Life tends to throw you a punch right when you’re feeling good and your momentum is moving. In these moments when our strength is tested we have a choice. It’s in the decisions to persevere that make us grow. Last week we had to say goodbye to our dog Herbie. He was a great friend and part of our family. With his passing came an intensity of emotion that I hadn’t felt in a very long time (if not ever). His death was sad in its own rite, but there was something deeper and much sadder about saying goodbye to him- I was mourning the loss of an era.
Aaron adopted herbie at 8 weeks old during our last semester at Geneseo. It was such a vibrant and free time in our lives. It felt like life was finally beginning, we were graduating college and moving on to the great unknown of the world and it felt awesome. Herbie was a big part of Aaron and I getting together, Herb basically sealed the deal. He traveled with us to San Diego, joined us on countless camping trips, drove across country in our Westfalia and moved with us to NY and finally to Denver. He was there for the biggest milestones, Aaron and I moving in together, getting engaged, our wedding, and finally us becoming parents. He was a part of the most transitional parts of life and now he is gone.
My sadness came on strong and hung over me for longer than I expected. I mourned deeply for the loss of our friend and also for our youth and the freedom of the past. I just wanted to be a girl who was sad about her dog instead of a mom who has to be strong and energized to care for her toddler. I cried for not feeling joy around Everly, I cried for the change that happened to our family dynamic. I cried for our other dog Piper who lost her best friend. I even had moments of wanting my old life back, which made me feel guilty and unappreciative for all the blessings I have in the present.
Grief is a complicated emotion and it feels unending while you’re in the thick of it. I was so focused on the ending and the finality of it and I couldn’t imagine accepting the new beginning. But isn’t that the beauty of life? Realizing that things end, loved ones go and circumstances change… We could sit as long as we need to with the grief and sadness but at some point we need to make room for the new beginning.
I’m still sad but I’m getting there… I’ve read that the feelings of loss and sadness soon turn into warm memories. I’m open to that now and I’m ready to bask in the happiness I have in the present moment. I’m reminded that life is short and precious. There will be more goodbyes to come. But without knowing the heartache we cannot appreciate the joy. I love you forever Herbie and I’m thinking of you with golden sunshine warm on your back and boundless rivers to play in… Xoxo