All human emotions carry with them a colour, a vibration or an energy. In grief’s case, it tends to manifest itself as a buzz or a hum; one that tugs at the corner of your lip or twitches the crest of your cheek. It resonates deep in your chest, close to where your heart resides, resonating with the anger, pain and remorse you feel when you suffer a loss. That loss doesn’t need to be a person, however, it can be a breakup, a job redundancy or the passing of a friend with paws. But as an energy, no matter how primal, how deeply rooted in our psyche, it can neither be created or destroyed, only changed from one form to another. As such, when you suffer the loss of a beloved pet, there are ways you can manifest that process of change:
Get Creative: As an energy, grief can be used to write, paint and concoct ideas from a certain perspective. Some of culture’s finest works have come out of places of grief such as the Black Paintings of Francisco Goya and the Poetry of Sylvia Plath. Putting pain on a page carries a certain catharsis to it; to shift the weight onto someone or something fictional. It doesn’t even have to be an undertaking such as those listed above, it can be as simple as starting a daily journal or blog to document your feelings. Trust me, it works.
Embrace Grief Through Music: I think we’ve all been there; that song comes on, but there’s not a thing you can do to change it. Then, as its last notes ring out, you press replay. Maybe it didn’t hit hard enough the first time, or maybe your body’s trying to tell you something? Maybe it needed the release that song brought on? Whatever way you look at it, grief often finds an outlet through music. Embracing that fact can help towards venting and changing your mood. Honestly, there’s nothing like a good cry!
Return to Your Roots: Close friends are invaluable in times of crisis and pain but being near family provides a different sort of comfort. Surrounding yourself with your Mother and Father, Brothers and Sisters, Aunties and Uncles and Grandparents can near-instantly make us feel better. If you’ve experienced the loss of a family member or pet, being close to family can help our hearts mend together. Besides, a load shared is a load halved!
Peace Through Nature: In times of suffering, getting out of the bed and planting your feet firmly on the ground can be one of the hardest tasks you can do, worse again that you’ve got to do it daily. Periods of grief are often the best times to take a break and reconnect with nature. Maybe there’s a local heritage site you’ve always had an eye on, or maybe a forest park you’ve always wanted to visit? Not only are you out and dressed, you’re exercising in fresh air and allowing your mind time to clear. As a primal energy, grief resonates softly when exposed to nature as it is in the life-death balance of nature where it feels most at home. When you come back you may find that your mind is calm and your heart is at rest; a sure sign that it worked!
Remembering the Loss: As grief wanes and gives more and more room to other emotions and energies, it may be time to consider remembering your loss. Like a virus, grief will go dormant after a time, waiting in the shadow of your heart to spring back up when we’re at our lowest. Having a memorial or casual service for your lost loved one can help reduce the severity of grief’s re-emergence; enabling you to continue to function, to acknowledge its presence and carry on. It is never something that goes away, but it is something we can all learn to live with.
The loss of a pet is something that you do not have to go through on your own. Family and friends will always be there for you, to support and help you process it. The loss of a beloved pet can be one of the most difficult times in our lives. If someone you know has suffered or is currently suffering the loss of a pet; be there for them, offer them your support or time to talk and make sure they have no regrets with their pet. It can be just as devastating as losing a family member and there is a grieving process just like any other loss.