2014 – Gentler Times

5:45 pm December 31. The last day of 2013. Many people are making their 2014 resolutions. Some have even started their celebrations. Me? Meh. It’s just another day.

For me this time of year is generally difficult. And this year even more so. Hubs oversees the Bell Capital Cup. Translation? Holidays à la uno. Normally I make the most of it. Lots of fresh air. Hikes in the bush. Hot chocolate by the fire. All that good ole Canadiana stuff. This year though it’s just not the same.

It’s been two and a half weeks since we lost our #suckhole. I’m still grieving. There hasn’t been a day when I haven’t shed a tear. Lots of them. The quietness of the house is deafening yet I don’t want any other noise drowning out the silence. You don’t realize how much energy a 110 pound creature brings into your home until they’re gone.

And what does this sad cowboy song have to do with New Year’s you ask? When I posted on Facebook that Maddie was no longer with us, we received lots of messages. One in particular stuck with me: be gentle on yourself.

At first I didn’t think much of it. It was in the days that followed when the sadness didn’t go away that I started to understand the message. After a few days of moping and crying I was told, “maybe you need to get moving”.  At first I agreed. Time to get over it. Move on. So I resumed what was “normal”. Got up. Showered. Went to work. It wasn’t long before I had to leave.

Be gentle on yourself. The words rang clear in my head as I sobbed uncontrollably in my car. Now I know what she meant. It’s OK to cry. It’s OK to be sad. It’s OK to crave the unconditional love that once filled your heart and is now void. It’s OK to hate the world who is moving forward around you while you seem to be standing still.

Today’s society is so fast paced and moves so quickly that I’ve come to realize people often don’t slow down enough to digest – to truly understand the affect or impact an event has had on either them or those around them. We often don’t take the time to grieve as there seems to be this unwritten rule that after a few days of a death/accident/diagnosis/etc. we should move on. We don’t take the time to be gentle on ourselves.

So that is what I plan to do in 2014. Be gentle on myself. I read something today that is completely inline with this – the 21 Habits of Happy People. While it may not speak specifically of being gentle on yourself, the overall sentiments do.

Happy 2014. Be gentle on yourself.



1 Response

  1. I have had 2 completely different dog loss experiences. Our Loki was diagnosed with a rare disease and given about a year to live. In the 11 months we had, I made peace with the fact his time was short and my mourning process after his death was very short. I had already mourned him. My Gemini was taken in a tragic accident, very unexpected. The accident and her loss actually left me with a mild form of PTSD. For over a month I could barely move, or eat or sleep. It is really a blur. Even now, 2 and a half years later, I still have moment of overwhelming grief for her. It can hit at any time, in any place. I wish, during her loss someone had said, be gentle on yourself. That is the one thing I was not. It may have helped. I will continue to work on that this year and maybe in this lifetime, the pain will lesson.

    Thanks for sharing.

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