Saying Goodbye - Dealing with Loss
Last week I had to say goodbye to my best friend and biggest part of my world. My dog Lucy was relieved of her suffering and pain after a hard fought batter with cancer. My heart was shattered that day and will be for some time as I grieve a loss of a major part of my life.
I was lucky to spend the last 9 and a half years with the greatest companion by my side. I had a family dog growing up but my connection with Lucy was different. It was just the 2 of us for so many years. She was my strong hold, my constant in a changing life from student to professional, from an Ontarian to a British Columbian and from move after move to different apartments and cities. The bond we had was rare and I loved her more than anything.
She was with me in my darkest and loneliest times. She was with me through my happiest times and personal and professional triumphs. She was undoubtedly the best part of my day and filled my home with so much love and joy and comfort.
Now all of that is gone. As this new reality sets in for me, I find myself feeling unprepared, unready and unaccepting of my future. I miss that she is not here with me. I miss the responsibility of taking care of her and keeping her happy and satisfied in her life. I miss everything about her - she was such a gentle loving soul.
Nothing will replace that bond I had with my dog. She served an invaluable purpose in my life and for that I am forever grateful. Her memories will live on with me for the rest of my life.
Coping with loss is hard. It comes with a mixed bag of emotions. I find myself constantly on the brink of tears, wanting to be isolated from my friends and loved ones but also not wanting to be alone. I think it is important to embrace emotions during this time. Let the tears come and the sorrow hurt. I’ve spoken of this before in the physical sense - as humans we are so programmed to avoid or numb pain. But pain is there to guide us and to help us grow. It teaches us; it matures us; it makes us stronger.
I am very lucky - I have a lot of love in my life. Being so far from family, in time of loss, is difficult. Through various social media channels and technology, I have felt so much love and support from people in such varying degrees in my life. From old high school friends that I haven’t spoken to in years, acquaintances who I’ve met briefly in my life and the people closest to me in my day to day, have all sent love, support, thoughts and prayers. This helps. I’ve met a lot of people in my life the past 10 years and by extension so had Lucy. Having that overwhelming outpour of love made her life (and mine) feel special and meaningful.
I listened to myself and my body and what I needed. Movement and exercise is something that is very important to me - especially when I’m not feeling great. But I allowed myself the space and the acceptance to not have that pressure during this time of mourning. This type of mental barrier is something I’m not used to. I can normally always get the motivation to get to the gym and have a good sweat but loss is different. Death is so permanent. It is harder to process and deal with versus the loss of a relationship for example. I learned: be kind to yourself.
This is unlike my normal blog posts where I try to use my expertise and experience to give advice for a specific issue in regards to health. I’m unsure the purpose of this one other than to connect and share what is going on in my life. I don’t have the answers for this one and find I’m losing the normal connection I have between my rational mind and emotional mind. Maybe the right answer doesn’t exist and time and reflection will heal all?
Lucy, my bella, my life, my baby - I will always love you and carry you with me in my heart and mind the rest of my life. Thank you for everything you brought to my life and for making each day brighter and happier. Thank you for your unconditional, unapologetic, unwavering love and connection. I miss you. I love you. Rest in peace my sweet baby.
Dr. Alfredo is a health enthusiast who’s goal is to help people and families live healthier, happier lives. My philosophy on health is simple - our body’s have the amazing ability and potential to self-adapt, self-regulate and THRIVE in this world.