Last week I signed up for Michelle GD’s Gratitude Week. Let me just tell you, it’s been a tough week when it comes to gratitude. In fact, one of the first things I did on Monday morning was to email Michelle. I asked her, point blank, “how do you find gratitude when you can’t get past the pain?”
Those of you who follow Michelle won’t be surprised at all to learn that she answered me eloquently and beautifully, giving me permission to do only what is right for me. Her suggestions were wonderful and heartfelt and her email was like a balm to my wounded soul. With her help (and yours) I have found some things to be grateful for this week. There are, surprisingly, more than three but I’m just going to share three here today.
- I’m grateful for the support of family and friends, those I know and those I’ve never even meet. The outpouring of kindness and love for us over losing Mason has been incredible. I know it’s partly because most people can relate to losing a pet and partly because I’m a writer and I use my words to process my feelings and then share those words on this blog, but I am still overwhelmed at how many comments and emails and messages I have received since sharing the news about Mason’s death.
- I’m grateful that Mason died on a Sunday when Dale and I were both home. I’m grateful that I had all day Friday and Saturday with him, that he spent time cuddled in my lap, that I showered him with love, that I petted him and talked to him and cared for him. And I didn’t do any of that because I thought he was going to die in a couple of days. I did all of that because that’s how I always was with him. I’m grateful that his death was a natural experience and not an accident (I spent a lot of time these last 17 years worrying about him sneaking out of this house and getting lost or hurt), or a debilitating illness that forced us to euthanize him. I’m grateful for our wonderful vet and the conversation I had with her on Monday. Her reassurance that nothing we did or didn’t do would have changed the outcome for Mason eased a lot of my feelings of guilt.
- I’m grateful for this grief. I’m weepy and sad but I’m grateful for my broken heart because it means I opened it up and accepted the love of a remarkable cat. I remember the day I brought him home. He was just a tiny thing and he rode on my shoulder in the car and we bonded during that car ride and I was overjoyed. But I also recognized that I was taking on a responsibility to care for this cat, that I was assuming a burden that at times might feel overwhelming, and that one day this little creature could break my heart. I’m so grateful that day came after many many years of providing him with a loving and wonderful home. I choose to be grateful for this grief because it’s a gift to love an animal the way that I loved him.
And there you have it. Gratitude and grief, inexplicably and inherently intertwined in my heart this week. It’s not easy but it’s life right now.
If you wrote a post for today I hope you’ll share you link below. Thanks for playing along.