Katie Lyons, LCSW - 2014 Best of Chicago Award - Psychotherapy,Mindfulness Training and Performance Enhancement

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Grief, Support, Journaling/Blogging Social Media and Recovery

I said good-bye to Keno last Friday, April 5, 2013 in the presence of our favorite vet, Jim Dickes at Uptown Animal Hospital (shout out to Jim).  As those of you who have read my postings/blog now, he was almost 16 years old and had an amazing life, thanks to yours truly.  In return, he gave me unconditional love, daily companionship, fun, brief moments of frustration (he was a rescue), tremendous joy and in the end sadness. He was the first pet I have had the priviledge to care for until the very end.  My dad gave our German Shepard, King away when I was a child and that was another trauma:)  However, after that childhood loss, I unknownignly closed my heart to animals.  From the first walk with Keno 12 years ago, my heart immediatey opened up to not only every other dog,  but cats, birds, bunnies, fish, squirrels, etc.  In fact, some friends call me "The Squirrel Lady."(LOL)  Keno taught me many invaluable, life-changing lessons which has given my life more meaning and JOY.
In the past week, I have laughed, cried, sobbed, felt hopeful ...let's just say a broad range of emotions that most expect with grief.  I have found in this process,  blogging and FB posting has allowed me not only an outlet for my grief but AMAZING support, prayers, love and hope from family, friends and people I hardly know.  I am realizing now, this is the 21st century version of "journaling" which we often suggest to our patients for many reasons... from getting our thoughts and feelings out of our head and onto paper (or now, some other tech device) to processing, which can often lead to a deeper understanding of where we are .  This can help us gain insight and sometimes form solutions. 
 I would love to write more now, but I start to see private clients at 8 a.m.  I will see 8 clients today and it will be the first time Keno will not be present in these sessions.  This morning I feel strong, positive and ready to be the best therapist I can be.  The last week has been quite a journey, but today I am positive and focused.
Thank you all for your support.  If you are grieving or in pain.  Try journaling.  Reach out to your friends.  At NMH many of our patients do not have friends.  We try to help them in the process to create healthy relationships.  I am grateful and feel blessed for the many loving, wonderful friends I have.
Thanks Again!!

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Daphne on Sunday, April 14, 2013 3:28 AM
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Annie on Friday, July 18, 2014 1:23 PM
KT, I almost cried reading your account and feelings surrounding Keno's passing away-and it was more than a year ago. With the words you chose, you created such an environment and I felt like I was right there and with you. Love you. Annie

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