Donna Sue Robson specialises in the communication- and healing-arts. Check out Jamie Natural Health and Healing, her energy-healing consultancy and boutique natural products at www.jamienatural.com
Published December 19th 2016
A Christmas Message for Those Experiencing Family Loss
My Three Amigos know about the tough times and what it takes to make a new start. Millie, Tessa and Connell join with me to wish those who are struggling this year to keep the faith and enjoy Christmas. There will be better times ahead.
Christmas is celebrated as a time of joy for families- but for those without family or who are experiencing loss, it can be one of the most difficult times of the year. My Three Amigos, Millie, Tessa and Connell know what it takes to create a new beginning. Millie and Tessa were rescued two years ago by Labrador Rescue and found their forever home with me: or, in actual fact, rescued me as I was recovering from a triple loss. Connell, now a 3-year-old dachshund, joined us 8 months later, asked to wait until my work as a foster carer with Labrador Rescue had concluded and grief lifted. Millie, Tessa and Connell chat amongst themselves about the challenges of Christmas, with a strong message to 'hold the faith' for they know too well that new families are always being created from loss itself.
Millie I think it must be BBQ season- there are smoky-meat smells in the air. I can still remember the smell from 3 years ago when we were locked up in the shed while the others ate. All we wanted to do was to join the family and eat the sausages and steak. We got nothing. Do you remember, Tessa?
Millie came to me two and a half years ago and really is the head of the family. She is Wisdom - even when she's asleep.
All I remember about those days was being tied up. I can't remember the smells- I think I put them out of my mind because I knew that we were never allowed to share or to be part of the family. I was so grateful that we were always together, Millie- I knew that you would find a way to find a new family. I just trusted you.
Connell How did you find Mum?
Tessa We escaped and then went to jail. Jail food is terrible. No BBQs there. Then we went to a farm and we escaped again because that didn't feel right either- it was temporary. Then, Mum picked us up from a park and gave us a hug and took us home. After one day, she asked us if we wanted to stay with her and we said 'Yes'. I told her that my name was 'Tessa' which she understood because she was listening. She gave us fresh food and we went to the park for a run every day.
Millie In our first home the man and woman were fighting and they didn't want us. We could have helped them but they weren't listening. We had no more puppies to birth so they didn't see us anymore. I knew that we didn't have long to live. Once you are not part of the family, or when the man and woman fight or live in separate rooms, there is no family to enjoy. My family was Tessa- or 'TJ' as she was called then. We just took a chance. We knew that we could find a happy home with someone who really wanted our love and who would look after us.
Connell I love the food that Mum gives us. This will be my first BBQ Day with Mum- what is it like?
Tessa We get to eat EVERYTHING on BBQ Day. You know what she is like! BBQ Day is full of warm spices, charcoal-grilled meat, some strange crunchy fishy things on sticks that she seems to really like and lots of cheese with the green leaves that you spit out. You really have to sit close to her to get cheese treats, but BBQ Day is all about the smelly air and sharing all the juicy stuff.
Tessa asked for an early name change. She is Millie's twin-flame and together, they teach about love and partnership. She is Happiness- even when she's dreaming.
Millie Ummm, I didn't try those crunchy fishy things on sticks last year because I was obsessed with our own cheese and fish biscuits. Connell, we get our own special treats on BBQ day that are kept in the fridge and last for a couple of weeks. They magically appear from the oven and the whole house smells like a treat. You go to sleep, just before BBQ Day with all the treat-smells up your nose and fall asleep in food heaven.
I've had those treats before- Mum makes them for all of the other dogs that come over too. We all line-up and she laughs at us and kisses us on the nose one-by-one.
Yes, that's BBQ Day! All of our friends come over and we run around, jump in the pond and eat special biscuit treats from the oven. Then, we have our own BBQ flavours for dinner. Last year Mum put the biscuits in plastic packets and sent them to our friend Lillie who now lives in Sydney. Lillie shared BBQ Day with us two years ago, before you came, Connell. Every year and on our birthdays, Lillie gets biscuits sent to her. Mum reminds her that even though she now lives in Sydney, she is still part of the family and we are all connected by smells from the oven and fish biscuits.
Locked up? Never again! Tessa (front) and Millie enjoying 'creature' comforts.
Because she went to live with a new family who needed her to bark like a door bell. That lady lost her best friend and wanted another friend, exactly like Lilly. I remember the day when that lady came: it was like Lillie had always known her and she loved her immediately. Mum was sad but the lady and her husband had already brought Lillie some new jewellery and treats for the long trip home. We were sad but we always knew that she was a special cousin who had a new life to live. Mum loved her but she knew that we needed you, Connell, to complete our new family.
Is that why I had to wait?
Sometimes, you have to wait for things to work out and to find the right home. You know when it is right because you love to spend time together. There's talking but no arguments. There is love with no anger. There is laughter in the small moments. It's knowing that you are understood and feel that you belong. You just know it in your heart.
In the in-between times, it is hard to 'know' but there's something inside that tells you to wait- create what you want and take a chance. We knew when it was time to leave because we were not safe. That led us to where we are now- with you and Mum: our new family on BBQ Day!
Connell had to wait for the right time to join us and is just a breath of fresh air. He is Perfect - all the time.