My dog passed away last week. She'd been sick for about a month before we finally made the decision to let her go. In the end, she was in a lot of pain and could not move around. We made the best decision for her, though even making the best decision doesn't make not having the dog around easier.
When we were at the vet having the procedure done, I looked over to the vet and she looked overcome with sadness. I was crying but at that moment I was grateful that we were able to do this for the dog - that we could relieve her of her pain. I said to the vet, "Why are you so sad? We're doing what is best for her." And she said, " I know ... But it doesn't make it any easier..."
My dog not being here didn't 'hit me' until the next day - she was not here when I woke up, there was no dog to feed or go outside, no one watching my movements, and no one barking at the neighbors. I went about cleaning as the housework was set aside during the time I was nursing the dog - the hardest part was sweeping and vacuuming up the dog hair - I saw it as removing her and I didn't like that. I cried. I kept telling myself that I shouldn't be emotional - that I shouldn't be reacting to the the thoughts that came about her not being her anymore and the things we would no longer share together. I attempted to suppress the sadness and the crying which made the process physically painful. See, I had this idea that I should be beyond going into the thoughts and reactions - that I should be able to give myself what I got from my dog. Unfortunately, I wasn't there yet. It was an ideal - information and knowledge - an idea that wasn't yet realized.
Eventually, I gave up and allowed myself to be sad. I laid in bed, watched Netflix, slept and cried. I allowed myself to be aware that were weren't here together anymore, that I was lonely without her, that I could not give myself at this time what she had given me, and that I couldn't connect with another in the same way that I connected with her. I let it all come and I went into it.
I had this belief that if I went into the sadness and responded to what was coming up for thoughts that I would be doing myself an injustice, that I would harm myself in some way, or that I would not come out of it and end up in a depression. This didn't happen though - and looking back I see that I hadn't yet trusted myself to be able to remember, to think about her, to see myself without her and be sad.
After about two days of being sad, I started to feel better - I again wanted to get up and be a part of everything again without my dog. I learned that I could trust myself to be sad and am on better terms with myself for giving this to myself.
This morning I was talking with a friend about sadness and he pointed that we are all sad - it is a part of all of us. He said that he's grateful for sadness. And you know, he's spot on. See, when I stopped denying sadness as being me and stopped attempting to separate myself from sadness - my sadness was supportive and assisted me to come to terms with the passing of my companion.
Isn't it fascinating how we tell ourselves and each other that we shouldn't be sad? That we shouldn't be experiencing ourselves in this way? When all along it could be the best things for ourselves in the long-run? A gift we give ourselves when we require it the most.