many ways to grieve

I am so sad. My heart is so sad. This isn’t about baby loss.  But it is about allowing for the sad when it hits you.  It is about grief, and the way I continue to experience grief in different times in my life.  I am finally learning not to search for an explanation, but only to allow it to happen, feel it, know it is real, and trust it will travel its course.

While reading this, please keep in mind I am not trying to compare my situation to the nightmare that follows baby loss.  I know I am talking about dogs, not babies and empty wombs.  But this feels significant enough in my life to share.  I’m documenting what my heart and body is experiencing.

When I say Family I am including my two pups as well.  My two doggies have been with me through so much – my happiest times, my saddest times, my loneliest moments, my celebratory moments. They have been a pair of sisters, furry little friends I can’t imagine life without.

Lately, one of our dogs, Bailey, has been experiencing more and more anxiety, which unfortunately, has resulted in increased aggression toward our other dog- Jersey.  Jersey, by the way, is potentially the sweetest pup to walk the earth, one of those sensitive dogs who can read a room, read people, make you feel better just by laying her head on your lap.  Bailey has a heart of gold, but happens to also be completely crazy.

Anyhow.  It has been getting worse, we had been talking about options we have to fix it, and then it all blew up in our faces Thursday.  Seemingly out of nowhere, Bailey attacked Jersey.  It was awful.  Luckily, my husband got them separated, and we all went to bed, Bailey in a crate.  I’ll spare you the details, but the next morning we discovered Jersey was not “fine” but instead needed some minor surgery and repair, and Bailey went off to temporarily stay at our wonderful dog sitter’s home.  It’s not that she is a bad dog and was being punished – we all needed a break, and Jersey needed space to heal.

It’ll be fine people keep telling me, and I know that it will.  But that doesn’t take the heart ache away at our situation right now.

And this is my family.  My girls sat with me as tears poured down my face when my first pregnancies ended too early.  They patiently licked my tears, laid their heads in my lap, and let me be sad.  They also brought balls to my feet, reminding me to get out there and look at me like throw the damn ball – to play again.  They brought me back out into the world, and I would say probably had a significant role in my avoiding depression at that time.  They allowed me to grieve, but kept me away from that slippery slope of depression.

And now, with one injured and one separated from our family, I’m heartbroken.  Sad sad sad to the core.  I felt my heart actually aching today, and I thought what is that?  Then I remembered- oh yes.  Grief.  I know you.  Hello again, old friend.  Grief.  Grief comes in many forms, many sizes, many packages.  I tried to shake it off – “It’s all going to be fine.  We’ll figure it out. We are just talking about the dogs anyway.”  But it is real, and not mine to judge.  Grief, in any form or fashion, is real and deserves respect.

Right now I’m in mourning – Bailey crossed a line that we can’t uncross.  We have a last ditch effort with a behaviorist Vet to try out a new plan.  If that doesn’t work, I’m afraid Bailey is going to have to move in with a new family.  Bailey, the one who has anxiety due to wanting to be with her family always, might have to find a new family.   Meanwhile, my darling Jersey barely moves because she hurts.  The whole situation makes me want to vomit, but all I can really feel is a pain in my heart.  A deep, aching pain in my heart.   Oh hi grief.  It’s you again.  Welcome back.  It seems we have another dance together.

Loss comes in so many forms, and doesn’t necessarily mean death.  I keep finding life running in cycles, cycles that require me to pause, listen, absorb the shock, let it assimilate, and transform.  It is always transforming, even when it feels the worst.

If you feel like being sad today about your baby loss (or about anything!)– do it.  It doesn’t need an explanation.  Just go for it.  Feel sad.  Hurting hearts need to cry.  Chances are, after you allow the space for those tears, a transformed you will be ready to emerge.

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