It was Saturday. A fairly normal Saturday. Losing a pet was not part of the plan. My hubby went to work, our daughter took a nap and I wrote a blog post. On this day the blog topic was about our dog Max and that she always asked for what she wanted..
Later in the evening, we had dinner, put Grace to bed and watched Netflix. Around 10 pm the hubby took Max for her last walk. They got back and Max had her cookies. She put herself to bed in the corner of our bedroom. I was scrolling through Facebook when I heard an unsettling sound from Max’s corner.
I rushed to her, desperate to understand what I was watching. Just after midnight, she was gone. The vet explained that she had a seizure, likely had a tumor and passed away from an internal bleed.
Losing A Pet Is Both: Grief and Gratitude
I can’t wash the towel she died in or take her leash off the hook.
The vacuum cleaner is still full of her fur. I hear her all the time. I expect her to meet me at the door when I get home. Everyday, I catch myself thinking “I have to get home to take Max out!” and then remember, shes gone. It’s so weird that I wrote a blog post about her the day she died. I can’t believe we had to explain death to our 2 year old.
Despite my grief, I am filled with gratitude for the years we had together. She had a full life. We were together through so many life changing events. Divorce, dating, marriage, moving and a child.
Grief is a funny thing.
It tells us to hold on, tempting us to stay stuck in the past.
Focusing on a snapshot in time prevents us from feeling the weight of loss. To heal, we eventually have to move beyond our memories.
- We have to live in the present and cultivate new connections.
- There is no real preparation for the moment of loss.
I knew Max was near the end of her life, it didn’t soften the gut wrenching pain as I held her in the final moments.
I am sure that losing a pet like Max is a bit easier because my life is full.
My family, friends and work help me to focus on the present. I am surrounded by things to feel grateful for. I imagine that without these things, I would not be coping as well.
Losing a pet or a loved one can prompt feelings of emptiness, loneliness or anger.
I remind myself that Max didn’t leave me and she wasn’t taken from me – she just left.
She didn’t belong to me, she joined my journey.
Her journey here ended and it’s my work to let her go. I’m not sure how long it will take me to empty the vacuum. I’ll find a solution when I am ready. I’m not rushing to be done with my grief. As I explained to our daughter Grace – Max died and I miss her.
Sometimes I will feel sad and sometimes I will feel happy, and, I will be OK.
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