Allowing for Grief

01/11/2015

A wonderful post by my dear blogging friend, Eliza Waters, really brought up my unfinished grief over the loss of 3 of my 4 pets recently, all within a six month period. When a loss is suffered, no one can say how long it will take or when we’re ‘over it’. To feel tremendous love is to feel grief deeply. This is a part of life, and a component of healing is giving ourselves permission to feel sad. It’s a lesson I’m certainly learning these days. Even the recent season of joy and light was a rough one for me. Normally I put up the tree and my large ceramic Nativity scene as early as December 1st but this year the tree went up on the 20th and the large Nativity never came out of its box, having two smaller one-piece ones around my home subbing in for it. But these seemingly small events meant a lot to me, and showed me how sad my heart still is.

no longer at my side but always in my heartOn the bright side, our 17-year old feisty tabby girl ‘Katie’ who was adopted from the pound 15 years ago, is doing her best to help us get our ‘cat quota’ in. She mostly sticks by me, but the other day, while on my lap and my husband within ear shot, I told her that she needs to give ‘dad’ some love too, since he’s below ‘quota’. (Our Siamese ‘Ebony’ practically lived on his shoulder, especially in the last few of her 17 years). Later as we settled in to watch a program, what did she do but spend the hour in HIS lap! Good girl! He needs his cat-pats too.

Time passes and the healing comes. Achingly slow at first. Then a morning walk without thinking of Nikki for a while (as Eliza shares as well), then a whole day passes without tearing up about how much quieter our house is. Someday, when we’re ready, my husband and I will be ready to begin visiting rescue shelters to find another 4-legged ‘fur-kid’ that Katie can teach the ropes to. Until then, she’s helping us feel loved (and bossed around a bit too!).

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Image sources: 2 square images at the top are from my Pinterest boards without sources being evident. The incredible drawing of the crying eye is called ‘Don’t cry to night’ by Omar Gordillo Soto[source]. And the pawprint in the clouds is from Facebook/RainbowBridgepetloss [source]

32 responses to Allowing for Grief

  1. 

    I am sorry for your loss, Gina. I hope you feel better soon for as far as I know, time is the best healer. Thank you for sharing the post and your comment. Blessings.

    Kind Regards,
    -Naima

  2. 

    Yes, the holidays were a subdued affair for us as well, we made an effort, but our hearts were heavy. I like the quote on time limits for grief – there is no such thing to be sure, if others give the advice to ‘get over it,’ it is merely a reflection that they are uncomfortable within themselves about your grief. And that paw print in the sky looks just like the ones that are on my heart. ❤ & Hugs.

    • 

      Like you mentioned earlier, our lives are on a bit of a parallel. May we both continue to heal and allow in ever brighter joy and more abundant love. May this be a most beautiful year for us, filled with joy and laughter, and new friends to love. Thank you so kindly for this lovely comment, and all the loving joy you share. ❤ & Hugs to you too!

  3. 

    This has been such a hard time for you Gina. I’m so sorry for the heart ache and loss.
    May your heart be filled with warm memories that bring comfort and joy.
    ((Hugs))
    Val xo

  4. 

    I can so empathize with your heartbreak Gina, though it must have seemed never ending for a while. I’m so sorry. I actually didn’t think we would be able to bring another fur kid into our lives as losing our last love was the hardest yet. But after a year, we just knew there was no way we could continue without their particular brand of unconditional love any longer. And having another soul to shower love on, at any time, in any place, was sadly missed too. Finding our Sadie has been a Godsend and we cannot imagine life without her. I will pray, when the time is right, you find that furry being that pulls your soul right into the light again. xo

    • 

      Oh my goodness… Rhonda! You never cease to surprise me, considering I know you’re quite the irreverent comic (and I love you for that!). Your kindness in this amazing comment really melts my heart. Thank you, for sharing how you empathize, and how – after some time – you were ready to embrace ‘their particular brand of unconditional love’. I know I will get there. And while at first when people asked me, ‘Are you getting another dog’ and I could barely respond… just shook my head and quietly dared ‘no’, I’m at last beginning to feel like I can answer that question with ‘some day’. Getting there! Big hugs to you! ❤

