Before I start, this blog is not about Finnegan. My little buddy is happy, healthy, and lying on a chair next to me purring as I write. I’m feeling led to talk to you today about the grief we feel when we lose our beloved furry family members.
You know what? It’s okay to grieve the loss of your pets. And just like losing a family member, you don’t just “get over it. It’s okay to cry. We honor them when we remember the love and companionship they brought into our lives. I still remember each of my “babies” who crossed rainbow bridge. I even shed a tear when I think of them. They were a big part of my life, my family.
There is no time limit on grief. Sometimes grief is silent. After Templeton passed, the last of the three siblings my husband and I adopted many years ago, I cried a lot. I remembered the loss of his sister a year and a half earlier and his brother just six months prior. The two of us were as I said, “growing older with each other.” He just needed to leave this earth before God called me home. Eventually I stopped the tears, mostly, but I was physically stressed over having a home without a pet.
Through God’s leading, my brother visited and insisted I needed a cat and he wasn’t leaving until I had one. I’d already decided I wouldn’t have another pet. I didn’t want to go through the grieving again, plus at my age (I turned 79 today), I worried about God calling me to my eternal home and having to leave my furry baby behind. Yet, the idea of a new pet felt right.
My friends and even my doctor said I needed to get a cat. My blood sugar was high, and I wasn’t feeling the greatest. I was in a mild state of depression without knowing it.
I have Finnegan in my life now and I’m very happy and actually healthier now. But some people don’t have the option of getting another pet. Or they truly feel it is not the best idea. Their grief should never be looked on as weakness. No one should tell them “time will heal” or “just get over it.” That won’t help and it won’t happen. We are normal when we grieve. It is part of our healing process, and each person’s journey of grieving will be different.
If you are reading this, and you are grieving, I want to tell you it is okay. You are not being unreasonable. You are okay. If you can, I suggest getting a new pet several months after saying goodbye. But if you can’t, for whatever reason, that’s okay, too. Don’t let anyone put you down. Don’t let them make you feel as if you’re abnormal for your grief. You are loved. You are worthy. God knows your heart. He knows your thoughts. You can talk to Him. And I pray you have a good friend or a family member you can talk to about the joy you had with your pet. Memories are wonderful things. God gave us the ability to grieve in order to heal.