Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Good inertia

I'm hoping I can share some hope today, but let me first warn you that there is grief talk ahead. Please don't hesitate to skip this post. No one likes to witness or read about this stuff.

On the other hand, perhaps writing and sharing these thoughts and observations might be in some way helpful to some readers. Perhaps that's a pipe dream or a delusion. I hope not.

There's no doubt that writing this stuff helps me order my thoughts and come to grips with the seemingly impossible task ahead. In that sense these maunderings are intensely selfish.


An object in motion tends to stay in motion and an object at rest tends to stay at rest unless said objects are acted upon by an external force. Something like that. And subject to the usual ideal vs real universe caveats.

As I was preparing to sail forth and do good work upon the world yesterday morning the littlest held up her arms in the universal sign for "pick me up."

Quite often that's the beginning of a game or an attempt to exercise some control. More often it's a desire for a quick hug immediately followed by autosquirm and "put me down, I got stuff to do!"

Yesterday morning she just wanted to be held. She wrapped her arms around my neck and rested her face against my face. I stroked her back with my fingertips and let the inertia of love operate the universe.

Eventually, of course, autosquirm was selected and loving force was applied to loving inertia.

Such things are a blessing beyond measure. Beyond the very concept of measure.


Parts of yesterday sucked and parts were indescribably delightful.

It's been really hard on the grief front. Four weeks. Twenty-eight days.

Hard on all of us.

When I see others suffering I wish I could fix everything for them. There's a part of me that is completely willing to bear all their pain myself if only it could make their pain go away. The world doesn't work like that though.


I'm still working on laundering Allie's clothes. They need to be washed and dried and folded and properly hung up and sorted and stuff like that. Why? The former me wouldn't have known the answer. The present me does.

It's a hard chore on every level.

I've been working daily on the task and I'm making good progress.

It's an exercise in heartbreak. I know I'm whining and I hate that in me. Nevertheless it's a process that hurts a great deal. I feel like I understand that pain and hurt must be worked through; body, mind, and soul. I have to face my personal loss squarely and let it hurt. I have to suck it up and drive on. I can do it, but I can't do it myself. God does the heavy lifting, the things impossible for me to do. Family loves me and their loving support works miracles. And Allie is here with me. Makes it okay.


I intended to work on some fence yesterday, and I nearly got started, but it was a day for thinkercise rather than labor. While my body did a 4.18 mile circuit of the perimeter of a particular pasture, my mind picked over and sorted through thinking stuff.

While my mind does its cognition thing my soul picks out all the troublesome stuff and and talks to God. My mind frequently comments, "I don't know how I'm gonna be able to do this." My soul replies, "Hold my beer and watch this."

Some of the cows seemed to wonder why I was hiking in the heat of the day.

Late summer flowers are always worth a closer look.

Lichens on former seabed.

Pretty as a picture.

Grazing hot grass.


This morning was very different. Light snow cover reveals cow pathways.

North wind, rain, snow, plunging temperatures. It is still officially summer!


And Brrr!


Water holds a lot of warmth.

It's hard to make it freeze, particularly when there's so much of it collected in one place.

Cattle can find the sheltered spots.

Wonder if this calf remembers the snow of springtime?

Out of the wind and comfortable.

Autofocus loved the swirling droplets and flakes.

As I announced my intent to go check cows this morning, the little ones scrambled up into my lap and gave me hugs and wet kisses. On their own initiative ands without prompting.

God and family and Allie.

Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.


  1. Electronic hugs are not as good as in person hugs, but that's all I can offer today. I stand/sit in awe of your strength and resiliency.


    1. The heck they're not! Thanks Paul, I needed that!

      Any real strength I have comes from outside of Shaun. I'm continually washed in something amazing.

      Thanks again!

  2. Grief is as individual as a fingerprint. What I've learned is you deal with it, day by day. Sometimes minute to minute.
    My son's death last St. Patrick's day hits me unexpectedly and for no apparent reason. I think of my daughter in law and grandchildren and their burden and I too wish I could absorb and deal with all their pain.

    Her children are fortunate you are there for them. A lesser man would just walk away.

    1. Minute by minute is what today is like. It ebbs and it flows. God keeps throwing beauty and blessings my way to remind me that the universe isn't all about me. The me I was before Allie let me love her would still be running. But that guy blew away like a puff of smoke when I fell into her eyes. It's okay that it hurts, it's supposed to hurt. Lewis' book continues to be very helpful.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting WSF.

  3. All we can do is keep on keep in’ on, one day, a minute, or one second at a time.
    It gets better, but the tears will show up almost out of nowhere, even years from now.

    1. That's the truth of the matter Skip, and I sure appreciate it when you kind readers point that out. It's a think I know in my mind but having others giggle test my thinking really, really helps.

      The tears terrify me for some reason but they are part of learning, growing, and Livin' too.

      Thanks so much Skip.

    2. My terror is that I won't be able to stop. I always do, and I always feel better, but I can't shake the fear of not being able to stop. It's kind of an odd thing, but so am I! ;-)

      Thanks again Skip.

    3. Let the tears flow, they are a solvent for the toxins of grief.

  4. Her children love you, Shaun, because they know their Mommy loved you. And you love them right back because you loved their Mommy, too.

    It's a wonderful thing when a little child trusts you enough to just come up to you and raise their arms. The first time it happened to me about knocked me over....

    Their love will ease the pain somewhat, but it takes time.

    1. That love is such a wonderful and precious gift. The trust they feel is the same kind of gift. It's all wrapped up in a big ball of stuff that equals family.

      I know the pain will ease over time, and there is a huge team supporting me during these hard times. I get to support the team too. We're all in this together. It's only been 31 sunrises since she left us. Time is and will continue to heal.

      Thanks so very much for the kind words drjim. You kind readers are a special lifeline for me and your love and support are gifts that lift me up and help keep me going.

  5. Writing about loss can be cathartic, it is for me.

    You're providing an excellent example of what it is to be human. You're doing it the right way.

    I ache for you Brother, but I'm proud of you as well. As the late Buck would have said, keep on keepin' on!

    1. It sure feels cathartic. Feels a little (lot!) selfish, too. I tell myself that my words may in some way help others, and that's what I pin my public catharsis hopes on.

      Thanks for the kind words Chris, and for the loving support. And thanks to you, too, Buck! I will indeed keep on keepin' on!

  6. You are a Good Man, Shaun, you will do just fine as a Dad. I have great faith in you. That is why you are Badger Approved.