Last week my wife and I said goodbye to our best friend of nearly 13 years. His name was Poopaloo. I’ve blogged about him several times over the years.
We got married at the courthouse in Portland on a Friday, honeymooned in Lincoln City for the weekend, and picked up our puppy on Sunday.
He had been with us everyday since.
He was beyond loving. He made every moment special. He was the best dog we could ever ask for.
Then he got sick.
Over the last month, he became blind. His heart began to fail. His kidneys began to fail. He was diagnosed with Cushing’s disease. He was very sick.
Many of you have probably been through this before, but it was the first time for us and it was far more emotional than I could have ever imagined.
I thought I was going to be okay. I mean I expected to be sad and I knew that it was going to take some time to process it all, but I was felt okay leading up to his final days.
Saying goodbye was one of the most emotional experiences I’ve ever had and just over a week later I still feel heartbroken.
I’m learning that grieving is a very individual experience and because I’d never said goodbye to a family pet, I’ve been reading a lot of material about dealing with the grief.
I came across one website, www.helpguide.org that had some really helpful articles and information about dealing with grief. The website highlighted ways to help cope with the pain, come to terms with your grief, and eventually, find a way to pick up the pieces and move on with your life. Their suggestions include:
– Acknowledge your pain.
– Accept that grief can trigger many different and unexpected emotions.
– Understand that your grieving process will be unique to you.
– Seek out face-to-face support from people who care about you.
– Support yourself emotionally by taking care of yourself physically.
Throughout the week, I’ve had emotional ups and downs, and I’m reminding myself that my grieving experience will take time. I’m learning that it’s okay to be heartbroken. It’s okay to be sad.
I’m learning to acknowledge my feelings, accept support from my friends and family, and take care of myself while I’m grieving.
My wife posted a beautiful tribute to our pup on Facebook and the outpouring of love and support has been so very appreciated. So many friends and family members have shared their love and it has helped and is helping us all so very much.
Thank you to everyone who is helping us get through this. And thank you to all of you who help the people you love when they are grieving.
I miss you Poopaloo. Rest in peace.