My dad was fond of saying “There are two things in life you can never avoid – death and taxes.” While people can certainly get creative about tax, none of us can circumnavigate being touched by death, and sorrow is something none of us manage to dodge.
With the sudden loss of my long-time fur baby companion to cancer this week, I’ve been thinking about sorrow and grief a lot. Animals as pets are part of our heritage and it’s rare to find a Kiwi who hasn’t loved and lost a beloved pet after far-too-short a time.
My experience has taught me that losing a pet helps us understand that life does go on, although in the enduring sorrow it’s hard to believe that. We suffer through the mental and emotional pain, the sleepless nights and the lingering grief, BUT eventually all these fade. Our agonising sadness becomes a gentler ache which no longer cripples us, and the happy memories of our lost companion find a way of surfacing in their own time.
I’m thankful the kitties and pups I have loved and lost over the years prepared me for a more mature grief when I lost a loved one I expected to be a life partner. I already knew that while grief doesn’t go away, it changes over time, and while it felt then like my life was over too, I knew life would go on. I could endure the process, it would get better - and it did.
So if you are hurting, if you have lost a fur baby or a loved human, don’t fear the grief will be unbearably painful forever. We are designed to survive, and you will survive this.
I promise it will get better.