How do you handle grief?

Grief  is the hardest emotion to handle, at least it is for me. Grief isn’t just one emotion it is all emotions. Sorrow, pain, anger, confusion, guilt, every emotion you have ever felt is in grief. It leaves you drained, physical and emotionally.  For me grief is the worst emotion to go through. After dealing with grief everything else is easy.

For me, grief is grief! It doesn’t matter if I’m grieving the death of a loved family member or the death of a loved pet.

To anyone who has never loved a pet this might seem stupid. Anyone who has loved  and lost a pet will totally understand. I can’t live without a pet. I am a basically a dog person although I do love my cat. Possibly because this cat thinks she’s a dog, she’s shaped like a dachshund and acts like a German Shepherd. Anyway to me the grief for a pet isn’t all that much different from the grief I felt losing my brother and sister.

Ten years ago my youngest brother died of cancer, it was the worst time of my life. He was my brother, my best friend and my main supporter. He cheered me on in everything I did. I did the same for him also. When he was diagnosed with cancer it was devastating. He fought the cancer for three months before losing the battle.  I made it through with a ton of tears and a ton of poetry. I write poetry whenever I’m faced with things I can’t handle. Poetry has gotten me through life. I only write it when I can’t express or deal with my emotions any other way. Eight months after my brother died, my oldest sister was diagnosed with cancer. She died after a three month fight.  Once again we were plunged into deep grief.

Losing both of them so close together was terrible, the worst possible time. Then my eleven year old dog died, she died of old age but it didn’t make it any easier. I turned back to the poetry. A month later I got a new dog, a two year old golden retriever. I had him for two years and then he died of cancer. A year later my 20 year old cat died of old age. Death! It was all I was writing about, occasionally I would slip in a poem about what they all meant to me, but mostly I was writing about how I felt losing them. My grief was just as deep, just as hard to deal with for the dogs and cat as it was for my family members.  For a three year period I was emotionally numb. There was just too much death around me. Death has never scared me, the way I die does. I don’t want a long painful death, but then no one ever does. After those three years of losing so many loved ones, human and animal, grief and death finally turned into peaceful memories. It became easier to tell the stories about them again. Life continued. I can’t forget any of those I’ve lost, but the losing them has eased. I know they are no longer suffering and hopefully are in a much better place. I do believe in heaven for both humans and pets.

Thankfully we pass through the grief and in time we only remember the good happier times we had with them. What brought this up today was yesterday my sister lost her three year old lab to a freak accident. He was a very typical lab, loved playing ball. She threw the ball for him as she had done thousands of time. He ran after it and somehow broke his back. He had to be euthanized immediately. Obviously she is devastated but he died doing what he lived for. He loved playing ball and running.

Grief is such a hard emotion. No one really knows what to say to you or even do when faced with the grief of others. After the funeral is over you are basically left alone to deal with all the pain and emotion. It’s even worse when you lose a pet, no one comes to help you through those first few days. You bury your loved pet alone or with a few family members.

Sometime I think its easier to hide out until the grief has run its course and you can move back into life with just the memories of your loved one or loved pet. Unfortunately life usually won’t let you hide until your emotions are ready to face people again.

Life is never easy and death isn’t comfortable for anyone to talk about or deal with. I handle it by writing poetry. It’s how I handle death, it’s how I handle most problems.  My intentions with this blog wasn’t to bring anyone down, its just that death is always a part of life. You can’t get away from it, sooner or later everyone loses someone they love and I was just wondering how others dealt with death and grief. They are the most intense emotions we ever have to deal with. They are never easy but they are a part of us. I write, I write about them, to them, for them. I keep their memories alive by writing poetry. Most of my poetry will never be read but that’s okay. I write for myself and those who I’ve lost. What do you do to ease your pain of grief and death?



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4 responses to “How do you handle grief?

  1. Such a heartfelt post. I understand what you mean. I experienced some serious grief starting in 2007 – it was like going on a very long journey. And when you get back, things are not quite the same ever again.

    But you have to go through it to get past it.

    • lazycritterstories

      Thank you for the kind comment. Sorry for your grief, it is a tough journey. I never actually thought of it as a journey, but you are right it is a long journey. Funny thing is when I was writing the poems about and for my brother, sister and great nephew I wrote about their journey and the day when we would travel to their new world.
      We just have to keep in mind that our loved ones are happy now. I firmly believe that my brother is keeping very busy playing cloud hockey and softball.

      • Caro

        Yes…hehe, I also contemplate what they’re keeping themselves busy with. I hope that at least a few minutes are spent stopping me from making some really bad decisions! 😉

      • lazycritterstories

        Hey they do keep on eye on us, even after 9 years my younger brother still leaves me quarters. Long story shortened, his battle with cancer was complicated by a real witch of a wife. They hadn’t even been married a year when he got sick, anyway when he died, somehow my name was left off of all the announcements, even at the funeral when they read the names of family members, I was left off. It was just a mix up, large family, lots of names, anyway John and I were the youngest two, he was the baby so we were incredibly close. Walking home from the funeral, only two blocks from the church. I found 8 shiny new quarters, 2 outside the church, 1 on each block and 4 in my driveway! Now whenever I’m really missing him or need to talk to him he leaves me another quarter. Never overlook money in odd places, our Angels leave them for us.

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