Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I'm sorry to report that the five bluebird hatchlings in our backyard nest box have died.  It appears that they were only a few days old when unusually cold weather and severe storms hit our area.  The box has been cleaned and prepared if the bluebirds want to try again.   I'm beginning to look at birdwatching as a spiritual journey, watching miracles and the cycle of life from birth to death. 

Speaking of grieving, though, the Winter/Spring 2010 edition of MSAA Motivator magazine has a good article about "Grief and Loss in the MS Journey."  I read this before I knew about the birds, and found it useful because I've been feeling just awful lately.  I suspect I understand why, now.

This article explains that grieving is not necessarily a linear process; not one that finally comes to completion.  Especially with chronic illness, we may go back and forth through the stages of grieving.  Grieving will also be chronic.  Theresa Rando refers to "Sudden Temporary Upsurges in Grief" and notes that MS patients can have upsurges in grief when we have a relapse or discover something else we can no longer do. 

A few weeks ago, I had a few absolutely wonderful days.  I had energy. I walked without assistance.  Life was fun and terrific.  Then things went back to my "normal" and I slumped into depression and hopelessness. I suspect that I am "STUG"  ("sudden temporary upsurge in grief")  I'm gonna use that term from now on.  I'm STUG, in a STUG, feel like STUG, oh go eat STUG.  You get the picture. 

I see now that what I experienced, and am still experiencing, is grief for the loss of those wonderful energetic days.  According to this article, this is typical of MS.  Now that I think of grief as chronic, it helps me to understand what's happening.

There is useful information in this article, including some tips from Anne Marie Buck such as: "Don't let fear of grief stop progress... Think of grief as waves at the beach that come and go.  Each wave has a crescendo and eventually disappears.  Some waves are strong and some are mild.  Make peace with that ebb and flow."  Each wave of grief helps us to become more resilient.

Terrific.  One more challenge to make me resilient.  As they say, "what doesn't kill you makes you very, very sick." LOL!



  1. Is it a coincidence that today I heard a bird song I've never heard before? Nevermind that I couldn't locate the bird responsible, it was enough that I could hear the song - and I thought "I bet Joan would be able to identify that one". Later on, on my morning walk, I spotted a woodpecker....and then a second one joined it. Twice in one morning I was thinking about you.

    I like the idea of gried as waves; that works for me.

    Hope the bluebirds try again.


  2. Oh Shauna, how nice of you to think of me. I hope you are doing okay.