Did you ever feel as though people don't understand your heartache from pet loss? You aren't alone. Keep reading...
Inspired by his first real experience with loss – the death of his grandfather – Justin Black writes about loving and grieving – humans, pets, death and health scares. Through his experience with loss, he wants us all to embrace our own grief, as experiencing these emotions after losing a loved one is not simply inevitable, it is necessary to help heal our souls.
The year 2018 was a really rough one for me.
It was the first time I’d ever truly experienced grief and loss — and it happened in a very overwhelming way.
In March, my grandfather died. He hadn’t been ill, and we didn’t see it coming; he had a heart attack and was just gone. In May, I lost my beloved dog of 14 years, Smokey. Even though he lived a full life, it was still a devastating blow. To top it all off, in October, my mom had surgery to remove cancer from her arm and her lymph nodes. Thankfully, she is fine now, but it was absolutely gut-wrenching to get that call from my mom — it always would have been terrible for her to go through that, but after the year we’d all had, it was even more difficult for all of us.
I guess before my grandfather died, I’d never really thought much about bereaving. I was lucky because I didn’t have to. I’d seen friends lose people they loved and I’ve always helped them through it in any way that I could, but I never really related to it because it was an experience I’d never had. So when my grandpa passed away, I didn’t really know what to do with my emotions. Even though everyone in my family was grieving alongside me, I felt alone, and in a way, I wondered if I was “doing it wrong” when it came to bereaving.
When Smokey died, I was SURE I wasn’t grieving the right way. How could I be so broken up about a dog? It felt like I’d lost another human loved one. Was that normal, or was I supposed to feel the impact of losing a dog less? And the final blow and bout of confusion came when my mom had cancer. She hadn’t died, and her surgery was successful, so why did I feel a lot of the same emotions I’d felt with the loss of Grandpa and Smokey?
I guess what I’m saying in a very long-winded way is something a lot of people figured out long before I did, which is this: There isn’t really a “science” behind grieving. It’s different for all of us, and there isn’t a wrong way to do it or a wrong person to experience it over.
I want Bereaving.net to be a place where people can go to share their stories, to read the experiences of others, and to basically not feel alone in their grief, no matter what it is that they’re mourning. I will be sharing my original writing on this site (and hopefully other sites as well), and I will be reaching out to other people with sites like mine in an attempt to share information and learn from their experiences.
I’m not a licensed counselor, but I’m here to listen to anyone who would like to share. Know that you can take control over your grief, and know that it’s OK to wish for one more day — even if you know you won’t get one. Most of us wish for one more day with someone we love.
Reposting for PetPerennials.com with permission from Justin Black –
Last May, I lost my beloved dog, Smokey, my best friend for 14 years. To say that losing him absolutely crushed me is the understatement of the century. I didn’t realize that his death would hit me as hard as a human’s death (I’d lost my grandfather shortly before), and it really took me by surprise just how deeply I felt it. Anyway, I didn’t feel like I could talk to anyone about it (everyone was still reeling from the loss of my grandpa), so I looked online for some information on how to deal with Smokey’s loss in a healthy way. I found some good stuff.
I also started my own website about Grief – https://www.bereaving.net/
I wouldn’t wish the pain of losing Smokey on my worst enemy and I still miss him every day, but I’m so glad he was in my life and I’m sure other pet owners can relate. I hope this information helps other people who are grieving a pet.