A story about a girl who loves to read + blog her reading life, yet acknowledges in two years she’s lost two beloved companions with fur.

Posted Sunday, 17 January, 2016 by jorielov 6 Comments

Stories of Jorie | A Feature of Jorie Loves A Story. Jorie Loves A Story Badge created by Ravven with edits by Jorie in PicMonkey.

I walked into [2016] with a happy heart knowing a fresh new chapter was emerging, both in my personal life and in my blogging life. I believe most book bloggers carry with them a certain shoulder of guilt for the stories they have not yet had the pleasure of finishing to read or books they very much intended to get their hands on over the past twelvemonth but time, tide and life interfered with their plans. I was even starting to blog about this myself whilst composing the thoughts I’ll be sharing with you towards the end of January now (as let’s be frank, my heart isn’t willing to finish such a happy post at the moment) when I finally reveal my End of the Year Survey, 2016. Close to publishing this incredible journal of the past year’s reads of whom have touched me and challenged me the most, will be the missing journals for End of the Year Surveys 2014 + 2013. Including the wicked sweet disclosure of creating a special acknowledgement on behalf of the stories who gave me the most bookish love!

I’m stepping ahead of myself, as although most of my dear hearted readers (and the lovely friends I have in the twitterverse) are already aware of – I had some health afflictions towards the close of the year [2015]. As a whole, [2015] was a difficult year but I tried not to let those difficulties leave me too downtrodden to read or to blog. I did fall behind quite a heap, especially when the lightning storms all but destroyed my ability to blog as I lost equipment, my connectivity, etc. whilst picking up the pieces afterwards and resuming where I left off. Fast forward to November, where I was snuggled inside The Clan Chronicles by Julie E. Cznerneda where body, mind, heart and soul were entwined inside those pages of the prequel trilogy to such an extent, for the first time I’ve been a book blogger I had forsaken sleep [all 37 hours!] to consume them! I was so entrenched into the heart of Cersi and the Clan, I felt as if a part of me had become a part of that world. It was a beautiful experience because it’s been quite awhile since I’ve felt so deeply etched inside an author’s vision for their world and felt such a passionate response for a serial fiction spilt into individual trilogies.

I felt I could recoup the lost hours of sleep and continuing with my plans for Sci Fi November, only to conclude that I had wrecked my sleep patterns a bit and needed to take it a bit slower. I had no idea I’d succumb to a horrid and intense virus in the opening weekend of December; a virus which left me shattered in energy and fully depleted of any zeal for reading or blogging as a whole. I read what I could and blogged in-between fits of coughing and sneezing bouts; but as the month progressed, I simply wanted to feel ‘well’ again. Being so ill over the Christmas holidays was brutal, but I knew in time, I would rebound and gain traction towards overcoming the virus that took everything I had to give.

By New Year’s Day, I felt more like myself than I had in over a month, and I slowly started to settle back inside the books I had to abandon and the blog posts I left half-written. Everything was moving closer to my ‘normal’ as we all have a balance of what we love to do and what we give to our bookish blogs and social media outlets. For me, re-finding the joy I happily share after such a long battle with a virus felt good to my soul and helped enliven my spirit a bit. I still felt a bit down about how I ended the year, as I had wanted so dearly to spend it with the stories — including a few new-to-me-authors of whom I’ve only recently met through working with new publishers.

Ms Örnbratt’s ‘The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley” and Ms. Kincheloe’s ‘The Secret Life of Anna Blanc’ are amongst the titles I was going to read in December. I even wanted to finish reading ‘Naked’ by Ms Redgold as I had had the pleasure of hosting her for a guest feature on her blog tour. Two beautiful historicals by Indie Authors I dearly wanted to dig inside were ‘Return to Me’ by Carolyn Menke and ‘The Fragrant Concubine’ by Melissa Addey. Lest I mention, how much I am itching to return inside The Clan Chronicles where I left part of my heart.

Before I disappeared again for the past week or so, I was finishing my thoughts on behalf of ‘Remarkable Minds + Magnificent Minds’ by the Indie Publisher Tumblehome Learning, of whom have given an incredible breadth of biographical non-fiction for young readers who are keenly interested and invested in the Sciences. I was about to proceed into ‘Kepler and the Universe’ shortly thereafter, as this was a non-fiction work which intrigued me from Prometheus Books. I had other selections upcoming from World Weaver Press, Cedar Fort, Indie Authors and a smorgasbord of others. If your a regular reader or follower of mind, you know I read diversely dancing through genres and literary destinations.

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I tweeted out a hinting that something was afoot when I revealled this only last week:

I honestly did not know how to break the news on my blog (having the tendency of being a private person who doesn’t overly share her personal life) nor through the feeds of mine on Twitter; I decided I should mention something if anything untoward might happen. This is back when I felt my petite little cat who had so much light and love inside her was in need of a dental extraction and nothing more major than emergency surgery but it was a wait/see situation as initially as she was eating and talking up a storm, the Vet felt it could self-correct or if she discontinued eating, we’d book her in for an exam. Either way, we were monitoring her condition and her prognosis looked good for an 11 year old cat. I was concerned because in recent years (i.e. read ‘two years’) I have gone through quite a horrific loss with another companion with fur. You brace yourself for such things, even when something appears routine. Health issues in felines such as in our own lives are never quite as they appear but we still thrive on the Hope that all is not quite as bad as it could be.

