Google searches to gain some perspective and history on the art of poetry.

My searches led me to Blogging University’s Intro to Poetry course and on a whim, I signed up. Its follow-up email sealed  the deal by stating, “Sometimes we need a little nudge to get in touch with our creative side.”

I have my own theme I’d like to conquer by using poetry and would like to see if it helps.

This week’s prompt involved water:

Grandma’s death washed me dry
and left me without any layers.
I spoke the truth but it felt twice removed
because she kept secrets like a gypsy.
Guilt crept in and rinsed my skin
clean of any wrongdoings.
Because truth be told, none of us knew
the real J. Ruth in the beginning.

Tell me poem readers, what do you think? RamblinRandol -

copyright @ramblinrandol 2018
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Grandma is losing her leg

Grandma is losing her leg after 10 weeks in the hospital with a short stint in a rehab center. The bacterial infection has come back with a vengeance (for the fourth time) and this time will take her leg.

The doctor gave her three choices: amputate one leg, both legs (the other foot has started to change color) or get on hospice. My Uncle stood next to her as the doctor spoke and she cried uncontrollably – the first time I’ve ever heard of her being anything else but composed.

doctor's scope from Grandma is losing her leg blog

We’ve never had a hallmark grandmother/grandchild relationship and never will, but despite our differences she has taught me an important lesson nevertheless…

Janet Irene Ruth was born a little after the Great Depression and that’s about all I know of her upbringing. She had a sister and got married relatively young.

Unfortunately Janet married a man who loved the bottle and beating his family. My mother and uncle were a product of their marriage. Janet eventually left her husband when my Mom was in her preteens, but her oblivion and disconnection from reality stayed.

Grandma would call the house phone every week to talk to Mom and if one of her grandkids accidentally answered the phone instead, she’d skip over pleasentries and demand we put our mother on the phone.

A weekend visit from Grandma meant preparation for nonsenseical demands that I could never get right. She liked to bark orders and being the oldest, I got the brunt of it. “Help your mother with the dishes, Shannon. Go check on your sister, Shannon. Did you take the dogs of a walk, Shannon? Get me my drink, Shannon.”  

I would vent to my mom about how unfair she was being and my mom would say, “She’s just confused, her mother raised me so she thinks it’s her job to raise you. I’ll remind her once more it’s not her job.”

cinderella do the dishes - grandma is losing her leg

Grandma never failed to comment on my weight each time she visited and was a firm believer that gum before dinner meant a spoiled appetite. She was not the grammy who kissed boo-boos or hid York peppermint patties in her cubbards for you to find.

But that’s not how I’ll only remember her.

On nights me and my siblings slept over, Grandma and I would cuddle up on her armchair to read a story. She’d grab whichever suitable kid book lying around and have me read it out-loud.

She also had a closet full of shoes and clothes she’d let me play dress-up in.

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I’d clunk down the hallway in heels two sizes too big for my feet wearing her dress slip like a summer wrap. She’d clap, tell me I looked gorgeous and instruct I go find another outfit to dazzle in.

She’d also let me sit at her desk and play on the typewriter. “Write me a story,” she’d say. I’d clack away, pushing the keys down as hard as I could to write her a short story. I’d shout, “Ok, Grandma I’m done!” and she’d turn her attention back to me and say, “Alright, read it to me!”

It didn’t matter how many times I scuffed her shoes down the wooden hallway or how long I clacked away at the typewriter. If I had more gas in the tank for another story or fashion show, she’d clap or listen for as long as necessary.

In those moments she got it right. She was the Hallmark grandparent and for those moments of “grandparent clarity,” I  look past her shortcomings and can truly say I really do love and adore my Grandma, because at the end of the day no-one else can be her.

It’s been six years since I’ve seen her and a lot has changed. Our last conversation proved her mind is on a loop and her sense of time has warped, but our relationship has recently made a gray area in my world seem a little brighter and easier to understand.

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I suffer from my own type of disconnection. Instead of being oblivious to life truths and reality like Grandma, I’m terrible at understanding the value in relationship connections outside of my small circle. I’ve written about my disconnection in another blog, you can catch up here.

It’s incredibly difficult for me to tolerate people who I deem as unworthy of my time. I’ve learned my [friendship] test is a tough one to pass (I’m working on it, don’t worry ;)) and this makes me sound like an ass, but this test of who I let in and out is how I’ve kept myself safe for so many years.

But this strict test doesn’t have bend for people you’re forced to have contact with on an every day basis that you don’t want to have contact with, and this is where ol’ Grandma gave me some perspective.

I accepted my Grandma for who she was a long time ago and stopped holding her to the standard of grandparents I had in my head, instead I appreciated her for who she was in my life and loving her came easier.

Letting go takes on a whole new meeting when you understand its content.


A few weeks ago I was able to finally get Grams on FaceTime while she was trying to recuperate at the hospital. Nothing like seeing reality for it to hit you.

Grandma is very sick.

As of yet, Grams has opted to amputate (above the knee) her right leg and will go into surgery within the next 24-48 hours. I worry she won’t wake up from the procedure and if she does, I’m not certain she’ll survive the post-op.

Thousands of miles separate us so I won’t be able to give her an encouraging hug before she goes under, but I can hope she’ll sense these next pile of words and feel me with her.

I love you Grandma.

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