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normsmom

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Reply with quote  #76 
Charlie:

Thank you so much for your lovely words about Norm's photos. Looking at him, and his presence in general always filled me with "warmth and peace", so it's comforting to hear that it comes through in the photos of him. Also thank you for sharing with me about your dream. It sounds like such a similar experience. Like you - I awoke crying and very emotional, in a bittersweet way. So deeply grateful that I got to hold him again - even if for a fleeting moment in a dream, but so sad that I will never feel that "Norm fur" against my cheek again. Even writing about it now brings the tears as if he just passed yesterday. It's so hard, isn't it? I bet Nicky would have loved the snow. Hopefully, he and Norm and Jim and all the snow-loving pups on this forum are frolicking together among the snowflakes. Your words about this forum are so true: "...to know that I have so many friends here like you and the others, that's the one thing that gives me the most comfort, it's a place where we can rest our hearts and let our emotions and words flow and know that we are understood". Exactly. It's really a wonderful place that is such a support during the difficult moments, like the one-year milestone that is approaching for you with China. We will be here for you, my friend. 

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CKMP:

Thank you for the image of Norm as my fur angel holding my heart "in his perfect paws". I just love that. He will be in my heart forever. I was so happy to read about the dream you had about your girl Kassee. What a wonderful Christmas present to receive but, like you said, bittersweet for certain. I hope a dream about sweet Maggee is not far behind. Or maybe you will get a 2 for 1 dream? :) I hope so!

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Dawn,

It is a great comfort to hear from those who have walked the terrible path of early grief and found strength and meaning from the new relationship that is formed. Molly's eyes are so expressive and I just love her soft colouring. She was, and is, so very loved. Thank you for sharing your stories of her. I really appreciate the words about beginning to realize that our babies are still very close, despite the "fog of grief". It is comforting to think that Norm is still with me somehow. I miss him so. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with many signs from sweet Molly. 

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jimmy17

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Reply with quote  #77 
Hi Heather, what a beautiful dream you had about Norm, that you got to hold him and feel his fur once again....  I remember waking from the first dream I had a few weeks after losing Jim, and it was a strange feeling - obviously so sad as I knew it was a dream, but also such a warm and special feeling that remained with me for quite a while.   I like to think that our little one`s are able to "visit" us in dreams.....maybe its their way of keeping that special bond going with us....      Norm`s photo`s are just beautiful - such a handsome boy, and as for those big soulful eyes...     

 Wishing you a peaceful New Year, filled with many signs from Norm - and please know that he is forever with you.  Such strong bonds can never be broken. x

                                                                                             Hugs, Jackie. x

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normsmom

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Reply with quote  #78 
Thank you so much, Jackie. You are so right - bonds this strong can never be broken. Like you, the dream stayed with me quite a while. Bittersweet, but wonderful to have such a vivid experience of my boy. I wish you so much peace and happy thoughts of handsome Jim in 2018. 

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15875403_10155463447092069_786541766809467249_o.jpg 

To my wonderful boy:

Today would have been your 12th birthday.

When I took this photo a year ago, I wish I had known we only had 10 months left. I thought/hoped we'd have years yet. I wish that I would have spent less time working and more time enjoying what a silly, sweet, funny boy you were. More time petting your soft fur, playing games, looking into your wonderful brown eyes, treasuring our time together. I am so grateful for the time we did spend. Especially in the last year, I made more time to really enjoy you boys and spend time together. When people talk about their "happy place", mine was always the same - in the quiet of the night, with both my dogs sleeping peacefully near me. You boys were the thing in my life that brought me the most joy, and to have you taken from me so unexpectedly sometimes feels like the cruellest blow that could be dealt.

Tucker and I are doing okay, finding our new rhythm, taking lots of walks to your favourite spots, playing ball. That last one is especially hard, since you two would compete for the ball. Tucker was faster but you were smarter, so I could fake him out or throw it in a new direction to make sure you got your fair share of "catches". I miss you so much Norm. Today the tears seem endless. I really thought it was getting easier, and it some ways it is, but I still can't believe you are gone, and I still can't believe how much this hurts. I love you so much. I wish you were here and that we were celebrating your 12th birthday today with an extra helping of cheese, some fun in the snow and lots of games of fetch.

You are so deeply loved and missed. 




