An Amazing Bunch of Friends

When you experience unimaginable heartbreak and sorrow, you need the support of your family. But you also need the support of your friends. When I lost my dad and my husband in less than two weeks in July, both to a massive heart attack, I was grateful and privileged to have both ‘support groups’ close to me.

I was completely lost, but everyone was there to support me. Family came to stay with me, friends traveled huge distances, including from Sweden, to be here. Flowers, baskets, homemade food, cards and hugs arrived for weeks. Blogging friends reached out to me with private messages on email and messages here on my blog. Several of you are still ‘checking on’ me, which I greatly appreciate. Thank you, friends, from the bottom of my heart.

Our neighbors and friends, including those at the dog park were here to support me and Dylan when it mattered most. And that support has continued. What an amazing bunch of friends you all are!

dog park friends 1 ud135_edited-1
Some of our dog park friends

After everyone returned to their daily lives, and our home suddenly felt empty and huge, Dylan has provided a wonderful, comforting presence.

Dylan running ud135He has dragged me out for long walks daily, however bad I have felt, and snuggled next to me every night. He had many daily routines with ‘dad’ and is now training me to perform those tasks. He pulls me into the salt marsh and dog park most nights just before sunset. He enjoys the company of his friends as much I treasure the company of mine.

saki ud135
Bently and Dylan ud135
Bentley and Dylan
Eli and Deb ud135
Eli in Debbie’s lap when it thunders
Dylan and his friend Kaci ud135_edited-1
Kaci and Dylan
Priya ud135
Moose ud135
pepper ud135

These guys are an amazing bunch too. While I have not yet gotten back to my usual photography routine, I snapped a picture of Papa Osprey at the Sailing Center late one evening when I happened to carry my camera. Just seeing him around warmed my heart.

papa osprey at sunset ud135And the Mayor was there too, greeting us from the low tide waters right below the sea wall.

great blue heron mayor ud134I do feel the call of my feathered friends and hope to be able to get back to observing them on a regular basis soon. At latest when I return from my family/work/’me-time’ trip in early October. I hope this upcoming trip to Europe will give me new perspectives and valuable experiences. And I intend to share some of them with you.

All, take care of you and your loved ones. Thank you for your encouragement and friendship. I want to end this post with a poem I wrote about a week ago.


Acceptance of what is

now has a completely new meaning.

When tidal waves of loss

wash over your head

you don’t philosophize

you just want to breathe

for one more minute.

99 thoughts on “An Amazing Bunch of Friends”

  1. Beautiful bookends to your wonderful post…the picture at the top and the heartfelt poem at the end. I enjoyed all of the pictures! Wishing you all the very best in the days ahead. Looking forward to your posts. Blessings to you, dear Helen. ❤️

    1. Thank you, dear Carrie. I hope to be here more as I now have more “good” days and my interest in photographing is slowly coming back. Life continues…with a heightened awareness of its fragility.

    1. Thank you, Stephanie. I am feeling a little bit more like myself every passing day now…although still trying to understand and adapt to all the change around me. It will take time.

  2. Well earned friendships, Helen; both physically close and cyberclose. It is hard to put to words my feelings. My heart aches a little, yet I know you will prevail; and valiantly so.
    The images are wonderful; it is so good to see your friends and all the animals. Love the first image (especially) of Dylan. What a gorgeous little dog he is. I just know he would be a marvelous snuggler!
    My thoughts are with you. ❤

    1. In days like these friendships gain a deeper meaning…and I like the new term “cyberclose”. I can feel it ❤ Rescue dog Dylan has been taking good care of his "rescue mom" – a wonderful and very intuitive companion. Thank you, my friend.

      1. I’m pleased you like it, Helen; ‘cyberclose’ may just become a ‘new’ word. I thought it very fitting to describe your posts, which I love as you know; and those who join in the friendship here obviously feel the same. ❤

  3. Thank you so much for letting us know… I have been thinking about you. Can’t imagine what you have gone through. Do take care of yourself, dear Helen. ❤

    1. Thank you, dear Amy. It has been the most difficult time in my life, but it is slowly getting a bit better, one day at the time. My upcoming trip is keeping me busy in many ways, which has been a good thing. Something to look forward to.

  4. My friend thank you for this update.
    I have refrained from message too much to give you space and privacy, but you have been in my thoughts and prayers. You’ll always have a friend in Japan.


    1. Thank you for your thoughts, prayers and friendship, dear Takami. I am taking it one day at the time and it is slowly getting better.

  5. Your poem makes perfect sense, dear Helen. One breath at a time as you slowly move on from your great tragedies. It sounds as though you have had and are still enjoying wonderful support from friends and family. You are often in my thoughts too. I send you love and hugs. Dear sweet Dylan must be a great source of comfort to you in the lonely times. Great photos of all his furry friends and always good to see The Mayor and Papa Osprey. 😘

    1. Thank you dear Sylvia. I feel so grateful for all the support I have/am receiving. Just learned that my son’s family will come here over the Labor Day weekend. My two granddaughters (3 and 7) are the best medicine for sadness…and it is going to be a lively and lovely long weekend. Dylan, the rescue dog, has really rescued me this time around, it is wonderful to have him around.

