Sunday, 25 November 2018

More Grief When You Are Already Grieving....My Experience of Losing My Beautiful Zachary

In the last post about self care ideas, I mentioned how important my dogs are to me and how wonderful animals are at giving you a purpose and reducing stress.
However today I wanted to speak about a different side to pets, the worst thing about them, which is of course having to say goodbye.

This is on my mind in particular as today, November 25th 2018, marks one whole year since I had to make the heartbreaking decision to put my gorgeous dog Zachary to sleep.

Zachary George, was the funniest, most loyal and very noisy Maltese x Shih Tzu and I miss him so very much.
He was black and white, always had his tongue poking out and had the biggest shifty looking eyes. His tail curled over his back and he followed me everywhere.

I must say though that before my mum died it was her that he followed everywhere. They were attached at the hip, and my mum called Zachy her soulmate.
She utterly adored that boy and it was rather obvious that he was her favourite, much to my other two dogs dismay!
He slept on her pillow, above her head and she used to hold his paw when falling asleep, which was especially comforting to her when she was ill. A very special bond.

I was frightened that he wouldn't cope well without her, and would pine for her which would break my heart even more. But surprisingly he was ok, and didn't even look to find my mum.
Dogs are incredible and I think that he knew what had happened and just accepted it.

I feel very blessed to have had two years with Zachy becoming my new best friend, and my new little shadow. I fully understood why my mum was so close to him and I treasure our bond.

That said I wanted to mention this story as losing a pet whilst already still grieving was horrible.
I developed bad health anxiety around my dogs after my mum was gone.
Whenever they even had a minor problem, and still to this day, I panic and cannot think of anything else.
The thought of having to lose something else in my life was and is too much, and I felt as though this time it would properly push me over the edge and I would just have a breakdown.

I think that the reason for this is that we got Zachary, Teddy and Maisie after my parents split up and they lived with my mum and I in our new house. So we became a new little family, just us five.

After my mum died they were a huge comfort and kept my home feeling like home. But when Zachary became very ill with kidney failure and wasn't going to get better, suddenly that family unit was diminishing.
It forced me to face the fact that one day there will only be me left, and then a life that I lived for years will be gone.
My dogs are very much part of my mum, and I love that. But one day I won't have that and that scares me.

What made me feel any comfort last year was knowing that my mum and her soulmate Zachary were reunited and she obviously missed him too much to be apart any longer.
I still have my beautiful Teddy and Maisie, who fill my life with happiness each day, and I just need to enjoy my time with them.

Grief on top of more grief is incredibly tough, but despite dreading it for years I am here today and again have survived. I was very sad for a while but that's ok.

Time is not a healer, you will always miss them, but with time does come acceptance. I accept day to day that they aren't here and have gotten used to it. That is how time helps.

So if you are someone who is newly grieving and are frightened about having to deal with more. You will be ok. You really do realise how strong you can be when needed and it will get easier again.

Grieving is our love still shining out, and it is a pleasure to have loved.


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