Moving Through Loss and Grief
Two weeks ago we helped our sweet dog Pepper leave his body and be free. I cried hard and often before, during and after he transitioned. My tears well up even as I share with you now. In my long-time menagerie of four-leggeds, Pepper was our second dog to become ill and transition in this last year.
I have experienced a sense of great relief that is often followed by the crappy feeling of guilt because Pepper had been unwell for over a year, and he had needed a certain level of care and energy that has mostly fallen on me. I am relieved he is no longer suffering, and I am relieved that I am also free in new ways. Just saying that feels shitty, but it is the truth, and that is always a great place for me to share and be vulnerable with you.
Five days before we hired a wonderful vet to come to our home to support his transition, I was shown a “clock” in my mind’s eye and heard the words, “It’s time.” These moments that give you a head’s up are a gift of your intuition so that you can prepare on some level.
So, I was on high alert and let the family know, and I contacted the caring vet who would come to our home to assist Pepper’s transition. Pepper was experiencing episodes of collapsing, which was part of his heart and lung condition, and as the episodes increased, it got clear very quickly that it was time, so I made another important call to my son. I knew he needed to be okay with the time of day and be here, as it was his dog for 13 years.
What I didn’t know: My 22-year-old son Bryce was going to resist. I didn’t see that coming. It was intense, frustrating, painful and heart-aching, and at one point triggered some anger within me. I knew Pepper needed to go, and I didn’t want him to suffer anymore, and I also knew Bryce was in denial and needed time with Pepper.
We were in it—a full invitation to be in our humanness and open our hearts and connect in ways you just can’t plan. It took well over 24 hours to move through a lot of emotions and experiences so that Bryce could finally let go. As soon as Bryce was in agreement, Pepper also began to let go.
Being a mom and watching both my kids grieve was heart-wrenching. Being an empath, which is great for my work, can also take these experiences over-the-top-emotionally for me. I was exhausted, and by the next morning I felt depressed.
I am not a fan of feeling depressed (who is?!), and I know I was resisting the reality of the situation and wishing it was different – very human, very natural. Part of my work is to teach others to learn, grow and move through painful experiences like these to create an ongoing life of freedom.
I had the inspiration to pick up my very own book, It’s OK to be Spiritual and Wealthy, which I do on a regular basis. I intended to open it to the very page that would give me inspirational guidance to support me and move and transform this depressive energy, instead of just “stuffing” or denying the energy.
I opened to page 60 and quickly read the following:
Taking steps, having a plan, and giving our mind something
else to do will bring relief. We only need a little relief to
move what feels like a mountain of resistance.
This passage spoke to me so clearly because I woke up not wanting to get out of bed or do the two things I had already scheduled for the morning: go for a walk around a beautiful lake near my home with my mom and then take a Kundalini Yoga class.
I didn’t want to go-–I didn’t feel like it!
After reading these words from my book, I was inspired to go ahead with my planned activities anyway. I wasn’t excited or happy about going ahead, yet I knew these things would ultimately be good for me, so I did.
Guess what? It worked. I felt a bit better and even proud of myself for doing it anyway. It created space to forgive myself for feeling relieved of Pepper’s daily, intense care and proud that I had taken care of him in the ways I did as he became ill.
Even though my personal journey with Pepper and his transition is unique to me, what you and I have in common is this wild, wacky, wonderful, and sometimes painful experience called life. Yes, it can be a rollercoaster. Yes, it can feel painful. But we are not meant to live in pain.
I wish you freedom and joy in all you are moving through.
Here’s to creating more joy and freedom, using your intuition!