Grief and The Beginning of a New Normal

real life stories Jul 16, 2018


It hits you so hard sometimes, right out of the blue.

I remember when we first moved into our house, I noticed everything. The people in the neighbourhood especially with walking routines. I remember there was a woman that walked her black dog every day at lunch. For years, you could set your watch by it. Time went on, the black dog became slower, and white in spots, but still they kept going.

Then one day she walked alone. I cried for her that day, because I knew her loss was deep.

I looked at our dog, and couldn’t imagine what life would be like without her. 

Now I know, and adjusting to my new normal has been way hard.

I know I’m okay

I look okay

I feel okay

And then it hits…a memory…a feeling …..a trigger…an urge to reach out and love something that is no longer there.

You know I’ve never been one to dwell on things for long

I get knocked down, I get up again, I forgive and forget quickly, and I feel great joy when I give joy..but grief is slow, and deep and different.

As I sit here typing, tears stream down my face because after a month of avoidance , I have finally sat down to write in the time I’m most creative, and she’s not there.

I look behind me on the mat she claimed as her bed and all that’s there is a pair of folded up black socks..I have no idea why I haven’t put those black socks away….

Yes of course she’s always here in spirit. I can hear her collar hitting the floor, the snore in her early morning snooze, and I can feel her patient knowing love.

The next step was our daily walk, run, or stroll through the neighbourhood . 

Now I run alone, and until just last week, I didn’t go the places we went together for 11 years in such a methodical, meditative state of routine.

I know Inevitably I need to face the pain to truly heal and albeit painful now, it won’t be so much next time.

The other neighbours empathy…The girl who always walked her black dog in the morning is now alone. Not everyone asks, but when they do, I feel a jab of pain feeling the empathy and I’m grateful for concern and love..just warning you…you may see me cry, but I’m okay…

Some people don’t say a word, they just assume nothing is different, but I see it in their eyes, and I feel the love. So it’s okay to silently know, it almost feels better…because there is the whole cry avoidance thing, and I won’t make you feel uncomfortable with my shakey voice and welled up eyes.

It’s also okay to cry.

To cry hard with no apologies

To cry with strangers that ultimately become friends because of mutual grief.

It’s okay to take your pedal off the gas, because grief also causes fatigue .

There are going to be good days, and not so good days.

So what now?? Tomorrow when I come to write in my golden hour, I’ll be able to do it without the stinging in my eyes, lump in my throat, and salty taste of tears in my coffee, because I’ve embraced everything painful about this moment <3 

I know I'm not alone - Thank you all for the love you've shared, and the stories of your fur babies <3

It means a lot to have the support of my readers :) 

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