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LUCYLULU

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Reply with quote  #79 
Happy 12th Birthday to Norman!  How in the world can you get through today? He is your man & you want him right there today. His gorgeous, expressive brown eyes...man oh man...grabbed me from the start. Heather-- I am sorry for not writing sooner. Been spotty visiting the forum (quick on/off) because of work. But I remember reading about your boy...seeing his amazing pictures...especially the one with sea & sky...where Norman is in the water looking ahead as if all is right with the world. I started crying on my work break. 

All isn't right with the world because Norman's not right there next to you & Tucker. But I loved reading about your dream of him visiting you on the deck. All of the signs, moments, dreams seem to come @ the time when we need them so much, almost to give us a moment to breathe deeply & be able to feel their love. Still helps me-- to this day when I see a feather, a cardinal, or hear a song or a wind chime. I know it came from Lucy. She passed on the same date of 11/10 as Norman & Bailey (MJ). I will miss her every day for the rest of my life. But the image of Lucy playing with her Rainbow Bridge friends is one I cherish. She liked people & watching public television better than dogs :-) To think of her playing & happy with doggies-- makes me smile. I hope she's met Norman & introduced him to Bailey & all of the forum dogs. 

Mostly, I hope that you go slowly. Know that it's a wicked time because you miss him so much it hurts-- deep inside. We understand the fierce pain. But this forum is a place where we all understand because we all love & miss our special babies. Reading your entire story & looking @ Norman's pictures-- such a beautiful boy with a wonderful face-- made me cry again. But the happy man is right there with you. I hope he sends signs or whatever you might need to get through each day...each hour.
I am so very sorry Heather.

Huge hugs,
Kasey

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jimmy17

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Reply with quote  #80 
OH Heather - what a beautiful photo of Norm on his 11th birthday, he really is the most handsome boy with those dreamy, soulful eyes.  I know you wish so much that you had got to spend many more happy years with him - but believe me, Norm would want to thank you so much for giving him such a wonderful and happy life - I only have to look at his photo`s to see just how contented he is on every one.      I know just how much both you and Tucker will miss him today on his 12th birthday, but he will be having lots of fun over the Bridge with Jim and all the other fur angels - having lots of special treats, and games.   And as for that extra helping of cheese, and games in the snow - well Jim will be right there with Norm as cheese and snow where 2 of his most favourite ever things!!     Its okay to let the tears fall - because we loved them so very, very much and always will.      

So, Happy 12th Birthday Norm, enjoy your extra cheese, and have tons of fun in the snow - but remember to look in on your Mum and Tucker, they love you very much. 

                                                                                   Huge hugs, Jackie. xx

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Bailey15

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Reply with quote  #81 
Hi Heather,
I just popped by to thank you for the beautiful Christmas message you left on Bailey's thread and I am seeing that today is Norms's 12th birthday!! These special occasions are so very difficult because they bring back such beautiful memories and we just want to have that time back even for one day - or one hour) to spend looking into their beautiful eyes - and today of course to wish your boy the best birthday!! I am so sorry you have to go through this pain.

I love the picture you posted of Norm with his birthday hat! He certainly was loved - so easy to see just by looking at his face in this wonderful, happy picture - and all of the pictures you have posted!

Heather, so many times I have looked back and thought exactly what you said: "if only I had known we only had this amount of time left" and the things I would have done differently...but then I think how difficult it would have been knowing we only had a finite amount of time.

From everything you've written I think you should pat yourself on the back because you gave Norm the best gift of all - the gift of such a happy life!
I know how much you miss him and it has to be especially painful over the holidays. As Kasey said, "all is not right with the world". Cry as much as you need to and just try and let it out. Over the years with Bailey, I always tried to hide it if I was upset but he would know anyway so I think it's okay if Tucker knows you are sad. Let him comfort you nd you can grieve together.
No one will ever replace Norm. He will always have a part of your heart (just as Bailey has a piece of mine) That's just how it is when we love and form such an amazing bond with an animal.
I honestly believe we will see our boys again. And I tend to believe there are no coincidences. I think Norm has likely met many new friends but especially those from this forum. I feel that we were all drawn here for a reason and that is because we all loved them so very much!

Might I suggest lighting a candle and making a wish for Norm. He may be tired from celebrating his birthday with all of his new friends but also keeping a watchful eye over his loving mom, I'm quite sure. Thinking of you Heather (my fellow Canadian) and wishing you peace.
Happy 12th Birthday Norm!!! 🎉🎂⭐️️
Hugs, MJ
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MyBella

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Reply with quote  #82 
Happy 12th Birthday Norm !!!

