Death is part of life. At some stage someone close to us will die. It sucks, doesn’t it, to lose someone you love?
Two weeks ago, I had to have my dog of 16 years put down and even though I had been preparing myself for the inevitable, it was still one of the most devastating things I have experienced for a long time. It is like a big black hole has opened and nothing can fill it.
I have been up and down on an emotional rollercoaster ever since. I never thought that losing a pet would affect me this way. But it isn’t just about my dog. It is as though it has opened up the loss I experienced a few years ago when I lost my mother. I even find myself thinking my grandmother’s death in 2004. It feels like the only family I had were all ripped from me, one by one.
Some days I can’t see a way out of the pit I’m in. Other days I’m fine. Then it starts all over again.
Rinse, repeat. Rinse, repeat.
And here I am stuck again in the same cycle at a stage of my life when I really could have done without it.
When I think of my mom, I remember the good times, and not the bad times. There were a lot of bad times growing up. When I remember my gran, I think of her naughty smile and sly sense of humour. When I think of my dog, I think of comfort and unconditional love, her big brown eyes and her terrible underbite. And then I get sad and feel empty again.
Rinse, repeat. Rinse, repeat.
I think the trick may be to acknowledge the loss and the void that person / pet has left and deal with it every day, little by little. Remember them and cry, laugh, write, sing. Do whatever you need to do to get through the pain. I read something a while ago about grief being like waves that overwhelm you but how the time between the waves get longer and longer as time goes by. They spoke of how the hurt is a scar that makes you tougher. How at first you are shipwrecked but how it slowly gets easier to manage, easier to float on the waves of grief. I printed out the article to put up on my fridge door in the hopes that it will help to remind myself that it will get better, that I will survive. I have survived worse before, haven’t I?
Last night, or more accurately, early this morning at around 02:00, whilst I was overthinking again and working myself up into a panic, I decided something. It is big girl panties time! Instead of focusing on myself and my messed up emotions, I will celebrate their lives, my mom, my gran and Zoe’s. I will be happy that they are no longer suffering, that for them the pain is over and I will make peace with the past. But it sounds more like a process than a quick fix to me.
But isn’t that easier said than done? Maybe, but I guess it’s worth a shot.

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