      • 

        And you will continue to move forward to that day. There’s just something about having them in our lives that, once you’ve known it, you just can’t seem to do without. I will share though, that having Sadie with us now, brings out so many memories of our Ripken, and sometimes I do feel melancholy, especially when I think of how the two of them would get along, or how he would react to one of her silly antics…but mostly I smile and thank God for her and for those memories. God Bless Gina xo

        • 

          Yes I imagine that will happen to me as well, the flashes of melancholy. My Nikki adored other dogs. Interestingly I had a dream recently where Nikki was her lovely happy self, as I hugged and patted another dog, a new dog, in my living room. It was like she was encouraging me. Makes me tear up just remembering. God bless you, my friend. xo

  5. 

    When I am overwhelmed with grief, I ask my loved one (most often an Abyssinian cat that passed two years ago) to join me in spirit. I can feel his presence and am instantly comforted. For awhile, any way.

  6. 

    What a beautiful post Gina — and yes, such losses take time to heal. Today, when C.C. and I were out walking, we met a woman with a lovely retriever named…. Ellie. Like my wonder pooch, this Ellie could not lean in hard enough, or get enough attention from a stranger. Unlike over the past few months since Ellie passed in June, greeting this Ellie today simply brought me joy. What a gift.

    Much love my friend. May your heart know peace.

    • 

      Yes we both have had some grief in this past year. How wonderful that you met another ‘Ellie’ and only felt joy! A true gift indeed. Thank you my friend, for this heartfelt comment. Hugs to you. xo G

  7. 

    Perhaps your animal friends have become your spirit guides and that they are still walking right next to you looking after you 🙂 ❤ When my aunty lost her cat she kept seeing her curled up in all her favorite places, she didn't leave until after about 6 months when my aunty could smile thinking about her without being too sad 🙂 ❤ Those we love never really leave us ❤

    • 

      ❤ Such true, kind and comforting words, Trini! Thank you so very much, for reminding me that they are always with me, and happy together, and no longer in any kind of pain or disease. ❤ You are a dear blessing, my friend. Big hugs to you! xo 🙂

  8. 

    I’m sorry for your loss too Gina. Truly. XO Sheri

  9. 

    I am sorry you are so unhappy Gina but you are not alone.
    Every time I hear a Magpie warble or see one I think of Andy.
    He visited my place for years bringing Ladie bird and their new babies each season.
    I am not sad I was fortunate to have had his trust and joyous visits.
    A universal truth is everything is subject to change.
    We cannot cling to impermanent things or we suffer.
    What is permanent and unchanging in time?_/\_

    • 

      Your wisdom is comforting, my friend. Yes, you’re so right: Everything is subject to change. My grief began in May with Maya Angelou’s and our sweet old cat Jade, passing. Then it just compounded. Enjoying posts by you and other friends here helps! Hugs!!! 🙂

      • 

        I knew you would understand my words of ‘thigh love’.
        We are helpless when our friends loose a loved one.
        Gina those hugs show how beautiful a person you are.
        😍🐨 _/\_

  10. 

    I am sorry that you have had several pets pass recently. I feel for your loss.

  11. 

    Reblogged this on As I see it and commented:
    This post goes well with my post today about Relief from Suffering. I am not ashamed to admit the most intense grief I’ve ever felt was after losing my Sammy! Grieving is vital to healing. I liken grief to the ocean. Initially my grief was a tsunami and over time it’s lessened but there are those days my husband and I have “The Sammy” and are reduced to tears. We ride the waves until the ocean returns to calm.

  12. 

    I am sorry. Pets leave a big hole in our hearts when they are gone. We don’t “get over” the loss. We do get past it but it takes time. As I watch my dogs age, I grieve every time I see something else they can’t or don’t do because of aging. Maybe that will help me accept the time when they are gone, but I doubt it. Thanks for your post.

  13. 

    Gina, I came back today to read this post again and my heart does go out to you. Losing three pets in a short time would be so difficult. I remember as a girl when our dog passed away and it was such a sad time… Take as much time to grieve as you need and know that you keep their spirits alive with your kind words about them xo

  14. 

    Losing our pets in such short periods of time is especially painful. We may intellectually understand their age and condition, but it can only touch the missing of them in our hearts. My thoughts are with you …
    Jeanne