Image result for happy birthday norm cake     Image result for happy 12th birthday balloons      Image result for happy birthday tennis balls

Run, play and eats lots of cake with all your friends, be sure to pop in and visit your wonderful Mom, gently nuzzle her heart with your love.
Enjoy your special day Norm, have fun with all your friends chasing tennis balls.

15875403_10155463447092069_786541766809467249_o.jpg

Dear Heather,

Sending my warmest wishes for such peace to find your broken heart on this most difficult day. I will write more later this week, I wanted to wish Norm a Happy Birthday and let you know you and Norm are in my thoughts.

Your Friend Always, Don
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normsmom

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Reply with quote  #83 

Oh, I can't tell you all what your supportive words meant to me yesterday. It was a really, really, really sad day, and I spent it "going through the motions". Each notification on this message in my inbox brought me to tears, but in a good way. Knowing that there are others who understand, and who took the time yesterday to honour Norm so thoughtfully and with such kindness... it just is a tremendous help. Thank you.

Kasey:

Thank you so much for your beautifully written thoughts, and please don't feel bad about not writing sooner. I'm slowly trying to learn everyone's stories and make connections, and there are people I have missed too - like you! I am so glad to "meet" you more formally, and didn't realize that Lucy also shares November 10th. I've read your posts to others here on the forum and they have inspired me. You describe the pain so vividly (feeling unable to breathe, the world not being "right" etc.) that I know you have been exactly where I am. At the same time, you have found a wonderful new relationship with sweet Lucy, and like MJ with her Charlie, opened your home to a new bundle of fur in Daisy Clover (love that name!). Having Tucker already to help me through this has been a huge source of comfort. I read some of your earlier posts about not wanting to go back to a "hollow home" and I can't imagine what that must be like. It certainly feels very empty without Norm, but it's a Norm-shaped emptiness rather than total quiet, if that makes sense. Tucker's warmth and comfort has been a lifeline, and having him to take care of gives me a concrete reason to get up each day. His unconditional affection and joy are something I fiercely want to protect and keep safe and happy, so it helps. Thank you for the wishes of signs from my Norm. I think I may have received one yesterday morning, which was a great comfort. Thank you for continuing to come and share your story with those new to the forum like me. 

Jackie:

More things for Norm and Jim to share! Snow and cheese! :) We have so much snow here, and I wish Norm could see it. It was a very green Christmas last year, but when it finally snowed he was thrilled! I'm glad that his contentedness shines through in his photos. He really did make the best of his life, and found a lot of joy in so many things. Also thank you so much for saying it's okay to let the tears fall. Sometimes we need that acknowledgement from others to give ourselves permission, you know? I've started to have the "okay, it's been almost 2 months, get a grip" thoughts and you know what? It's only been two months. It's okay to go at my own pace. Your New Year's message to Jim was just beautiful by the way. You so perfectly describe the "differentness" of the holidays now. 

MJ:

You're right. It would have been torture knowing that we had 10 months, then 9 months, then 8 months etc. In the end, it's a lesson to enjoy the moments we do have. I wish I didn't have to lose Norm to learn that lesson, but he was my teacher in so many ways, so it makes sense that he's still teaching me even now. I did see your message last night and I did light a candle for my Norman. Thank you for the suggestion. I let myself just feel the grief yesterday. I wrote to Norm here and in his journal (another great idea you gave me), looked at photos, and just cried. Tucker slept peacefully beside me but also came up to give me extra cuddles, which was so nice. I really love the idea of Norm meeting the friends from this forum. I hadn't thought about it that way - that we've all found this place because our friends are together in their place. I love that thought. I know Bailey will be an excellent host. :) 

Don:

Thank you so much for the wonderful post - especially the happy birthday tennis ball. That is the perfect present for Norm for sure. :) And thanks to you, Vera and Bella for the wonderful e-card. It means so much that people honour and celebrate my Norm. It's these gestures that provide some light during a dark time. 

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Again, thanks to each of you, for celebrating my special, sweet man. 


