Did you know when you grieve, you are often grieving other hurts that you hadn’t completely healed/released?
Think of our journey through life as a spiral and on one level we go through things. We deal with them the best we can at that moment in time, and sometimes we think we have dealt with them and then we go round the spiral and BAM! Something else will happen that is similar and you may find yourself wondering why you are so emotional, the intensity or response level seems out of alignment with the situation, or it reminds you of a previous loss.
Now my Phoebe, around me from when she was being bottle fed, passed away in May 2016 – 24th I believe. She had been with me 17½ years at that point.
And over the past few years I have grieved her passing. But, when I was enquiring about fostering last year, I had even more tears as I finally heard the part of me that had missed having beautiful cats around me, but those emotions had been repressed. It was a relief for that part of me that I had acknowledged its pain.
The Pain of Parting
Now when these beauties were going back to Mum, and I did everything I did with Phoebe (as explained yesterday) I realised the one bit I hadn’t grieved yet was the lead-up and the actual passing day itself either. The dread, the waiting, the anxiety, stress, the tears, the act of letting go. Ohhhh, the act of letting go!! Whilst trying to play with them and keep everything as calm as possible. The gathering up of all their things. The pull to get a food bowl out the next day, or get home as soon as, so you can feed them tea, an empty space on the duvet, and the list goes on.
And it was reminiscent of when I had to do that with Phoebe. Because often, in this harsh world, society expects you to just ‘get over it’, to ‘put a brave face on’ and carry on like nothing has happened.
The danger with this, is that we repress our emotions, and we therefore ignore parts of ourselves that feel that way. So, when we go through something similar we release another layer of repressed emotion from the previous losses/traumas as well as dealing with the current one.
I had this with a client once, where the sudden passing of their gorgeous doggie reminded them of the sudden passing of their parents too. Often, we go through these experiences to heal ourselves on a deeper level.
Some may say, including myself, that a pet created a Soul Contract together with you, long before you both came to this Earth, to help you heal at that deeper level at that time by passing in that way. Remember they offer us unconditional love, as hard as that choice may be for us to accept. And it is not the first time I have experienced this bond either. Personally, I find it beautiful and loving, yet obviously heart wrenching to the person experiencing it.
Awareness is Empowerment
So becoming aware of the first paragraph above can often help you not beat yourself up. Once you acknowledge those feelings and what’s happening, you are healing. My tips are:
<3 Be compassionate with and LOVE yourself with good food, exercise, going outside, sleep, rest.
<3 Become aware of attempts to punish yourself – that is just your anger speaking ref your loss.
<3 Know that it’s likely your Inner Child needs a massive hug from you and some kind words.
<3 Know you are healing on a deeper level.
<3 Ignore those that say ‘it’s just a cat/dog’. They were your furbaby, an extension of your family, another ‘child’ really.
<3 Normalise: tell yourself it’s normal to want to put their food dishes out, or get home to feed them, or expect them to run to the door…because it is. It has been a habit for however long you have had them. And for me, it was stored in my unconscious, an energetic unconscious pull to all these actions.
<3 Know what’s the best things for you to do to keep living your life. For me, I knew I needed to be active with things that did not take much brain power but worked my hands and got my whole body moving, whilst being able to release tears safely as well. That can just be movement, or for me, it was ironing, spring cleaning, removing the dog guard from my car, etc.!!