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Two years, Two cats badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Read my post about the first loss of a companion with fur from [2013].

IF I had a precognitive notion I’d be a 2nd Year Book Blogger on the brink of becoming a 3rd Year Book Blogger composing her ‘second notice of loss’ of a dearly beloved companion with fur, I am uncertain how I would have handled that advance insight. Your simply never prepared for saying ‘good-bye’ to someone you love and my animals have *always!* been members of my family. I know some might not agree with this, but for myself and my family, yes, it’s always been true.

I confided the events of what happened to a select few already, as I felt I should, however, the shorter version of what happened is this: I took my dearly beloved tabby (of 11 yrs) for an emergency dental exam for a tooth extraction and walked out mourning her death, as the Vet found she was terminal with cancer instead. I cannot even put into words how I feel emotionally either then or now.

Everything reminds me of her, even such random things as song lyrics (especially hymns) or stories of everyday life by people who are happy and not going through a tragedy. Ripples of life affecting me because it’s the shock of it – how you prepared yourself for one outcome and one set of situations, only to be blindsided by a complete soul-crushing reality that you left one morning with your cat tucked around your prayers and hugs of love; and by the afternoon of the same day, your trying like mad to put together their funeral and prepare your heart to say ‘good-bye’ because you only had minutes to do this at the Vet.

I was a proper mess by Thursday, and on Friday, even the notion of reading a book was repulsive because my mind and heart were wretched by grief. Today, at least, seeing the books up close again are comforting and even committing this post to my blog feels right somehow. Time is a merciful healer but without my faith, I am unsure how I would survive any of it. Love is such a beautiful gift and I will always have a companion with fur in my life, including watching over my little petite companion’s twin (yes, it’s remarkable but they were bonefide twins!) for signs of depression and my little Tux, whose spirit is a bit downtrodden without her friend. When my last cat died, my Tux spent a twelvemonth howling in the wee hours of the morning, searching frantically for him; as he was the love of her life. For the first time, I saw the light dim inside my older cat’s eyes; his carefree spirit not quite as it were but not entirely gone either.

As they sort out this new future and path to take, so too, do we who are helping each other sort out a way through our grief and our loss. Someone told me recently they’d never opt to go through a loss like this again and I quickly replied “Living without them is far worse than never having them at all.” I stand by this because it’s true. Love is a gift and despite how hard it is to grieve, I could never stop loving a companion simply because it crushes me to lose them. Hearts repair and heal, but the loss of experiencing their joy and their infinite wisdom and positive outlook on life? No, I could not forsake that in order to spare my heart a difficult loss. Animals like humans cannot decide how or when they die, they can only chose like us how they live and of whom they pick to love in return. I am blessed by my animals who have given me immeasurable joy and love throughout my life.

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My initial enthused response to learning Mr Elliott has a new debut movie and role on Hallmark Channel Mysteries and Movies is a bit sombering now, but for my Da’s birthday [tonight], I am hoping this light-hearted mystery can re-instill a bit of random joy into our lives and hearts. We’ve been trying to keep things light in regards to what we’re watching and so far, the first thing that gave us a bit of a small smile is the remake of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. due to how Guy Richie’s vision for it tempered down the harder bits and gave it a very sophisticated edge that reminded us of Classic James Bond + Mission Impossible.

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I am hoping as each new day brings a bit of distance from my loss, I can re-awaken the anticipated joy I have in reading the stories in my current queue of next reads. At the same time, I remember I took a complete hiatus from working on my blog in regards of posting readerly thoughts and impressions for two months (May-July, 2013) as I had trouble shifting past my grief and the sorrow of having lost a cat who had a difficult ending to his life. Although my grief is as strong as it was then, one thing that has helped eased the burden of my sorrow is knowing my little petite companion left before her illness could grab a hold of her; leaving full of peace and love. According to the nurse, it’s the very first time a cat purred her way to Heaven. I cannot even begin to tell you how comforting this was for us, as we were shaking from the onslaught of emotion and grief hitting us at all angles inside the small exam room.

I inked out a smaller list of stories whose premise are capturing a bit of who I was before this sudden loss and I am hoping as each day I step forward inside their pages and chapters, I’ll continue to heal my heart and recover the memories whose joyful moments still well tears inside my eyes. As for the rest of the stories, I’ll re-focus on them starting in February. . . right now, I’m simply not very bookishly inclined nor am I feeling very chatty (hence my continued absence on Twitter). I even put my weekly Rom chat (#ChocLitSaturday) on continued hold til the first weekend of February, because in all honestly, it’s hard to find myself overly cheerful or willing to chat about books and life, when I’m still growing used to an absence of spirit and presence from a cat whose purr and hugs gave me so much joy.

