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. While a tribute post will be shared once I am able to not sob over their photos and even their names, this post is about allowing ourselves time to grieve. 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.
Since it is my own comment, I am trusting Eliza will be fine with my sharing of it here. This is what I wrote to her this morning:
“Eliza, this post made me cry and that’s perfectly alright! Thank you for helping me with my healing through my grief of losing Nikki in September. Sadly we lost Jade, our Abyssinian tabby in May and our gorgeous long-haired Siamese (Ebony) in November, so a very rough 6 months I’m still reeling from. I began to cry as you shared about Ruby, whose sweet face (and coloring!) looks so like my Nikki-girl, and the loneliness on walks… I am SO glad you found Wren (what a great name!) and I hope to be there someday soon, but my heart is still so broken from losing 3 of 4 four-legged children recently. Yes they age, and some battles cannot be won no matter how advanced veterinary medicine is. Anyways, sorry, long comment here! Really just want to say Thank You… so much. For sharing, for adopting a new ‘fur-kid’, and helping me heal a bit more. Love & Light, Gina”
On 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 my family and me still get our ‘cat quota’ in. She mostly sticks close to me, but the other day, while on my lap – again – 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). So that night as we settled in to watch a program together, what did she do but spend the hour in HIS lap! Whatta 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. So while this morning’s unexpected crying burst reminded me of how the pain is still there, I know it is lessening. It isn’t constant, but rather in scattered moments. 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!).
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 touching pawprint in the clouds is from Facebook/RainbowBridgepetloss [source]