Grief....ughhhh...there's no other way to say it except for that IT SUCKS!
Whether you're grieving a relationship, an opportunity you thought was going to come to fruition, a job, a family member or the current state of the world, GRIEF HURTS and is inescapable.
The good news is that it shouldn't be something we can escape from because grief is part of the human experience. It rocks us to our core, reminds us we're alive and oftentimes is what we need to RISE UP and grow. That said, sitting in it is extremely uncomfortable and painful.
You may have heard the acronym "DABDA" when it comes to grief work...it stands for the 5 stages that one supposedly goes through before coming out the other side.
Well after sitting in my own grief these last couple weeks, I'm re-designing this acronym from first hand experience!
Below is mine (and hopefully will be yours as well)
Now let me explain why... when you're feeling down or your world has been rocked, you may want to lay in bed all day, drown out your sorrows with food for hours or just isolate from the world. These are all totally normal feelings and should be acknowledged. BUT if you're a pet owner, you know that "acknowledging" them is as far as you're gonna get because then it's time to get up, feed your pets and take them out for enrichment or exercise (this goes for cats too).
SOOOOO sitting in your own sorrows HAS to have a HARD OUT! It can only last SO long until you have to get up and move!
And THAT'S why animals are such incredible and powerful tools during times of grief.
They MAKE YOU realize that there is more to life than your own issues!
They MAKE YOU realize you are responsible for a living being, so you better step up!
They MAKE YOU realize the show must go on!
So what happens if you don't have an animal to care for? Well that's the EASY part! There are so many organizations that need help year round with fostering, volunteering or socializing their animals.
Imagine trying to be sad while cuddling kittens to help make them more adoptable?
And this does't just go for domestic animals. Expand your idea and look into wildlife sanctuaries if that's your thing!!! It really doesn't matter WHAT animals speak to you, it's about being of service to another living thing that relies on you!!
Take it from me...the fact that I've had to go purchase dog food, take Cookie out for numerous walks a day, clean the kitten room, take him to the vet, etc... has been a lifesaver!
So please spread this message and remember that GRIEF DOES PASS. It's just a game of time. So stay strong and try to think about what your grief is teaching you. There's always a lesson and there's always beauty in the breakdown.