You know already that we have adopted two dogs, whom we already love so much. My grief is in a different place today. But since I work so much in the field of grief, I am still going to share some of my grieving process in the hope that it helps others. I wrote this back in early January and I just couldn’t share it because I couldn’t bear to see his photo on my blog and I couldn’t bear to face my grief. But today, I’m sharing. Here’s what I wrote in January:
I look at my face in the mirror and see something I hadn’t seen for a while. Something I’ve seen since Nov. 30.
A look of vulnerability.
Sadness. Pain. Puzzlement. Heartbreak.
And even resignation.
That’s the look of deep grief.
What I haven’t yet seen is acceptance. Lightness. Happiness.
I haven’t seen a smile. Oh, I’ll laugh with others. Smile at kids and even at dogs.
But when it’s just me, alone, I don’t smile. I just sigh. Big, deep, sighs of resignation that say that I am resigned to his loss but don’t yet accept it.
That I’m still not convinced there isn’t a way to get him back.
Sighs that, if I let go, would turn into a tear and then many tears. Except that they do upset my poor husband.
Still, if I have to cry, I cry.
But my husband? He’s at the point where memories make him smile. My memories make me cry.
I am still grieving. I see it clearly every morning when I face myself in the mirror.
Some might say he was “just a dog.”
I know better.
He was the light and love of my life. He was my reason to smile every day and laugh out loud. He was my first thought in the morning, my last at night and yes, even in the middle of the night.
It’s clear now that I had known for a long time that he would die soon. I had been told all along by Spirit. From the time he was young I knew he wouldn’t reach old age.
I just wouldn’t bring it to conscious thought because that would mean I’d have to accept it. And even though he’s been gone more than two months, I still don’t accept it.
My friend, the shaman says that those who love deeply grieve deeply. Yes.
Yes, when I look in the mirror all I see is the face of grief.
Maybe you see it in someone, too. Maybe even me.
So if you know someone who is grieving, let them.
There’s no such thing as too much active grieving. Too long might mean six years of active grieving, not six months. But it’s different for everyone Because who ever gets over a big loss?
We never do. Not really.
THIS is what helped me and it might help your loved ones, too. Grief does transform in time. Its own time. So be patient with yourself and with those you love.
Blessings, love and light to all who grieve. May their deep love always remain foremost in their lives.