When should a widow start dating again? When should a person adopt a new pet after one dies? When exactly should we accept our loss & get on with life? Who gets to say? After all the loss that 2011 brought to my life, I’ve learned a few things…
1. Feel What You Feel When You Feel It— That means crying when you want or lying around in pajamas all day watching old movies. It means being sad one minute & happy the next. It may even mean feeling 2 or 3 emotions at once. It’s ok to feel what you feel.
2. Create Personalized Closure Rituals— Do what you think is appropriate to say good-bye & bring closure for your Self. There’s nothing worse that the generic Amazing Grace/Valley of the Shadow of Death service where the minister has nothing more to say about your loved one than “He was a good person.” Make the ritual as unique as the one you lost. Write a poem, create an altar, paint a picture, have a ceremony that only you attend, or go back to a special place you both shared & simply sit in the silence.
3. Know Your Loved One & Grief Are Unforgetable— I have to be honest… you won’t “get over it”… ever. You will come to terms with it, tucking it into a safe place in your heart so you can continue living but you won’t ever forget nor should you. It’s the memories that keep our loved ones alive in a meaningful way.
4. Do What You Need To Do To Go On Living— I lost Pixie on December 5th & adopted Freyja on Dec. 27th. She was a Bichon/Spaniel mix used in a puppy mill as a breeder for 3 or 4 years! She spent the last 3 months in a no-kill shelter (Bless these shelters & the people who support them!!!) Did I move on too quickly? Absolutely not. I have love to give & have the means to care for another dog. Besides, Paco & I needed rescued just as much as Freyja did. Life goes on.
Please consider adopting a dog or cat from your local rescue center. They desperately need love.
If you can’t, give of your time or money. In these economic times, the shelters need both!