I have often heard people say that grief is universal. It knows no boundaries, no race, no gender or language. This is true. I also learned last week that grief knows no species. That grief truly knows LOVE. We lost our family dog, Nala last week and it was grueling. Our dogs (babies) were our first children. We love(d) them hard. Animals in our home are simply an extension of our family. They live where we live, sleep where we sleep and are loved just as our human family is loved. The grieving process albeit different for Nala than maybe that of our children, hurts the same. Its loss. It finds the inner crevices of our soul and sits there, heavy and hard. It takes our breath away at times and begins a cycle, not a perfect circle cycle, but that crazy scribble of a cycle – emotions that come and go, memories that come and go. In that crazy cycle, I learned that grief also NEVER goes away. Emotions and feelings that had been tucked away for almost five years now suddenly emerged. It was odd. I found myself back in that room, LD1. That damn yellow flower picture on the wall; that feeling of nothing but numb. You think you have moved past the depths of emotions of one loss, just to come to find out that loss is universal. I mean this in several ways. Universal in that we all feel it, see it and hurt from it in the same way, but universal also in the fact that its ALWAYS there. We get busy, we live life and find ways to dampen that grief from day to day, but once that wound is cut back open, its not easy to put right back. I guess at the end of the day, we must realize that losing someone we love (especially a child) no matter when or how we lose them we will always carry that grief with us. And, we must also realize and accept that, that universal grief will always be there tucked away ready to resurface with any subsequent loss. It’s ok. It’s ok to sink back into those dark deep feelings. The quiet and still of complete grief. The numbness of your inside voice quiet, the feeling of the world being still again and the only thought capable of being processed is that vision of the dumb yellow flower picture hanging on the wall.
Be patient and be kind to yourself. We will all travel down this loss road again. Resurfacing emotions will come but the important thing to note, is that we (and you) WILL be ok.
In loving memory of Nala, 2007-2020