“Grief is not a disorder, a disease or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve.”
Isn’t this quote amazing at capturing what grief is? The beauty of grief too is that everyone feels it and experiences it differently. Some may even question if they’re supposed to be feeling like this, how much they should cry or what’s normal etc? We’re all different and we all deal with situations differently.
I feel very fortunate that at my age I haven’t had to experience many of these trying times as I still have my parents, my sister and my friends. When I was 17 I lost my lovely nan, who meant the world to me, and then John’s mom a few years ago. There have, of course, also been many members of my animal family from childhood hamsters (they were all named Mikinko 😊), to cats and dogs over the years. Although there may not have been that many, each one of them were still painful.
Grieving for your pet.
When it comes to grieving for your pet, the mixed emotions can be overwhelming, especially when we have to make the hard decision to have them put to sleep.
We’re flooded with feelings of guilt, loss and sadness as well as flashes of happy memories. For me, the guilt is the worse. The constant questioning if I had done the right thing, had I done enough, should I have done more, should I have tried something else, was it too soon… was it not? These voices can drive one crazy.
We may also experience all kinds of emotions, like shock, anger, disbelief and profound sadness. The pain of grief can even disrupt our physical health, making it difficult to sleep, eat, concentrate and even think. These are all normal reactions to a big loss. One thing I know for sure is that we need to deal with our emotions and let them out. Marisa Peer says that emotions are like a gas. They need to be let out because if you keep them in it hurts.
When we made the hard decision to take Rosie to the vet I cried… A LOT! I cried every time I looked at her, every time I held her and then all over again the next day on the way to the vet. John and I then both cried saying goodbye to Rosie. For the rest of the day I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t concentrate or even think so I just went to bed in the afternoon and cried myself to sleep. John, on the other hand, kept himself vigorously busy. You see, we’re all different and all deal with our emotions differently.
The next day I started using Comfort Blend by placing just a few drops on my wrist and rubbing it onto my neck. I felt calmer and cried only when I saw Rosie’s photo, collar or pillow. I also went for a run because I knew it would clear my head and that I’d be able to switch off completely. Endorphins flooded my body and then finally, I felt joy. Endorphins, our brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, are bumped up by physical activity… running in my case and energetically sorting his workshop in John’s. They’re a kind of “protective system” for the body when it’s hit by intense stress, tension or grief and have numerous other benefits such as: alleviating depression, reducing stress and anxiety, and boosting self-esteem.
Essential oils can help.
Another easy way to release endorphins is by using our sense of smell. Research has shown that the inhalation of essential oils can communicate signals to the olfactory system and stimulate the brain to release neurotransmitters which help regulate our mood. An example of one such essential oil is Ylang Ylang, which can be found in Comfort Blend. Another example, as found in one study, is that smelling bergamot, lavender and lemon essential oils help trigger your brain to release serotonin and dopamine.
Exercise and essential oils were the two things that helped me enormously when dealing with Rosie’s loss. Eventually, happy and funny memories started to appear more. We could talk about Rosie with smiles, not tears, and even laugh at her mischiefs.
She was gone, and I had to accept it.
Accepting the things we can’t change and this acceptance gives us the ability to embrace the new change. We all have great memories from our past. And sometimes feel that we’d like to relive them again and again. But we can’t keep borrowing things from the past. We have to look forward, to move forward.
Love, Jitka xx