Coping with Loss

Have you ever wondered how people can get so down when it comes to the loss of a pet?

I mean, I can understand the deep sadness when it comes to human life because that is true tragedy.

However, I could never understand such sadness when it came to losing a pet.

But as many of you know, our family pet – a dog – who we called Ruthie got ran over the other day and now I understand how people get so down about that type of loss.

So, for anyone whom I’ve ever crossed paths with who lost a beloved pet and to whom I didn’t show any understanding, maybe even lacked compassion, I truly want to say I’m sorry.

Our loss happened this past Saturday and we are still grieving.

I just keep reminding myself that it wasn’t anyone’s fault and we need to move past it, but it’s hard. She no longer roams the yard, no longer tries to get into our vehicles, is no longer at our heels as we walk around outside and I no longer catch glimpses of her from the living room window as she sprints up the back hill. My son, Ruthie’s trusted friend and trainer, hasn’t been sleeping well due to having dreams of her during the night. As anyone knows, when we are alone with our thoughts and not busy with the day’s activities, our mind slows down and begins to wonder. My son’s mind always wonders to dear Ruthie. When he talks about her during the day, he’s fine and seems to be coping with it pretty well, but it’s those darn evenings and nights when he’s not busy with something else that he seems to get emotional.

Through his tears, his siblings’ tears and my tears, I just keep trying to encourage him to remember the goodness she brought to his life and what he fulfilled in her life. And of course, as his mother I only want to make him feel better. I want to make the pain go away and………

I. Simply. Can’t.

That is a hard truth for me to accept.

So, each day since Ruthie’s accident, I encourage him to talk about her. To me. To his brothers. To his dad. He’s even taken to wearing her collar as a bracelet of some sort, if only after school.

Even though my heart wants to make his feel better, I realize there’s not much I can do other than let him grieve.

But it breaks my heart.

Here are a few tips I have learned throughout the loss of our dear Ruthie:

  • we can’t tell one another how to feel
  • remembering her and what she brought to our family, to his life encourages healing
  • having a funeral for the beloved pet which also leads to acceptance and encourages healing
  • create a memory book or keep a picture of pet

Most of all, don’t be as lacking in compassion and understanding as I was, but offer solace to someone who has lost a pet. To many people it can be almost or just as devastating as losing a loved human life.

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A Sad Day

Wow! I know! It’s been too long since I posted anything….since March of this year.

And……

So much has happened since then!

But……

The focus of this post is…..

What this day turned out to be.

It started on a pretty positive note. My daughter has a birthday coming up so I decided to take her for a painting session as part of her birthday gift. A friend of hers joined us and then afterwards we went for lunch. After lunch, I took them to the park and waited for the little girl’s mother to meet us. From there, we left to come back home.

And that’s where the day turned a little….okay, a lot……crappy.

Once my daughter and I arrived home, I came inside to feed the baby who was crying, ready to nurse. As I walked in the door, one of my sons came from the kitchen and right away, just by the look on his face, I knew something wasn’t right so I asked him what was wrong. He broke into tears when he told me his dog had been run over.

And my heart broke right there in the entryway.

Our family is not really the ‘animal’ people type, but our Ruthie grew on us. My husband and I had decided previously that we weren’t going to get any more dogs because we had already had two and it just didn’t work out. We gave them away to better homes.

But…..

One day on our way home, the kids and I stopped at a rummage sale and my son noticed the puppies that were for giveaway and begged me to bring it so maybe his papa would train it for him.

And, against my better judgement……

I gave in.

That was a year ago in August. So our little Ruthie was only 1 year and 2 months this month….

and…..

today she died.

It broke my sons heart because she was technically his dog. He’s been the one investing his time in training her. She listened to him. She ran after him. She followed him everywhere.

So, for us who aren’t really ‘animal’ people, today was extremely hard because my sons’ heart got broken and that broke my heart.

He cried.

And cried….

And cried some more.

And to make matters worse, I had absolutely no idea what to say to him to make him feel better.

RIP Miss Ruthie…..Mr. L will sure miss you bunches. Actually, we all will.

June 2017 (774)