Loss is weird. I think we all have had some sort of loss in our life, whether it be the loss of someone we love (human or animal friend), a relationship, a job, a time in our life that we cherished, or something else that was significant to us.
I feel that so often we can put loss into a category of importance, and when we can’t neatly check off a box in a particular way, it gets messy. For example, my dear grandfather Ed, and my sweet fur baby Charlie passed away within hours of one another. For a while I felt a deep sense of shame for feeling the loss of Charlie so profoundly (and still do), yet not feeling the loss of my grandfather in the same way. Of course I miss my grandfather, but I also feel it was his time to transcend from this earthly plane. Who am I to say it was my grandfather’s time, yet not Charlie’s? See what I mean—it can be messy.
With loss, comes grief. Grief can come randomly, and sometimes when you’re not even consciously thinking of the loss you’ve endured.
Scenario from a few days ago: It’s 10:30pm and we’ve just gone to bed. We’re both shifting around to get comfortable and find our falling asleep position, when all of a sudden I start crying. Trying to be quiet so Greg can fall asleep, I wipe my tears on my pillow. Apparently I‘m not too stealthy, because he rolls over and says “what’s wrong?” “I miss Charlie! I keep having phantom feelings that he’s still here.” I sob some more. Greg lovingly rubs my back, but is probably thinking “couldn’t we have talked about this an hour ago?” (even though he equally feels the loss). I eventually fall asleep.
Call me a dreamer, but I wish there was a timeline that could tell us when it would cease, and when I would only feel thoughts of joy and happiness when thinking about Charlie.
I wish I had all the answers to magically heal myself and take away any pain I may be feeling (wish I could take away yours, too!), but I don’t. It wouldn’t be life if I did. What I do know is that I have support and tools to lean on when I need it, and that is huge.
Here are a few things that have helped me, and may connect with you too:
Remembering that I am not alone, I’ve done hard things before, and that others have gone through similar experiences.
LET. IT. OUT. Cry, scream, journal, reflect, talk to a friend/counselor/etc.
Connect to your Source. God, Spirit, The Universe, Love, Nature. Whatever you want to call it.
Pray, meditate, self-care. Take care of yourself.
It’s okay to feel sad. It’s also okay to feel happy. Moving forward doesn’t mean forgetting memories.
Loss is loss. Let’s not compare our stories. It looks differently, and feels differently for everyone. There is no loss too big or too small to be felt, and what may feel really hard for one person, may not feel so hard to someone else. Let’s show kindness and compassion.
As hard as this is, I’d go through it all again. Cheesy at it may sound, I know in my heart of hearts that the only reason we feel so deeply, is because we love so deeply—I wouldn’t change that for anything.
Love you something fierce,