Saturday, August 15, 2015

Thoughts on Grief



“I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo. "So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

This summer our family has experienced much grief.  We lost a beloved relative and two adored pets (Blackberry our dog and Domino our rat), and all three were taken from this earth too soon.

So with a heavy heart I go about our day, and when the day has a quiet moment I stop and reflect about life and death.


One thing I realized was how different the death of a person affected me compared to the death of a pet.

We lost Blackberry in the beginning of summer. She was our best dog-friend and we loved each other unconditionally. We miss her so much and will never forget her.


Then Piper came into our life and that empty hole in our heart started filling back up. We still miss Blackberry terribly, but we were able to reluctantly move on in some ways and love this little homeless puppy just as much as we loved Blackberry.

Piper is allowing us to heal from our grief.  It is hard to look at his adorable little face and feel sad. He needs us and loves us unconditionally and he is now a member of our family and my new fur baby.


However, it is not so easy for me to heal and move on when I lose a person that I love. I can't go and adopt and bring home a new grandparent or brother-in-law. No one will ever completely fill that empty hole in my heart. I know that hole will get smaller with time and the grief will be blunted, but no one will ever replace them.

A second thing I realized as I pondered death was that during times of grief I understand what truly matters to me. "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."

For me that means to live each day as if it might be my last, enjoy my friends and family, and find joy in the big AND little moments. Grief is a reminder to concentrate on what really matters because we all have a finite time on earth.

Life is beautiful and I am so fortunate I get to experience it in all of its grandeur.

15 comments:

  1. Oh Rita, I am so sorry and sad to hear of Piper's death and your loss, but how could that be after bringing little Piper back from the brink and returning a ray of sunshine and fun to your family and now he is gone? Sometimes life is too cruel. Take extra special care, sending hugs from across the world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Piper is fine! Blackberry and our pet rat Domino both passed. And thank you so much for your kind words. <3

      Delete
    2. Thank God for that (well not poor Domino of course), I thought I'd missed something. What a fool I am :)

      Delete
    3. I reread my post and it sounded like Piper had died so I added the part about Domino. I am so glad you pointed that out. So you are not an idiot but an excellent proof-reader. :-) It would be really horrible if I lost both my sweet dogs within a few months!

      Delete
  2. I just lost my 16 year old kitty yesterday. My hubby and I don't have kids, so he was our fur baby. It's incredibly hard to deal with. Pets are family too. I find for me, the loss of my pet is just as hard as the loss of family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so sorry to hear about your loss. It is so difficult when they have been in your life so long and become your family. I still miss all of my beloved pets. You never forget them and stop loving them, that is so true. But I found that I was able to heal so much faster when we adopt another one. I was only able to last a few weeks without a dog, I missed Blackberry so much. Thank goodness Piper came in our life! I hope you find a new fur baby to help you heal too.

      Delete
  3. So beautifully expressed. Another consolation is that although others losses may be different, we all feel that. To know others have felt loss makes us not so alone in the world.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Pets vs People. The same, yet different in so many ways as you say. Time does heal, but the memories are great of the people we loved while they were with us and the same for the animals. Piper is lucky to have found you at your sad time. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, we love that adorable mutt. And I am glad to be busy with him now. The boys and the puppy keep me on my toes and bring me so much joy even during these sad days.

      Delete
  5. My condolences for your losses. Stay strong. Not only do you make beautiful things, you have a beautiful soul.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm sorry that you and your family have suffered such loss this summer. I can understand that people grieve differently about pets and people but I also agree with one of the comments left above by an anonymous reader who lost her cat and didn't have any children. My husband and I also don't have children so we love our furbabies differently, I would think, than those who are fortunate enough to have children. We lost one of our furbabies, a special one who'd we had raised from the age of 2 weeks, back at the beginning of Dec in 2000. Then a friend of ours gave us a kitten they could no longer take care of, three weeks later. While sometimes the addition of a new pet will help to curb the loss, in this case it didn't. For me it was much too soon and I basically resented that new cat for several months because I was really grieving the loss of my other furbaby. Of course, I did grow to love her and then went through the same grief when we lost her three years ago this month. You just never know how you are going to react to grief. 'Each to their own' as they say.

    My best to you and yours as always.

    Lisa D.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LIsa, I am so sorry to hear about your loss. And I agree, your pets can be just as missed as your human loved ones. And with every death (human or animal) I personally grieve differently.

      Delete