I have not written about any of our pets that have passed away on any social media, until today. As I write this now, I am not sure why. It is possible that for me, the grief was too deep to express. The words never seemed right or enough. It was always difficult to even speak of. It may be that I numbed the feelings about it to be able to continue through my days. Perhaps as the words crossed my mind, I brushed them away to avoid the emotion.
Anyone who loves a pet knows the feeling that arises when they hear “it is just a dog” or “just a cat” or the dreaded words, “get rid of” instead of “adopt” or “find a home for”. Something stirs deep in my gut when I hear these things. I know that some people don’t understand, and I truly feel sad for them if they do not know the depth of feeling and love that many of us experience who love or have loved any pet.
Many of us do understand. We understand how our lives change because of them. We understand the countless lives they touch and change forever, when a puppy or a rescued pet we have raised, fostered, and loved goes to live with another wonderful family. We understand that as much as we take care of them, they take care of us. We understand that they quietly comfort us, and many have even saved us at critical points in our lives. They have been our closest friends as children. Some of us understand that their paths and journeys cross with ours to teach us many lessons.
When a pet leaves us, the loss is deep and profound. For those who have more pets than one, two, or more … it is not any easier for any one of them who passes.
Mike and I recently lost our two boys, Desi and Luke, within three weeks. We knew it was coming, it was no surprise; we were able to prepare ourselves as the time drew near, but it still added a scar on our hearts.
We spent time loving them and saying our goodbyes. We cried many tears with them in our arms.
But something was a little different when Luke passed during a very stormy Florida Monday. As we spent his last days with him, something deeper stirred within me that I can barely describe. I grieved so deeply for so many days as I held him night after night; it felt like I was mourning every pet I have lost over my lifetime.
I asked him to go see Desi, Kayla, Kelly, Otis, Lucy, Candy, Ricky, and every pet I loved as a child, at the rainbow bridge, and tell them my sorrows for all of my mistakes, ignorance and failings … and remind them how much I loved them all. I asked him to be brave like he always was, let go, and know that he, as all the others, will always be with us, heart and soul. I told him how he would be whole again, and be able to run, play, hold his head high like a normal dog, act like a puppy again…with all of his family that passed before him.
In the past, I do not believe I allowed myself to completely feel and let go of the emotions I experienced. I have recently understood something a mentor tried to teach me years ago that I could not grasp. Allow. Let it go. Don’t stop it for fear it will become unbearable. It certainly felt unbearable…but Luke helped me to truly let go of a tremendous burden I carried. As I held him, deep peace eventually came over me and I could feel my love for him instead of the pain, and I felt calm again.
If this moves a part of you, please see it as a gift and consider what it might be like to fully let the emotion release from the deepest part of yourself.
Today is our 28th wedding anniversary. We are driving through Vero Beach, past the roads where Luke was lost for 11 days and we searched for him. This is the day, 10 years ago, when his little, barely 15 pound body was found in the early morning hours by a friend, after being hit by a car and left for dead on the side of the road. Both Mike and I feel it whenever we pass these roads, with an uncomfortable recognition. It is one of those days that burned in my memory of the phone call, as we woke up and got ready to continue our search for him. I remember my knees buckled, and the sound of my voice when I thought he was killed.
As some of you know, he was alive and unconscious, and the moment we raced to the hospital he was carried to, our amazing journey with him began.
A little over a week ago his journey on earth ended…as do any more of my words.
Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Mikamar.net
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