How to Breakthrough pain and Loss in 3 Lessons.
I have often wondered why people post certain things on Facebook ad nauseam. I believe I understand now. Perhaps it’s like throwing a ton of shit on the wall to see what sticks. Perhaps at times, it is a conscious or unconscious scream for help.
On January 13, 2017, I had to “kiss today goodbye” and put Tahoe, my 13 ½-year-old Golden Retriever, loyal friend and a huge chunk of my heart, to sleep. For me, posting Tahoe Tuesday combined with the constant and repetitive Facebook sharing of my boy, truly was my heart bubbling over with love, and wanting to share that with all of you. I do hope that in some way he touched your heart as he filled mine.
I woke up this morning after not eating for two days, somewhat sleeping, but waking and often searching for my loving friend. I held tight to his favorite stuffed plush puppy and cried myself to sleep again. Upon waking today, I wanted so much to pull up my big girl panties (made of 80% cotton and 20% resilience) and resume life and my normal schedule.
Since walking Tahoe and feeding him had been the first thing on the schedule since 2004 and was no longer required, I went to the kitchen to make a cup of coffee. With no coffee, no creamer and no sugar in sight, I dragged my dirty, disheveled being to the market sobbing.
For the past two days, I have begged God for strength, serenity and “a sign.” All was given to me and yet I fell back into pain and loss. When I walked into the market a familiar song “The Story,” was filtering through the isles. It is a song very dear to my heart and one which was shared two years ago with the wrong being. Again, I believed it to be another sign and rededicated it to the right being – Tahoe.
I came home, made a mocha and sat down at my computer to catch up on the things that had been neglected for the last three weeks. As soon as I logged on, I got a private Facebook message from someone near and dear to my heart that I probably, no definitely, have not told nearly enough times how special she truly is. It was that message that presented as another sign, that everything made sense.
Thank you AJ, you are so special.
Although I consciously know these things and professionally share this advice with my clients on a regular basis; I am human too and struggle at times to make sense of it all. We are each given our own challenges in life. We are each given obstacles, and we are each given pain and loss, so that we can learn a lesson from it.
Sometimes those lessons beat us down so hard and so devastatingly, that we believe we cannot possibly recover again. But that is just a story we tell ourselves. We cannot possibly understand what love truly is unless we completely understand, and have felt true pain and suffering. It’s a temporary state unless we give it the power to last longer.
So as I write down my thoughts, in my own effort to come through to the other side of what feels like hell minus the hand basket, I can clearly see all the lessons that I needed to learn.
Firstly, Tahoe was a gift to borrow as are ALL the beings in our lives. My heart wanted him always to be happy, healthy and to be with me forever. However, my head knew that my time with him would be limited and that with great love comes great risk. And yes…great pain. Now, I must pull through and be grateful for one of the greatest gifts of my life.
Lesson 1: Do my best
To see life through his eyes, to love more and to find happiness and wonder in even the smallest things, and also to find joy in every connection I make. Although everyone that connected with me during my pain of losing Tahoe played an active role in helping me through, it was the message today that brought it all together. I am so grateful to all of you.
Lesson 2:The whole Facebook thing.
It’s a way to communicate, appreciate and validate. I do my best not to use it like a bitch and moan session. I do my best to use it to share life experiences in the most humorous way possible. I use it to be connected to the people I care about, and that I am unable to speak with every day. I do my best to use it as a receptacle to share things that warm my heart and to indirectly, perhaps, show vulnerability at times. I do not have more than 150 Facebook friends at any given time. At least twice a year I clean out anyone that I have not made a REAL connection with at some point in my life, and also the people who just added me as a friend and don’t bother to reach out for a connection. Again, a gift to borrow.
Lesson 3: It’s OK to grieve, and it’s OK to feel pain
…It’s not OK to build a house around it, move in and live there. Pain is not home. Love is. Our body is just a vessel that holds our soul. That too is a gift that is ours to borrow. Our souls are to be shared with one another, and through our connections to others – we give our gift.
Tahoe, I have learned so much from you and although you are no longer physically with me, the light, love, and happiness in your eyes will shine on in me today, and will forever live on in my heart and soul.