This week I have had the privilege of holding two death watches. Both were equally traumatizing and I am still crying. The last watch ended just a little while ago and I am hear-broken over both.
So how can I have said that it was my privilege?
Well, how could I not consider it a privilege and a blessing to have been there to comfort someone that I loved as they passed from this world to the next? How could I not grasp the enormity of the part I played simply by being a loving presence as their lives on this earth came to an end? How could I NOT consider myself extremely and highly blessed to have been able to love these two through their passing?
How could I NOT?
I understand that some people are scared and uncomfortable around death. I have seen it so many times, whether it be a human passing or an animal, as it was this time. I have been there as someone’s last breath has escaped their body, I have held animals in my arms and been the last voice they heard and the last touch they felt – as I was tonight. And it makes my heart glad that the last words that these pets of ours heard were those of people who loved them, telling them that they were good, that they were loved; that the last touch they felt was the arms of a human who loved them, holding them gently as they passed from this world to the next.
The grief is overwhelming, yes. As I mentioned before, my heart and the hearts of my children are broken right now. But Russo and Rocky never had any moment of doubt that they were loved during their time with us. Right up till the end.
Grief is one the hardest things to overcome. The truth is, after a period of loss or grief, a part of us changes and we’re never completely the same. But what we can do is learn how to handle it for the better so we can learn and grow.
Living in perpetual grief is no way to live our lives and surely this is no way our loved one would want us to live. The question is this: is it possible to transform your grief into joy so your grief doesn’t overtake you?
Yes! Here are a few strategies you can use to help turn your grief into joy:
1. Remember that your loved one is in your heart. Although they may be physically gone, they’re still close by. You’re still able to speak to them, feel close to them, and have them in your life.
* Any time you feel the need to feel closer to your loved one, go into a quiet room and close your eyes, then say a prayer or speak to them within your heart.
* This simple strategy can be done at anytime and you can recall all the joys and happiness from you past to cheer you up.
2. Don’t stop talking about them. If you love and miss this person so much, chances are there are others out there who feel exactly the same way. Don’t stop talking about your loved one just because they have physically passed away.
* Talk about the memories, the good times, the bad times, the funny times, and the sad times. Just don’t stop talking and sharing with others about this person.
* If something reminds you of this person, tell others.
* Celebrate the amazing life they had and always keep their memories alive.
3. Create their legacy. When someone we love passes on, we don’t want people to forget the impact this person made when they were here. A simple idea is to do something in memory of this person that will live on forever.
* For example, you can plant a tree, donate to their favorite charity, or create a scholarship in their name.
4. Know that they would want you to be happy. The person you cared for so deeply would want you to be happy and deep down inside you know this too.
* They would want you to go out and live your life to the fullest. Doing this doesn’t mean you’re forgetting them, because they’ll always be with you in your heart.
* It’s time to leave an impact on someone else just like your loved one impacted you.
The loss of a loved one is never easy. We all take time to grieve our loss, but there’s a time that we must move on. We need to forge on, but we can still carry our loved one in our heart and memories.
We must go out and make them proud of us, and they’ll continue to be right by our side as we move forward again.
In Loving Memory of Russo the ‘Special’ Kitten & Rocky who was at least able to know what a real home felt like for a few days….
~ Carrie A Medford
P.S. – Let your family – human AND furbaby – know how much you love them every day. You never know when your time with them here on earth will be over..