Our beautiful dog Leela passed away a few weeks ago. At the grand old age of 14 we knew it was coming but were certainly not prepared. Secretly I thought she would live forever, I couldn’t imagine life without her. She was always there, loving, sweet, playful and wise and totally committed to being the best friend anyone could ever wish for. With her passing came the stark reality that we would never again hold her, play with her, feed her, share our day to day lives with her, that familiar warm body had gone.
Letting grief do its thing has been an exhausting, painful and precious process. However, along with sadness and the longing to see her again, there are times of elation and gratitude for her life. Laughter at the funny memories of her that tend to pop up after a good sob. Along with the feelings of disbelief, gut wrenching emptiness and sometimes waves of panic are also the moments of deep calm, surges of strength and that deep connection with life that comes through being open to feel it all. Feelings are feelings whatever end of the spectrum and refusing to acknowledge one end robs us of the other. I welcome grief right now and trust that if I keep feeling without getting too caught up in the story I will find that place of acceptance and there will be a time when I am ready to move on. She will always be in my heart and has forever enriched my life. That is one thing that will never change.
I guess it’s what we sign up for when we bring an animal into our lives, we know they are not with us for long and we know it will hurt like hell when they are gone. Over the last few weeks my practice has been my rock whilst grief has been doing it's thing. A place to be each day and be honest with my feelings. In time I know it will help me to let go and move on. In the past a loss like this could have easily thrown me into anxiety and depression, left me feeling lost and scared of life. Even though I have had moments of feeling those emotions there has also been a feeling of peace that sits underneath them. A stability and resilience that will keep me signing up again and again not just for more of our furry friends but for everything life has to offer. Even those areas that risk disappointment, sadness and pain because life is precious and wonderful and worth it!
R.I.P. Sweet Leela. Love you forever 💗