I have had two inspirations for this post. Well three really. The first is a lovely lady called Paula whose blog I read, she writes open and honestly about her feelings, and the highs and lows she feels in life, she writes about her grief, openly and honestly.
The second is regarding the title of this post, I found an old draft and I had used this title. It was drafted just after Wiglet’s diagnosis and I had started it by saying how I had found myself saying sorry to people who looked at me as if I were mad because I was crying for a dog. I had put this photo of her and RD in it, it was taken on the Sunday after her diagnosis.
The Third is me, I have worried about writing about my grief, worried that I was putting people off reading my blog. But one of the reasons that I started this blog and continue to keep is to give an honest account of our adventures, and to support mental health. It is not meant to be a ‘happy chappy’ blog, it is meant to be a blog that is real. That will inspire people to take a chance, will support people when they find themselves struggling mentally, and will at times make people giggle.
So here I go….
In the past two months we have lost two members of our family. If you don’t think it applies because they had fur then you are probably reading the wrong blog. Animals give us unconditional love, their loss is as great as the loss of a human, sometimes even more so.
Do I sound angry? Yes I suppose I am a little bit defensive. I have found myself struggling over the past week. Despite having a lovely weekend, despite being blessed with Harley, Elfie and Daisy. Despite having a lovely husband and a lovely garden to sit in I have found myself going further down the rabbit hole, and find myself disillusioned with people in general.
I realised that I had fallen into that trap of putting on the brave face, the facade. When in fact I was and am in immense pain. I know it will get easier, I know that time makes it easier because you have done it once so you can do it again. But right now this is how I feel. And for anyone else reading this with tears in their eyes it is okay to feel that way. At any time, but especially if your grief is still raw.
What this experience has really brought home to me is how isolating grief can be. How it is truly a lonely place, especially if you are grieving an animal. I have found myself saying out loud ‘laugh and the world laughs with you, grieve and you grieve alone’ so often in this last week. For it is true that ‘The sad old world must borrow it’s mirth, but has trouble enough of it’s own.’ Everyone has their own problems they don’t want to know about yours.
In truth there is nothing anyone can say, there truly are ‘No Words’. But avoidance is one of the worst things that someone can do. Just picking up the phone and calling to say how sorry you are, or to listen, means the world. We have had one or two people who have done this. RD experienced it, mainly at work, where the people have generally been really supportive. But I work from home, so I generally don’t have that. Apart from a person I have clicked with, and she is a great support. But please don’t tell me I should be grateful for that.
The great Brene Brown advises that to say the simple words ‘I hurt for you. I wish I could fix this for you, but I can’t’ mean so much. She is right they do. When Diddies died I called a friend, I was in such a state of shock I couldn’t actually speak properly. She just told me to cry, and she would listen. That was what I needed, that is what most people need.
I know I committed the cardinal sin of helping RD – telling him to stop looking at the pictures, to give himself a time to grieve each day (‘Cry your eyes out coming home in the car fuck who sees you!’) And then I didn’t do the same. I didn’t put the music on that I used to play to Wiglet each day, I didn’t hum Jingle Bell Rock to myself (don’t ask but Diddyman dod fitted with it perfectly.) I was okay, I had been through this before.
But it was more than that. I am sixty next year and the double blow made me realise intensely what lies before me. Losing those that I love. I know it seems maudlin, but it is how I feel. I have been acutely reminded that if we get kittens we do need to consider a person who can take care of them in the future – it may never apply – but now it needs to be considered in a way that I have never considered it before. Life is changing rapidly, and the normally upbeat me is feeling very down about that.
There I have shared …