The first couple of days this week were a blur of absolute grief – shoulder-shaking sobs over my sweet kitty girl who is gone. I don’t remember being this sad when our other pets died, although I’m pretty sure I was.
I have a good friend whose daughter passed away in her sleep when she was about 5 … I know my loss is in no way equivalent to the absolute grief she and her husband felt. Knowing the deep sadness I felt after my pet passed on, I just don’t know how a parent could survive the loss of a child. Devastation can’t come close to describing the pain they must feel.
We followed all the rules – kept busy … went out to Top Golf (actually a very fun experience, when you’re not busy wiping tears away), installed a drip irrigation system on the patio, went bowling (can’t cry with an 11 pound ball in your hand!), and I did get some sewing done (a disaster worthy of its own post).
It’s true what they say about busyness, it keeps your mind off of things so your heart can begin to heal. And three days of constant activity seemed to get me over the worst of what truly felt like agony on Monday. By Wednesday, I was able to look at her photos without buckets of tears, and could mention her name without uttering a sob. Now it’s time to focus on the three other G’s in my life (my husband and our two other cats).
I know Kappler’s five stages of grief (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance) but for me, there was a step missing – the “big messy cry” step.
I’m not much of a boo-hoo’er. I’m like my English grandmother – stiff upper lip and all that … I can probably count on my fingers the number of times I’ve cried in the last 2 decades, and that includes twice being brought to angry tears by bosses who were absolute jerks (oh, the stories I could tell if I wasn’t under a confidentiality agreement!). That’s a testament to a good husband who has never given me reason to cry, but it’s also how I naturally respond to bad or sad news. “Deep breath, chin up, find something useful to do.” So when I cry it’s usually a pretty big, impactful event. This one was huge … my eyes were puffy for a good 24 hours. Ugh.
Coming up on a new weekend I feel pretty much “fine”. It doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten, but the light is shining in again.