Today, my husband and I are taking my precious pet to the vet to be put to sleep. I haven’t been told that it’s certain that she’ll be put to sleep, but it is highly likely. I’ve never had to consciously make this decision before and it is definitely producing myriad emotions in my heart: Relief. Gratitude. Thankfulness. Sadness. Fear. Guilt. I’m thankful that she won’t be suffering any more, but I’m very sad that her journey here is almost over.

I haven’t written all week. I’m tempted to feel guilty about this, but I honestly haven’t been in the right frame of mind. I have been blogging and keeping up with essential Maiedae work, but other than that, I’ve been trying to maintain a delicate emotional balance this week. Because writing takes so much mental and emotional energy, I took Kat‘s advice and am taking a minor break from intense work.

Though this week has been extremely hard, I’ve learned some important things.

>> It is alright to take a break from work to care for yourself  and for your emotions during hard times. 

>> It is okay to intensely grieve the anticipated and actual loss of a pet. 

>> The grieving process for the death of a pet can be just as intense as the loss of a person. 

I think I used to judge people who got “worked up” over the deaths of their treasured pets. Never again. This has been one of the hardest things I’ve gone through in a long, long time. I know, though, that I will heal. I will always miss my sweet rat, but I’m not sorry for the time I had with her. I’m extremely grateful. I’m thankful for her sweet whiskers twitching against my face. I’m thankful for her happy appearance when she used to leap up to meet me when I walked into my office. I’m thankful I got to see her run on her wheel all the time. I’m thankful for all the times she sat in my arms and let me pet her.

If you’re having a hard week–whether you’re grieving the death of a pet, family member, or friend…whether work is not going well, or if you’re just having a tough time…IT WILL BE OKAY. Take some time to rest. Take some time off. Be still and quiet. Pray. Meditate. Fill your body with good things and move around a bit. The endorphins will help.

I’m hoping that I’ll have some cheery posts for you next week, but for now, I”m not ashamed of my emotions. As the beautiful Savannah said in her recent living well post, it is very important to feel your emotions. 

A Hard Week
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  • So sorry to hear that you may have to put your dog down. I remember a few years ago when my then 12-year-old daughter asked, “Daddy, why do you love Doodle so much?” — Doodle being our 18-year-old cat, and our only pet at the time. “Well, she’s been part of the family longer than you have, Kate.”

    Despite being “animals”, our pets are part of our family, and no one likes to lose family members, even if they are quadrupeds.

    Then again, Nathaniel Hawthorne did his best work shortly after his mother died….

    • Well, I don’t actually have a dog, GW, but yes I am sad that we had to put one of our rats down. 😉 I totally agree with you, though, about pets being a part of our family. It’s amazing, though, how much better I feel now that I know she’s no longer suffering. 🙂

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