My dog died yesterday - a simple statement for an incredibly complex set of emotions.
I should perhaps state it this way - My beloved spirit animal, my furry soul sister and companion in EVERYTHING passed away in her sleep yesterday and I feel like I want to die too.
I awoke to find her "asleep" in her bed on the floor next to my bed - I blinked several times as I immediately thought to myself "is she breathing" I reached out a hand with my eyes still blurry and encountered coldness - she had left me, peacefully I hope, with no pain I hope, but forever gone, never to look at me with those little orbs again, never to put her paw out to pull my hand back in to pet her more, never to warm my lap in the car while we're driving to work, never to sit eagerly awaiting her breakfast and on and on and on.....the "firsts" are the most painful I'm discovering - to look up expecting to see her where she would normally sit to watch me and everything going on, and the space is empty - coming back upstairs where she'd be sitting waiting for me, and the space is empty.
I find it hard to breathe, to concentrate, to stay focused on the tasks at hand - getting through my day today is going to be challenging to say the least
But what I have remembered is how isolating grief is, how personal, how unique. Despite the fact my husband loved her - we are disconnected in grief - we mourn differently - granted she was more "my dog" but her presence was everywhere in the house.
I feel I have no one to talk to who will get how bad I feel, how I feel I just can't go on, how deep the hurt is, how painful the heartbreak of never seeing her again.
Grief is perhaps one of the more complex of human emotions - it ebbs and flows like a tide yet without the predictable timetable of the tide - it will just wash up on you from out of nowhere as you'd brushing your teeth, washing the dishes, putting on your socks. It's unpredictable, overwhelming and uncontrollable - and so so deeply painful.
I'm finding there is little you can to abruptly end the intensity of grief - I have to just go with the flow and know it WILL get better, I WILL be left with beautiful memories of our life together, our special, unique bond. For now I will dive deep into the ocean of grief, allow it to happen, respect and acknowledge it.
Death does not represent the totality of this relationship, but it is forcing me to transform a physically present relationship to its spiritual counterpart - and I cannot get there yet, the loss of her physically is too painful, too burning.
and I found this advice which I will try to follow -
"Take good care of yourself while grieving. Do not go too long without sleep (consult your doctor if insomnia persists beyond three days), try to eat and stay in close contact with those who understand. Attend a pet bereavement group, memorialize your friend and distract yourself with brief journeys, volunteer work if you can manage, and physical exercise. Do not hold back the tears. Do not try to bury or hide your grief. It is appropriate and demands expression.
It may feel intolerable now, BUT YOU WILL SURVIVE. The day will come when the softness of sweet memories will bring warm smiles of recollection. We are resilient and must face the prospect of death throughout our lives, but are never fully prepared when it takes our loved ones. The agony and intensity of grief responses following pet loss can surprise even those who anticipate the significance of the loss. Be patient. Be kind. Consider this: Would you have rather this relationship never entered your life? Was it worth every tear you now shed? The answer to this question can bring acceptance and surrender to the entire experience of sharing your life with an animal companion. It is worth everything."
Indeed...IT IS WORTH EVERYTHING
I love you my Wookie Piggelstein and my grief knows no bounds in missing you.