I am not sure if I’ll tweet as often as I normally do as I read, but I might surprise myself, too.

I do know I’m drawn to epic emotional tidal-waves of dramatic fiction at the moment; as I picked up a copy of Bellman & Black at the local dollar store (you’d be surprised what you can find there!) which suited my mood quite brilliantly. I felt it would anchour into my pursuit of Jane Eyre quite nicely and the after canons thereof.

Most directly, I am reading Worlds of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley as I inadvertently missed the blog tour stop wherein my review was going to be featured this past Friday. To be honest, my heart wasn’t into reading it. I was reading Jane Eyre around the 12th of January before proceeding inside ‘Wide Sargasso Sea’ in order to fully appreciate the after canons by Luccia Gray. Of whom, I will be featuring this coming week: ‘All Hallows at Eyre Hall’ and ‘Twelfth Night at Eyre Hall’.

From there,. . . . I shall let the stories guide me and resume where I left off within them.
Thank you for reading this and I look forward to your visits once my posts resume.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Sunday, 17 January, 2016 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Cats and Kittens, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, JLAS Update Post, Jorie Loves A Story, Jorie Loves A Story Features, Stories of Jorie




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6 responses to “A story about a girl who loves to read + blog her reading life, yet acknowledges in two years she’s lost two beloved companions with fur.

    • Hallo, Hallo Ms Chase!

      Thank you for your sweet condolences – I couldn’t respond sooner as it took me so long to overcome what happened. I shared a bit more on the comments below yours, but simply know, your note of sympathy was warmly received and welcomed! I truly wasn’t sure if anyone would respond to this post, and finding three lovely replies simply touched me to the core!

  1. I am so sorry to hear that you have lost a beloved companion, and without time to prepare yourself. You need time and space to grieve and I hope that books will offer solace. Don’t feel guilty if your blog has to wait for you for a bit – the last thing a book blog should become is a millstone – and, as you suggest, just let things happen on your blog and twitter as your feelings dictate and, as Caryl says, you find the joy in your heart to write about your reading.

    • Good afternoon, Ms Marjorie,

      Thank you for your especially kind words during a time in my life where I was so very consumed by hearty emotions and the incredible loss that as you said ‘blindsided me’ completely! Although I’ve lost my fair share of companions in the past, only two exited so quickly when I originally thought they had a minor health ailment and turnt out to be terminal. You simply cannot prepare for something so shocking and so gutting. It took me time to reappear on my blog and on Twitter; it wasn’t so much I had lost the joy of what I had been doing but rather, I simply lost interest, focus and the curiosity to know what I might find in the books themselves. It’s a hard process for everyone who has to experience it, and we all go through it differently; not just per loss, but as a whole.

      I definitely ‘let go’ of the guilt about not blogging – even the non-interest I had in reading, I simply let myself go through what I had to transition through before I returned. Even the small hiatus I took was necessary in order for me to return this month with a renewed spirit. Definitely agree with you – blogging akin to reading should most definitely be enjoyable experiences! I sometimes stack my reads quite close together, I’ll admit it’s a pattern of behaviour I’m changing this year. Even with the small backlog of reviews I am working through, I’m recognising I cannot post them as quick as I’d prefer but rather at a pace that is right for me to meet them.

      I will admit, I almost did not think I’d recapture the joy to write and to read; for a short while everything felt too full and too encompassing of what happened. All natural and normal, but at the time, I felt a bit lost on how to get back to normal. I thank you for giving me such a wonderfully encouraging note — especially on a post I struggled to compose and properly find words to express what I was feeling. I hope you will return and share your thoughts on other posts that spark your interest, as I appreciated your kindness on this one.

  2. Caryl Joyce

    As George Bernard Shaw said, “Heartbreak is life educating us.” How empty life would be without having know the devotion of a furry friend. Blessings on you Jorie. I look forward to immersing myself in your insights when the joy to write has returned to your heart.

    • Good afternoon, Ms Caryl Joyce,

      I apologise it took me quite a long while to respond – composing my thoughts after I posted this failed me, as I was too caught up in my sorrow to see straight. It took everything I had to post this as it were and then, shortly thereafter I had to take a proper respite from reading, blogging and even tweeting. All of it felt too consuming – I was numb with grief and nothing appeased how I felt because you simply have to work through grief and allow yourself the time you need to recover. I dearly appreciated this note as I was not sure what response I might receive after the post went live and it was a blessing to find such a compassionate reply.

      I do hope you’ve been able to return, as I’ve started to reclaim my joy with reading; slowly but surely, with each story I dig inside, I find my ability to carry forward from where I left possible. Stories are happy discoveries again, and blogging is returning back to a happy rhythm, too. Being social on Twitter is a slower progression of return, but in good time, I will have my balance back in full. I appreciate knowing your enjoying what I’m sharing and blessing me with your presence. All best.

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