I feel like I have woken up from a fog that lasted since fall of 2014, when my beloved cat, Chocolate, died. I didn't really think that I would have such a hard time, I thought I was prepared for his loss. But I wasn't.
I realized later that when I adopted pets and returned them, it wasn't a massive failure on my part, or to feel overly shameful and guilty. I just wasn't ready, even though I thought I was.
I've had pets all my life. But Chocolate was my first and only one that I was responsible for. The one and only that was totally dependent on me, and me on him. This is not healthy, I now realize. But I needed him as much as he needed me. After he died, I was spent. All my love and care went with him.
Now I can think of him and not cry, now I don't imagine him everywhere in his favorite spots.
I went to counseling that was mostly useless and a waste of my time and money. I have had so much counseling over the years that I could probably counsel them! I went to support groups that were anything but. And I went on anti-anxiety meds that caused me more anxiety.
And then my dad fell. I had my car accident. I had a sore arm and hand for 8 months that went away as inexplicably as it came.
Now I sit here on a gloomy winter day, a day after we had record highs, it was sunny, and I didn't have to wear a coat! But I am happy. Why? Because I think I had to grieve. And it takes time to grieve. In fact, that's all you can do, is wait, maybe not so patiently, for the grief to be over. You have no control over it. You can't will yourself to stop crying. You just have to sit in your grief and wallow in it. Not even knowing if you will ever get through it.
I guess maybe that doesn't sound so hopeful. But I can look back and know that God was with me. I didn't feel Him, see Him or hear Him. I wasn't even aware of Him during that awful time. But in retrospect, He was there. I guess in all the times of pain and grief in my life, I can know that God is with me. He will not abandon me or give up on me. Even when I screw up and make utterly bad decisions, His face still shines upon me. And in that, I can have hope.