It’s funny how grief works, isn’t it? After my grandmother died, I was devastated. But I also felt kind of numb- her illness had been going on for so long, and her suffering so great, that it was both a blessing and a terrible sadness to see her go.
I was in the card section of the store looking for something to give to my grandfather. I can’t figure out how a piece of paper could possibly contain a lifetime of memories, envelop what she has meant to me in a piece of cardboard that I then present as if to say, here is my grief, and I share it with you.
But I was thinking about it, and prepared for it, so I held myself together as I worked my way down the aisle.
I picked up a card with a little dog on the front, a little dog with wings. I opened it. “With sympathy on the loss of your beloved companion,” it read. A pet loss sympathy card.
And for some reason, I don’t know if it was because I wasn’t prepared for that or just that I hadn’t thought about it for a while, I started thinking of Emmett, and then I did begin to cry.
When my grandmother passed away, the expressions of sympathy poured in, flowers and donations to charities and acquaintances saying yes, you are sad, and I understand.
But when your pet passes away, it’s different. People give you a sympathetic pat and then expect you to shrug along with them and continue on your day.
It’s not that losing a pet and losing a family member are the same. But the sense of loss can be vast, the craggy hole harder to fill without the support of those around who do not understand what you need in order to heal. Or even that you do need to heal.
I’m so grateful to have this blog as a place to talk about loss, and to share with those who understand. It would have been so much harder with Emmett had I not had this.
I know so many of you know what I am talking about. What helped you get through the days and months after a loss?