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Chinadoll

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Reply with quote  #84 
I am so sorry, I just saw the birthday post, I missed it. I'm not smart like Don, he forgets nothing, I forget what I walked into the kitchen to get 1 minute ago. If I had known you, say, a few years ago, and saw these pictures, I would have hired you to take some of my little friends. These pictures are so wonderful, Norm is so photogenic, but you get some of the credit too, absolutely beautiful. All these special dates, they are so difficult, it just can't be any other way, because we loved them so much. Our tears and emotions come so easily, so quickly. I think my favorite quote is 'Love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation'. I think most of us had no idea how deep the loss would affect us, it is much more fierce than we could have imagined. But the gift they leave with us is everlasting, a love that is eternal. Blessings to you and Norm.
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CKMP

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Reply with quote  #85 
Norm's Mom,

I am so so sorry I missed your sweet boy's birthday.  What a beautiful message to your boy - and what a wonderful photo of Norm with his birthday hat...Really he looks to me like he is waiting for that extra special Birthday treat!  Time is measured differently now and all the 'birthdays', 'anniversaries' are now celebrated with the precious memories of those 'other days'.  Watch your sweet Tucker for I am sure he will know his brother Norm is still close and watching over Mom...The pack is still together and always will be - the bonds will not be broken by time, nor by form...our special fur ones give us so much - and teach us so much - often, too often we are unaware of this until they are no longer physically with us...It is though their legacy - Each one of these pawed ones' lives matter, and continue to do so as we share their stories, their characters and our love amongst the forum 'family'.  Tears are shed and rightly so for those so so loved and so so missed.  Grief follows its own path, its own time and its own expression - two months, six months, two years....perhaps it is something that is forever carried within our souls and hearts...the sorrow and the ache - the sense of someone missing and that 'waiting' feeling...Wishing Norm a Belated Birthday!  And hoping his soft paws are felt clearly as he reminds you he is near...His love is for always and his ears always listening for the sound of your voice - May you and Tucker find comfort and solace within the companionship and love you share between the two of you and the love shared with Norm.  Hugs for you Heather ... some days are just downright more difficult than the last or the next...
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MyBella

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Reply with quote  #86 
Hi Heather,

Thinking of you and your beautifully handsome Norm as another Friday has arrived, they seem to come faster each week.
I hope you were able to celebrate Norm's birthday with Tucker, your sweet Norm would love nothing more than to see you and Tucker celebrate, play, chase tennis balls and maybe even share some cake in his honor. I understand it isn't an easy thing to do, it takes time to be able to celebrate these special days, especially when your heart is so broken, never mind that you had to go through your first holiday season without your handsome Norm, such a difficult time of year for your heart to absorb everything at once.
I bet Tucker is a big help each and every day, I am sure Norm is guiding Tucker while helping him comfort their wonderful and loving Mom, never, ever doubt that your sweet boy isn't there with you and Tucker, don't be surprised in the least if Tucker seems to be preoccupied some days, I have a feeling he is listening intently to and playing with Norm. They see dimensions we don't, little girl taught me this and I have no doubt that Norm visits and Tucker sees him when he does.
Sending my warmest wishes for the light and love of your handsome Norm to always be felt so deeply in your wonderful heart, bringing with his love, the continued peace and healing you so deserve.

Your Friend Always, Don
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normsmom

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Reply with quote  #87 
Charlie,

Thank you so much for your kind message and especially for this quote: "'Love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation." Wow, is that ever true!!! It is amazing, and sad, and in some ways a comfort, to realize how deeply I am grieving for sweet Norm. I agree with what you said on China and Nicky's thread about the New Year being a really hard time. I can't believe I am starting a year without my boy, for the first time in 12 years. I miss him every day. Thanks also for the nice words about the photos. He was very tolerant of me snapping his photo all the time. I think he liked being the star. :)

CKMP,

Your words brought me to tears, but in a good way. I have been thinking a lot lately about how much Norm taught me, and how much he is still teaching me as I reflect on our years together. I love the idea that he is still nearby. I do feel that it is a bond that can never be broken. Tucker has been a sweet and loyal friend to me through it all, and I hope that he can sense Norm's presence here with us, as I know he misses him. He was never one to "play", but he has become a lot more playful with toys and balls - perhaps it is his way of connecting with Norm. It's a comfort to me as well to be entertaining him and remembering doing the same for sweet Norm. 