  6. Dear Tiny I’m so sorry to learn about you loss. It’s so sad and has blown our minds here. I short of words thinking about your pain of losing your Dad and Raimo. Lucy and Tyler send you their condolences. May G-d bless them and keep them next to him…

    1. Thank you dear friends for your heart-warming words. It has been the most difficult time of my life, but I am slowly recovering from the shock and coming to accept what happened…one day at the time. Hugs to all of you.

  7. Ah yes, it is so good to hear your voice Helen… and to see some of your friends from the dog park. I am so glad you have them, and dear Dylan to hold close. My heart goes out to you 💕

    1. Thank you dear Val ❤ I have now recovered enough to feel all the love pouring towards me. I's still two steps forward and one step back, but I am slowly feeling better.

      1. Thank you dear Helen. One step at a time … I read Eckhart Tolle today and was reminded that there is only one step. The step inwards. Its where healing and kindness grows ❤️

  8. I am so sorry to learn of your loss, my heartfelt prayers to you and your family during this difficult time…thank you for sharing this beautiful and heartwarming post, you made me smile through your words ❤ ❤ Much much love my friend!

    1. Thank you for your warm thoughts and prayers, Neha. It is wonderful to receive so much love from friends, like you, here in the blogging community ❤

  9. I knew Dylan would hold you close and warm your heart! They are truly incredible friends and they know EXACTLY what is happening and what you feel.
    I am so happy, and not surprised, that you feel such wonderful support, Tiny. Your beautiful soul has touched so many and I know everyone would wish to give you a giant bear hug!
    Many blessings to help you along this sad path 💜💜

    1. Thank you for your heart-warming words, Dear Lorrie ❤ The path is, indeed, sad, but when we are put in this situation, we have no choice but to walk forward until the sun starts shining again. Every day sees the clouds part a bit more. Many blessings to you, too, dear friend.

      1. Dear beautiful Helen,
        I know how difficult this is for you…and I send you blessings for each step of your journey. I surround you in white healing light…and so much love<3

  10. You are constantly in our prayers and thoughts dear Tiny. So glad Dylan is there for you, and for the loving support of friends and family. Press into your Heavenly Father’s arms as you adjust to the changes and reassess your life in light of this new challenge. Also praying your time away in Europe will be refreshing new start for you.

    1. Thank you dear friends for your thoughts and prayers. I feel them. And I am slowly seeing the ‘clouds part’ a bit and try to look forward…I feel that the upcoming long weekend with family and the trip in Sept-Oct will be refreshing. There are many adjustments I will have to make…and I hope I will have the strength to start working on those when I return.

  11. I’m so glad that you have the support of family and friends (near and far). You are loved and appreciated near and far Helen. And I love the photos, story, poem, and hearing that your marsh friends are calling you too. Hugs and prayers,

    1. Thank you, dear Brad, for your hugs and prayers. I just learned I’ll have family here again for the Labor Day weekend ….there’s nothing like dolphin watching with my two ‘grandies’ to lift my spirit. Hugs

  12. Glad you have been so supported by family and friends at such a hard time, Dylan must be a great help too. That was a moving poem you wrote, feelings wonderfully expressed.

  13. It is heart warming how you have felt surrounded by love and care, your open nature has made this easier for all your friends, family and cyber friends.
    Dylan sounds great, your feathered friends wonderful and I am taken with your poem.
    You will get there but such big losses take time to come to terms with.

    1. I know it will take time to come in terms with my losses and to make the adjustments needed to move forward. I am so lucky to have family (some are here, some in Sweden and Finland) and friends, including many here in the blogging community, and just a little bit of ‘light’ work to keep me occupied. Thank you for your kind words Miriam.

  14. Tiny, it is wonderful to meet Dylan’s friends (and yours, too) through the photos on this post. I think of you often, and I am glad you have so many friends (human, dog, and avian) to surround you with love and care. xxxx

    1. Thank you, dear friend, for thinking of me. My son’s family is coming here again this upcoming Labor Day weekend. I look forward to going dolphin watching with my two ‘grandies’…their joyful company will help to lift my spirits.

    1. Thank you, Susan. Indeed, life will continue although it will take time to deal with grief and to make the adjustments required by the changed situation. I so look forward to my travels, need a change of scenery for a while…hoping it will help me to move forward with somewhat lifted spirits and new perspectives.

