Tuesday, June 14

Good Grief

I have been hoping that JT would do an entry about the loss and memorial for Bud, our yellow labrador Bud was his dog before me and his follower.  I asked about doing a memorial service for Bud with our close friends and family, but he is not ready.  The pain is still too much, and he wants to keep Bud just for us.  I respect his emotions since it took me nine years to let go of Natasha Baytop, my first Golden Retriever.

I wrote the memory of Bud's death on Whitley's travel blog from her point of view, so that I do not forget or change the memory.  I had asked JT to read it three months later, but it was still too much and too soon.  It brought all the grief and sadness of that day back.  I was sorry that I encouraged him to read it.  

When Whitley sniffs his collar, she wags her tail.  She stares at the videos on television of Bud and photos of them together.  She still remembers. Whitley seems to want someone to play with besides me, but we both have to be in agreement of fostering or adopting another dog.  I hope to find a smaller 50-pound dog that I can physically pick up and put on the sailboat from the dinghy.

When Houston had the most recent flood again, I remembered Bud, and last Memorial Day weekend hero task of alerting us to the high water. This time we were not as concerned since we had seen the water this high before.  His spirit still lives on in our hearts.

There is no such thing as closure since we shall always miss and long for healthy Bud.  For me the five stages of grief are wrong from the 1969 book called On Death and Dying by Elizabeth Kuhler-Ross: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.  Those five misquoted references were taken from a poll when people found out their illnesses where terminal.  There is no journey for grief.  Using rituals to provide meaning for ones life, passing on, and support from our like minded community can aid in our yearning for continuing on.

Unlike some that I have talked with say that we go through various emotions including anger.  Which shocked me a bit.   Anger at whom?  When Natasha died, I was angry at the other dog that took her away from me, and refused to purchase anyother puppy until we found a safe, loving home for her.  She gave me too much disappointment, since it was a husky-lab.  I do for warn those who have huskies that at a year to two years old, they may become aloof (3-ft rule), leave you, cunning, destructive, and lead other dogs away too.  And they do.

Getting out and doing new things helped us and going to new places.  When we return to our favorite places of Bud and Whitley, we remember the funny events and stories.  The Humane Society had some ideas on coping with the death of a companion animal. 

For me I am ready to get another dog for Whitley to have a playmate and friend.  I would go for a puppy or an older retriever.  But we have to both be in an agreement. 

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