Coping with the Loss of a Pet

She was an outstanding teacher of zen and a shining example of living in the moment. And during some of the most difficult times of my life she was there with compassion shining in her dark, soulful eyes.

 

By Deb Avery

There is a hole, wide and deep, in my heart today, and it will be there for the unforeseeable future.

For yesterday, I buried my companion of almost 13 years—my best friend, muse and the most awesome, good dog that I have ever known.

As she was laid to rest beside a cedar in the woods at my home, my whole body and mind was, and continues to be, consumed with grief. The loss is profound. The bond between the two of us was/is so strong; she will always be a part of me. But oh, how I miss her furry little presence.

Some may say, “but it’s only a dog.” I beg to differ.

She was more loving, more compassionate and enjoyed life more deeply than most people I know. She was an outstanding teacher of zen and a shining example of living in the moment. And during some of the most difficult times of my life she was there with compassion shining in her dark, soulful eyes. Acceptance and love was always right there in her big, beautiful heart.

This is why I can truly state that no, they are not “just dogs.” They are living, loving beings with a deep range of thoughts and emotions whom we love dearly.

But grief is grief.

It matters not if it’s a person, an animal, a situation or our dreams that have passed and left us feeling empty and lost.

But it is not the end. There is still life beating in my own heart, and there is gratitude for all the times we have shared together. Those beautiful memories of her will always be in my heart. And soon, I hope, they will bring joy and help heal over that deep, dark hole that exists there today.

Until that time, I will try to remember these points that have helped me through the grief process before.

  • Keep your heart open
  • Remember the good things
  • Cry, cry as deeply, as often as you need
  • Know that with time healing will begin

Keep your heart open. Do not close it to love and life. Be grateful for the time you shared together.

Take comfort in the happy memories. For there will be many to look back on.

Cry your heart out as often as you need to. Crying releases the built up stresses and pain. It is truly healing.

And always remember that time will help with the healing process. We will better learn to cope with the loss and pain as time goes by.

Dying as much of the natural process as living.

Yet the void it leaves behind in our lives causes such intense feelings of loss and pain. Even when we know it is time, the sting is still strong. My dear companion was ready to go. She had suffered pain and she was so tired. But being the human I am, I will miss her presence in my life deeply.

Rest my dear friend. I will always love you to the stars and beyond.

 

Samantha
(aka: Sam, Muffin, Snooks)
April 27, 2006 – November 14, 2018

 

Photo: Pixabay

Editor: Dana Gornall

 

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Deb Avery

Deb lives in the Southern United States with her animals, surrounded by mighty oaks, creeks and woodlands. All of nature are her friends and teachers. She is an avid gardener, reader of books, lover of all beings and has also been referred to as "a bit of a weird one.” This she takes as a compliment. Having lived in many diverse places, including several years abroad, she has learned first hand that deep inside we are all one and the same. She enjoys long walks with her dog Sam, music, yoga and meditation in all its forms. With many years of background work involving volunteering, psychology, emergency management and travel, she follows no specific creed or philosophy. She no longer tries to fit her roundness into a square shaped society. The whole wide world and all its inhabitants are her teachers.
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