When Puddles died, I was only twelve. Puddles was thirteen. We loved her so much. We buried her in the backyard. We cried as mom lain down the last specks of dirt. The death of a pet was my first experience of loss and death. I feel thankful that we were given an opportunity to have a procession of music on our way to the backyard, dig a grave, throw ashes, and drop flowers. All of this provided healing for our pain.
I grew up hearing stories of friends, whose pets just disappeared in the night. Later, they were to learn that their beloved had died and because the parents were unable to share the loss with the children, the beloved pet’s absence became a mystery. Others shared experiences of a family member bluntly telling them to “not grieve” or “you are only being selfish or feeling sorry for yourself.”
Many of us, are grieving losses on many levels: loved ones who have died, jobs, illness, innocence, dreams, bodily functioning, even our faith. The list is probably much more extensive. There are a couple of important aspects to healthy grieving. The first is that we give ourselves permission to experience the anger, guilt, fear, and pain of the loss(es.)
The above stories about families’ response to the death of a pet are diverse. Those families who gave permission to grieve found more closure and peace. Permission for my brothers and me came in the form of flowers, ashes, and a procession of music.
Another important aspect of healing, is to be good to yourself. Often times, the most threatening and harmful ingredients to healing, are ourselves. Perhaps, it is anger or guilt that halt self-care. We can be pretty hard on ourselves. The mercy and patience we extend to others seems too far out of reach. For some, such care may even feel undeserved.
For those of us, who are presently feeling the depth of despair and the roar of inner pain, let us give ourselves permission to heal. We should move at a pace that feels right for us. This may be spiritually sitting, standing, walking, or even running.
If you are presently feeling overwhelmed by your pain or grief, allow yourself to make decisions that are right for you. I have talked with many about their pain; some are choosing to share such episodes with friends, family, and others close to them
For many of us, the pain is holding its grip firmly. Our stories are feeling compounded as we hear the stories of others. Our own spirits feel sick and in agony. Being good to ourselves, may mean taking time off to reflect on our own pain and not moving too quickly. Whatever step we choose, it is important that it allow us to be at a place where we are not despairing.
Tears stream down my face as I read this. Your words are so wise and true. Ours is a society that does not allow for grief, which is a very essential part of life. Grief is very personal and individual. Cannot be confined to a "three day bereavement". The show of emotion that often accompanies grief is not permitted either. Our society does not permit much show of emotion, regardless of how deep or intense, for it makes those who witness it intensely uncomfortable. When my father died, I was 17 years old. My parents were separated and I lived with him, to care for him in his illness. He was my world. When he passed I was devastated on levels I could not even comprehend. At the viewing, I broke down and sobbed loudly. Everyone wanted to take me home, call the doctor and medicate me.(shut her up!) Thinking of it today still wrenches my gut. Anyways, this is a very important hub, peculiar author, one everyone needs to read, and then read again! Loss and grief are a part of living, and we all need to learn how to deal with it in a healthy and productive way. Thank you.
Great story, well written and so true. Thanks for sharing this. I know you have given people alot to think about.
This is beautiful and heartfelt, thanks for sharing, precious advice for many is contained here.
Very nice words of encouragement; this should be a Hub!
As a Hub, it would receive more views from readers who may benefit greatly from your post.
I agree, it should be a hub so that many more people can read it and learn from your powerful words. We all grieve at the loss of a loved one, and we will continue to lose those we love as we grow older. We lose and grieve for pets, children, parents, friends. There is no correct way to grieve, each of us respond to loss differently, but God can heal the broken hearted.
This is well written and I agree, it should be a Hub. The article if filled with great encouragement.
People tend to think losing a pet is not a big deal, but it is.. Grieving over a pet is similar to grieving over a family member. Their presence is no longer there with us and the pain from that loss can be huge.
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