Give yourself permission to grieve the loss you feel. You don’t need permission from anyone (besides yourself) to grieve. Do you look for permission to feel sadness? Maybe you don’t even know you’re doing it. I didn’t, until this past Friday.
A few glasses of wine, one frozen pizza, a number of tears, and one Disney themed Kinkade puzzle sesh with the Hubs was my most recent Friday night. It could’ve been an episode on a YouTube channel called #Thisis30 because the conversation was DEEP.
My Mom had called me that morning to tell me she just put Kasey down (our second family pet to pass within the last 6 weeks) and had to talk to someone because she couldn’t tell my siblings yet based off how hard they took Kristy’s sudden passing a few weeks prior.
Now, it could’ve been the wine that helped open the floodgates or it could’ve been all the throwback photos of Kasey my Pops was sending me (or both) that did me in, but nonetheless, the tears poured out while looking for puzzle pieces which resembled the seven dwarves and a Hubs repeatedly reminding me my emotions were valid.
Why didn’t I think what I was feeling was valid? Well, the short answer? Because both of my parents have gone on about how both losses have affected them and my siblings, but not once have asked me how I was handling the news. So…if they haven’t asked me then that must mean I shouldn’t be affected because I live far away and haven’t seen her for a number of years, right?
I beat myself up because I’m sad but don’t feel like it’s justified because if my parents don’t think to ask me how I’m doing then I must be fine and I’m just being dramatic or looking for attention, which is an awful trait to possess and now I’m down the rabbit hole of how awful of a person I am.
It’s exhausting to fight with yourself as hard as I fight with myself, for real.
The real question is why do I need permission from my folks in order to feel justified about grieving my pet? Yes, it’s pretty shitty of them to exclude me from the ‘family grieving’ process but the bottom line is, I don’t need their permission. I give myself permission to give an outward expression to the internal anguish I am feeling.
Did you know that grief is the natural result of love? When we love we open ourselves up to the grief that will come because death is part of life. It’s as natural as a reaction as sneezing when your nose itches or sleeping when you’re tired.
I am sad because Kasey was a part of my life for almost a decade and I loved her, too.
So I won’t feel guilty for being upset. I may not have been around her every day for the last seven years but this isn’t a pissing contest, there aren’t rules to dictate when you may or may not grieve.
Maybe my tears that night were a mixture of grief for my old pet and a lack of with my parents.
There are a number of suggestions on how to celebrate your pet after he/she has passed and one was to plant a tree, scatter some of the ashes in the dirt or place a decorative stepping stone with their name at the base of the tree.
Another suggestion was to share a blog post and some of your favorite photos…
Kasey was an adorable pup who enjoyed carrying your shoe or sock around the house. She didn’t enjoy the hardwood floors and would stick to walking from rug to rug to avoid the hardwood. She slept under my Dad’s coffee table for almost 17 years.
I think what also stings is that I was so close to seeing both dogs again and now I never will. I have a flight in April to come visit and now the house I remember won’t exactly be the same with one German Shepard and one Golden Lab roaming around. I don’t have many familiar people, places, or things, because of all the moving and shuffling so when I do have some sort of comfort with familiarity I tend to hold on to those few and those dogs were my something familiar at home.
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ps: thanks to this article for giving me some lingo.