Life is filled with moments of change that require a period of adjustment. We don’t really think of them until we are immersed in a new one. Then all the others to mind. They hold lessons, insights and comfort to get us through the next. We are in another one of them right now.
A few days ago one of our furry kids went over the rainbow bridge to be with her brothers and sisters. Sarah was with us for almost 13 years and was deeply entangled into our lives. Her last years involved a regimen of medicine, food and extra attention. She needed and deserved extra attention. Making sure she got the chance to go out within a certain time window gave us our schedule and traveling limitations. And we did it gladly with loving attention. Now all of that has changed.
As I thought about that I realized that life is full of periods of adjustment where the patterns we establish to ease our lives must be dismantled as we heal. And it’s not just the loss of a furry kid which some of you call pets. It happens in all parts of our lives that experience loss. I remember when my mother passed away in 2015 after suffering from lung disease in the latter part of her life. Helping her involved regularly scheduled chores locked into my daily schedule. When she died all that abruptly ended. It took a while to disentangle from the feeling of expectation and obligation to do them. Worse was the sudden realization that I was no longer needed to do them.
Even the happier patterns take time to adjust from. It’s not just the obligations. It’s the acts of love and affection that followed an event or experience. Wanting to pick up the phone to call at a certain time for that special reason gets stopped in tracks with the realization that there is no one to answer your cal. And the sting of their absence pricks the healing heart one more time to open the wound. I believe that’s why the healing take so long. The same love that doesn’t let you forget becomes the stinging reminder of their absence. The love never ends and you never stop missing them. You don’t want it too. It’s the periods of adjustment that allows you to go on.
Life is about making adjustments. We can never be so rigid that we cannot roll with the waves of tragedy and regret. The winds of adversity will always blow in our lives. We must deal with them with the same peaceful calm we deal with the days of sunshine. I try to remember that as we adjust from the loss of our tail thumping baby girl Sarah. The sadness that occurs from not seeing her laying in her spot or on her bed will diminish over time. Becoming shadows of a moment in time to bring a smile to our face. The memories of her antics or unique personality will take precedence over the sadness we feel now.
Allowing yourself the time to grieve and to adjust to their absence is vital. It will allow you to heal and to memorialize them in your heart. Though they take a piece of your heart when gone they leave so much love in what’s left of that heart. Don’t block out the feelings. Deal with them. Give them their rightful place on the shelf of life experiences. We truly do live and learn and then live some more. And then one day our final period of adjustment will come. One last time.
Revelation 21: 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
Richard J Grund