Don,

Thank you so much for checking in on another Friday. You're right - they do seem to come faster each week. This Wednesday will mark 2 months, and in many ways, it feels like forever, and in others, it is still impossible to believe. As I said above, Tucker really does seem to be connected to Norm with his new interest in playing fetch and "tug" with stuffed toys. We both miss him, and I'm looking forward to it finally being warm enough tomorrow to take Tuck for a good hike on one of Norm's favourite trails. We've been in a deep freeze here for 2 weeks, and poor Tucker is not a winter dog, even with the snazzy coats I make him wear. :) I'm looking forward to the next Bella story - I know it will be a good one. They always make me smile. Wishing you, Vera and Bella a wonderful week ahead, my friend. 


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Bailey15

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Reply with quote  #88 
Hi Heather,
I am so happy to know that the journal idea helped. When you look back - maybe 2 years down the road! - you will see a journal of healing but it will also keep Norm close to you as you read back through those pages. I'm also glad that you are finding some peace here at the forum. I agree - it's such an amazing idea to have a place where everyone is happy to reach out and offer that support because we understand so well the overwhelming pain of losing such a beautiful and beloved friend.

I love what you said about Bailey being a good host - such a sweet thing to say Heather! Wouldn't it be wonderful to see them all playing - but especially to see them young and healthy and happy again. Some day. ❤️

Your pictures of Norm are so beautiful and I am so happy to hear that Tucker is enjoying playing and having time with you. I agree so much with what Don said. Animals are so very perceptive - Norm is likely whispering in Tucker's ear about things to do that will make their wonderful momfeel happy again!

Thanks so much for the lovely message you left on Bailey's thread! We haven't had a lot of snow luckily but we had a big storm on Thursday which knocked out the power for a couple of hours. Charlie loved cuddling with my husband and I as we sat with candles and our fireplace on - because it runs on propane. We noticed he looked a bit sad when the power suddenly came back on so we played with him for a while with his Christmas toys.

I wish you a 'Happy New Year' as well Heather and I hope that 2018 is filled with many wonderful memories of your beautiful Norm that will being much peace and happiness to your heart!

Hugs,
MJ X
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jimmy17

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Reply with quote  #89 
Hi Heather - thank you for your lovely post on Jim`s thread, and A Very Happy New Year to you and all your family and Tucker too !   I had to laugh about Norm and how he ripped his T-shirt off just like the hulk!!   I guess some dogs just don`t like being dressed up....   although my friends daughter has a little Yorkshire Terrier and she loves her "girly" outfits with a passion, so maybe its a girl thing!!.      I know its still "early days" for you since Norm had to leave for his journey over the Bridge, but I hope you are finding it a little easier, and are remembering more and more of the happier times you shared with him -  as MJ rightly says, keeping a journal helps immensely.   I started writing within a few days of losing Jim - every little memory I had of him, and what others remembered got written down - even silly little things like how scared he was of garden snails!  Reading it back now after 2 years gives me so much comfort - as well as being able to "see" just how far I have come since those first awful days/weeks.       Anyway, hoping the weather improves for you - here in the UK it is very cold, lots of frosty mornings and clear blue skies, but no snow yet ( which Jim would no doubt be very upset about!).   

                                                                                                   Peace and hugs,  Jackie. x

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LUCYLULU

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Reply with quote  #90 
Oh Heather~

Thank you for checking in on Lucy's thread. Happy New Year to all of you too! When you mentioned two months...I actually remember thinking @ 2 months, 3 months, etc., 'why' can't I stop missing my Lucy & feeling sad. Most days I was just going through the motions. Something as simple as a song playing, or coming home to the hollow house and 'boom', the sadness overwhelmed me again. Each month, I thought I should be able to function 'better'. We are all different. Though we are the same in that we all share our own deep pain, the profound loss of our special babies.  After six months, I started to breathe. Cannot explain it but I felt like the intense sadness eased a bit. I didn't have to force smiles. They came when I thought of Lucy or looked @ her pictures. I will miss her forever. But finding the forum was a huge part of the healing. Asking for & appreciating the signs & Lucy moments helped too. 

So please keep going day to day...or sometimes hour to hour. Norm really is with you always. But I still hope you get little signs or 'pokes' from your handsome Norm. I agree with Jackie. Dogs can see other dimensions. So I wish the same for Tucker-- that he gets to 'see'/feel his buddy too :-)

Huge hugs,
Kasey
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