Don’t Let Pet Loss Grief Take Control Over You
Five months ago today, my dog Hana passed away. Just one week after we celebrated her 15th birthday.
During the past five months, at times I felt as if I was swimming in this stormy sea of mixed emotions – overwhelmed by waves of shock, blinded by denial, suffocated by despair, drowned by guilt, heart ripped apart by grief…
Other times I felt as though I was on a never-ending ride on this crazy emotional roller coaster – some days I had a nervous anticipation as I was slowly climbing up, but other days I had this absolute fear as I was nosediving straight down to the abyss of sadness.
Five months later…
Today I can quite confidently say that I have conquered the turbulent sea – I managed to swim safely ashore. And I got off the roller coaster as well. Can’t say I enjoyed the ride, but I can definitely say I got off as a stronger, better person.
A person who can control her emotions better, a person with more compassion, a person who treasures and loves life more than before.
When I think of my dog Hana now, I mostly have good and happy memories – all the hikes that we went on together, all the funny silly things that she did… My husband and I can now talk about her with fond memories and laugh at all those hilarious past incidents without having to dance around any negative emotions.
How I Got Out of Grief
How did I do that?
Not easy, and with a lot of struggle! But I am grateful that I’ve got help. Lots of help from my husband, my sister, and friends.
Sometime in those five months, somewhere in my mind clicked.
I decided to change, to do something to get myself out of this emotional mess. And I did.
I read books on pet loss grief management, and then on self development. I watched motivational talks on YouTube. I started writing down my thoughts and emotions in my journal. I began talking to myself in a positive way, banning all negative words from my vocabulary. I made myself stand and walk taller, hold my head up and put a smile on my face…
To memorialize Hana, I decided to start this blog. What better way to remember her than to start a blog on holistic old dog health and wellness? I get to do what I enjoy doing, and hopefully the blog can help other dog parents with oldies as well. And I also decided to start a Support Group for dog parents who are going through the same grieving process as I have just gone through.
Your Dog Is Forever In Your Heart
See, one of the books that I’ve read talks about how the Universe works. It says everything in this Universe, living or non-living, is made up of energy. When you break something down to its last molecule – a table, your own body, a dog…, you will find that it’s nothing but energy. So when someone dies, that someone doesn’t disappear. His/Her energy is still out there, in the Universe.
And as long as we keep the memories and legacies of our loved ones alive, we will always have them close by. In our heart.
Look for the Good in the Bad
The same book also says that everything in the Universe has an “equal and exact opposite” (the Law of Polarity). Kind of like the concept of yin and yan. Or you can say “every cloud has a silver lining”. So when something “bad” happens, something “good” will come out of it. If you have “death” of one thing, you must have “life” somewhere else.
You may say how could there be any “good” in losing a dear old companion, a fur-kid?
I used to say that to myself too. But now I’ve learned to look at things from both sides.
Yes, losing my dog is a HUGH loss, but on the other hand, because of that loss, my relationship with my husband has become even closer through our support for each other. I found out once again how much my sister loves and cares about me. I have come to understand myself better. Because I lost my dog so abruptly, I now appreciate life more. Aren’t all these the “good things” that have come out of the “bad”?
And through the “death” of my dog, I (and my dog) gave “life” to my blog that will hopefully enhance the lives of other dogs.
So, how you feel about something that has happened depends on your perspective and perception. YOU and you alone have the choice to either focus on the “bad” or to look for the “good”. YOU and you alone can decide to take action to make something “good” out of the “bad” and end up being a better person.
Grieve For Your Dog But Not Forever
Don’t get me wrong, though. I am NOT saying, “don’t grieve for the loss of a loved one.”
Of course it’s natural to feel sad. Of course we need to grieve. It’s so important to go through the grieving process and sort out our emotions.
What I’m saying is, don’t let the grieving process go on forever. And never let grief take infinite control over you.
If I can do it, so can you.
Share Your Experience
If you have ever gone through the grief of losing a beloved dog, please share your experience below, or in our Pawsome Angels Support Group. How did you feel? How long did it take for you to get out of grief? What did you do to make yourself feel better?
Thank you for sharing!