  15. I have been out of the loop in the blogging world for a little while. Life has been so busy for me of late. So I’m tardy in my condolences to you. My deepest sympathies for the loss of your father and husband so close together. That has to be so very difficult to cope with. I’m so thankful you have little Dylan there to comfort you and to help distract you. We had a sudden tragic loss of a brother-in-law recently to choking. He was only 49. Death can be so difficult to accept. But I know our loved ones are in a better place waiting for us to join them. I have a poem for you that may help your grief.
    The tide recedes but leaves behind bright seashells on the sand.
    The sun goes down but gentle warmth still lingers on the land.
    The music stops…and yet it lingers on in sweet refrains.
    For every joy that passes, something beautiful remains.
    May God keep you in his loving embrace.

    1. Thank you for your comforting words and the beautiful poem, Kelly. Warms my heart as I am adjusting to these sudden losses i my life.

  16. Thank you for sharing this poem and these warm-hearted images of friends from the dog park and the salt marsh. We are always here for one another, no matter how far apart and it is a total blessing you have Dylan to take you on daily walks and remind you of the little pleasures in each moment. Big hugs to you both xxx

  17. Your grief in unimaginable Helen. It’s a cruel reality how life goes on regardless of the pain you are feeling. Time doesn’t stop. Thank goodness for dear Dylan, to be your companion and daily motivation. May your travels abroad help give you a sense of peace on this journey to your new day-to-day. 💗

    1. You are right, time doesn’t stop…I have acknowledged that and slowly trying to think forward…my upcoming trip will hopefully lift my spirits so that I can start working on necessary adjustments after my return. Dylan is a wonderful companion…and next weekend I will be able to enjoy the company of my two ‘grandies’ as well.

  18. Your poem is excellent. I love that you are finding your way through the grip of pain with the help of friends (both two and four legged!) and in the the beauty of the natural world — healing and forgiving.

    1. Thank you, dear Karen. Slowly walking the healing path…now looking forward to the company of my ‘grandies’ during the upcoming Labor Day weekend…watching dolphins with them will be healing and uplifting. And my trip mid September will hopefully help to lift my spirits too.

  19. I am very glad that you have been so well supported at such a terrible time. I hope that your trip and ‘me time’ do help you to find some consolation in new experiences.

  20. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your husband and dad dear Tinny/Helen.Dylan does everything possible to make you forget your sorrow.Live to remember them,dear friend.Best to you,Doda xxx

      1. Only time can help … I know,it’ll take a long time,but your sorrow is part of the whole procedure at this stage,nobody can stop it,it prepares you for the new life without your beloved ones … Take care my friend Tiny-Helen ❤ xxx

  21. Bit lost for words at this news, Helen, though obviously knew you’d suffered . . . are suffering, a great loss. Little did I know it was/is two enormous losses. As Doda says, live to remember them. H ❤

  22. Dear Aulikki! All the best to you. We live now difficult times. My mother´funeral was on Saturday. Hugs and love !! Anja

  23. It is so good to see a post from you sweet Tiny. Aren’t dogs amazing…I am so glad you have sweet Dylan to help you through this very difficult time. You are always in my thoughts and prayers. All the pictures are great. Sending you lots of love and hugs and tummy rubs and nose kisses for Dylan.

  24. I believe we all feel with you. It’s almost unfathomable to understand how it is to lose two of your closes relatives over such a short timespann. To have the support and help from family and friends does make a big difference. I send hugs and love.

    1. Thank you, Otto. I can feel the support and love. It helps me to cope and get through days, some of which are now fairly good, others still less so. Hugs

  25. What a wonderful blessing Dylan has turned out to be for you. Kindness is contagious and I’m so happy to know you’re surrounded by so much love as you begin your journey of healing. Sending you more love and hugs. Take care, dear Tiny.

    1. Thank you, dear Barbara, for your love and hugs. It truly helps to feel all the support from friends near and far. Hugs to you too.

  26. Oh dear Helen, I am so sorry. Your pain and loss, so hefty. I hope you are able to continue drawing strength from those beings around you, human and not, and please know I am thinking of you with warmth.

  27. I hope you are able to breathe more freely as time moves on. Your friends, and Dylan, are a testament to you and all that is good. Wishing you continued love around you. Take care.

  28. Helen, I read your post about your personal tragedies whilst in Sweden and was floored by the news. I am so sorry for your losses…unbearable! You were and are in my thoughts; friends and family matter more than ever and I hope the support will continue to help in the months and years ahead. Your poem resonates with a deep understanding and resolute peace…breath, just breath. Stor kram. Xx.

  29. I had to page back through your posts to find out what happened Helen. I am so very sorry to hear about your loss. I cannot imagine losing both your father and husband in such a short time – words cannot express. And then a hurricane. One wonders how much a person can take – and yet there you are giving us an amazing perspective on Pompeii. May you continue to heal and grow stronger. As for your friends, only those who ARE a friend HAVE friends so clearly you have shown love to all of those who are giving back. My thoughts are with you.

  30. oh Helen, I am so very sorry. I can’t imagine what you must be going through. I am comforted to at least know that you have such a wonderful support group. You are in my thoughts, friend. xo

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