A Monthly Inspirational Viewpoint of Life’s Journeys with Sonia Wignall.
Very recently, like years before, I laid one of my beloved dogs to rest.
Although I participated in this decision by choice, it was through my son’s counsel, wisdom and support that I gave in and let go. Although death is an inevitable part of all life cycles, the process and pain of the loss is not lightened because of that truth.
All losses can be painful. We may try and mitigate the burden, but the loss often remains with us, at least for a while.
By the time we had made the 3rd visit to the vet in 48 hours it was time to let our dog go. My sweet dog, who had become my shadow, no longer had a good quality of life.
We could have invested in extending his life, but his time to rest was at hand. Over the next few days I would experience a period of grief that I did not expect, nor truly understood. After all, he was merely a dog. I had put other dogs down before.
This one was different. I experienced a deep sadness that I had not done more, or sought help for him sooner. I was experiencing both the stage of guilt and grief simultaneously.
The holiday season tends to augment our periods of grief, at least it has for me. Maybe because this was the 2nd personal loss I was experiencing in a short period. A few months before I had to let go of a relationship that was very dear to me. The decision to let it go was very painful. The grief of that loss, which I did not initially feel, suddenly came flooding into my life, along with the grief of my dog passing.
I began to feel a deep, deep well of sadness, for me, my dog and the other person. I was in a compounded state of grief. It is said that grief comes in waves and cycles. It can lay dormant after the loss and then suddenly comes crashing like a flood and overtake us emotionally.
The emotional and open expression of grief is both normal, healthy, cathartic and necessary. This too is part of the loss, grief and healing process.
Holding our pain in can cause us physical and emotional harm, and extend the time and quality of our healing. However, we must face each loss with strength, and develop the internal commitment to continue on our journey, even if we must do it alone. During this season of joy, many around us have no testimony of joy.
Like the conflict in the Middle East, where neither Israel nor the Palestine people can enjoy any measure of peace, many people globally are in such emotional conflict, pain and grief that pushing on to the next day is laborious.
We are encouraged to check on, uplift and give a hand of comfort or friendship to those who have experienced recent losses, traumatic experiences, or are in a cycle of grief. Let us share the strength of our joy, with them, so when our time of grief comes we too may be comforted.
“There will come a day, I promise you, when the thought of your son, or daughter, or your wife or your husband, brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye. It will happen. My prayer for you is that day will come sooner than later.”
President, Joe Biden (He lost his 1st wife, baby daughter, then later his adult son to cancer) “However long the night, the dawn will break.”
PREVIOUSLY ON ‘PERSPECTIVE’