Love With No Place To Go.

Monday, June 12, 2017

I have so many wonderful things going on in my life now -- it's summertime, I'm getting married, I get to see Joe for most of the summer -- but, for some reason, I have been really down the past few weeks. I have been short with people. I have been sad. I have been really stressed. I haven't had any energy or been excited about anything.

I really couldn't figure out why.

And then it hit me.

It's grief. I'm still grieving.

I read this article, and it really helped me. Several key things that stood out are
  • Behavioral responses are widely varied and may include wanting to sleep with the departed companion’s toys or blankets, avoiding sleeping in the bed you shared with your pet, being unable to remove his possessions, continuing a routine as if your companion were still alive, a compulsion to memorialize your pet
  • Instead of remembering all we contributed in love and quality to our friend’s life, we focus on self-criticism and condemnation – the time we were too tired for one last walk, the time the demands of life left our sentient being with little attention, the time we went on a vacation or journey and could not bring our friend ... Even those who devoted all to their animal’s life and health can experience devastating guilt. We ruminate about our failures to be the perfect steward, conduct a harsh retrospective of our worthiness to have such a devoted companion and find ourselves lacking. 
  • You will mourn in proportion to the quality (not necessarily the length) and the significance of your relationship. Those whose animal friends were their only source of companionship may find it very difficult to move on. 
  • After your companion has died you may imagine another course of treatment, another day, an earlier intervention, would have changed the outcome. You would usually be wrong. Often our recollection of those final moments is hazy with grief and we may minimize or forget the reasons that led to this merciful conclusion.  You may feel your decision was premature or that you waited too long ... You may therefore assign the guilt for the loss to yourself instead of the illness or event which truly took the life of your pet.
  • The end of the animal’s life may seem like a final ending to your own and exacerbate clinical depression.
  • Choose to recall the entire movie of your life together and not just the snapshot of its ending. Death does not represent the totality of any relationship, but requires us to transform a physically present relationship to its spiritual counterpart.
I have been crying a lot, and nights are the hardest. I think the combination of being tired at the end of a long day and being alone cause the nights to be almost unbearable at times. 

I don't mean to keep talking about Snicks's loss all the time, but that's really almost all of what's on my mind right now. (Please see bullet point one.) I know things will get easier as time goes on, but I'm still right in the thick of grief right now. 

I saw something today on Facebook (shared by KLOVE) that spurred me to write this post. Everyone has experienced some sort of grief in life, and these words just hit me as being so, so true:

"Grief is just love with no place to go."

That's EXACTLY how I feel. I have so much love, but Snicks isn't here to receive it, so it has no place to go. 

I look at puppies and dogs (but not rabbits, I can't look at the rabbits) on the internet all the time (in fact, I feel like I've seen NOTHING on Facebook lately but lost/in need of adoption/about to be euthanized dogs, puppies, cats, and kittens, but maybe that's just because I'm extra sensitive right now), and I want to go adopt about 11 of them. But I know that now is not the time, and getting a new pet is a big decision that I have to prayerfully consider. I'm fortunate because Joe has a wonderful dog, Asha, with whom I get to spend the summer, so my love will have some place to go for awhile. 

Again, I wish this blog wasn't all sadness lately. I, too, miss the days of the funny student story posts. And the cute rabbit photos too. :) We'll get back there. We will. 

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