Loss and Grief

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We have always been a pet-friendly home and over the years our daughters enjoyed the benefit of having a variety of animals to bless their lives. Some of the pets we have invited into our home included but not limited to: dogs, cats, bunnies, a hedgehog, hamsters, lizards, fish, parrots, and a variety of bugs that the lizards would eat for sustenance. While I’m not known for my pet skills I was always there to help our daughters as they cared for the variety of animals in their lives.

Aging Advisors PDX Loss and Grief

Most recently, our indoor cat had begun finding ways to escape from our home and explore the outdoors. We would quickly and fervently work to keep him entertained indoors but still he began lurking more often at the edge of doors waiting for the right moment to dart outside. The moment finally happened when he darted outside and hasn’t returned since. We have tried multiple searches and posts but to no avail.

I found myself wandering from room to room searching, often late at night, peering into nooks, crannies and into closets. It wasn’t until I saw one of our cat’s toys that I realized what I was searching for; I was hoping against all rationale evidence that I would still find him, curled up in a ball resting and waiting for me to pick him up. While this isn’t the first pet that has left our lives it certainly reminds me of the place that they take in our hearts. They find their ways into our lives, bit by bit, moment by moment through memories and little exchanges, sweet sounds or flopping over onto his side making a little “plunk” on the floor. We know that we can expect others to experience a variety of physical, emotional, and spiritual expressions such as waning appetite, sadness, confusion, anxious, guilt, lack of energy, forgetfulness, change in sleep patterns, hallucinations, frustration, anger and/or questioning our beliefs.

We know that writing down your feelings, talking about your feelings, and walking out in nature and talking to others who don’t judge or advise you helps others to decrease their stress that comes from grief and loss. Little scientific research has shown clear benefits for any specific approach for grief reactions in general. That is thought to be because each approach is so different that it is hard to scientifically compare one to another. Finally, I know now that time doesn’t heal all wounds, instead I believe that we learn to adapt to our loss as times goes on. That is what is meant by coping. We will continue to feel emotions and hopefully grow with it and incorporate the loss into our life. Grief is a part of our life now and forever, because the person, or pet that died was important to us.

Categories: Uncategorized, Wellbeing