As TheTravelingGringo, very few things in my life have been more satisfying than coming home to the happiest little dog in the world. Sadie – the greatest dog (Boston terrier) to ever walk the Earth- has the same routine ever single time I got home from work or out of town or even the grocery store: she would follow me to the garage door, I would usually grab a little chewy treat to keep her busy while I got in the car and shut the garage door, she would finish her snack and make her way upstairs to my bed and burrow herself a cozy- full covered spot (every once in awhile with one or two of her legs out to fight the heat of the covers), and she would nap until I returned.
As soon as I would pull in the garage, she would unravel herself from the covers and stand on my bed and wait to here the garage door to the house open- and when it shut, just like clockwork, she would hop off the bed and travel down the steps making sure not to miss a single one (she once got too excited and missed a step and then tumbled down the rest) and would run as fast as she could to see me- little stub of a tail wagging just as fast as it could, usually dancing around in a circle. She would then jump over to the small couch and i would kneel next to it and she would kiss my face and rub her neck against mine as hard as she could. Once she had enough of the loving part of us being reunited, she instantly searched for a frisbee and hours of frisbee toss from living room to kitchen had begun. This was my way of winding down from whatever my life was throwing at me.
It’s hard to believe it’s been over a month since Sadie passed but like life, it doesn’t stop because you experience tragedy in your life. I kind of laughed at myself writing the word tragedy- but to me it was and life didn’t stop. I continued to travel and continued to try to live a normal life- which mine is anything but normal. All things remained normal for me, but I found myself lost in time and work and would pull in my driveway – park in garage – walk in door – and wait to hear Sadie jump off the bed .. and then quickly reminded that it won’t ever happen again…
This last trip of mine was of normal summer fashion- left a busy work week behind and enjoyed a busy vacation- flew directly from vacation to a weekend of presenting and training for 12 hours a day – two days in a row- wrapping up 11 days of travel. I was tired and not running on full brain power and as my delayed plane descended into Memphis, I was a little sad because I was preparing myself to not be greeted at home from an excited dog.
I pulled into the garage – came through the door- and walked straight through the living and out the front door to get the mail. Sorting through the junk mail, I noticed a letter that would change my life forever. It was from my young nephew and my mother had giving me a little warning about this…. she told me that he had approached her and wanted to send a card he made to his Uncle Josh… on a piece of paper, he wrote out Sadiebug- Rest In Peace- in his own unique writing style and made a little cross. Instead of it opening the flood gates, I found myself at peace for once. I had to stop feeling sorry for myself and turn the memories that would make me sad, into something that would make me smile and get a little giggle out of…
I could honestly write a full book on this chapter of my life -but let’s get to the real point of the blog:
How do you ever get over the sadness of losing something that you loved so much?
Here are some tips (to think about):
1. The most important thing don’t – you will have constant reminders and triggers that will make you feel some kind of way. This is normal – this is mourning- you will get through them!
2. Remove all social media for a couple of months. Sure that may be hard– but what’s harder is seeing constant reminders/triggers once again that make you feel some kind of way. Even when losing a pet, don’ erase them from your life, but take down that profile pic of you and your pet.
3. Start building your new life and the new you. Life is going to go on- with or without you- choose your own path!
4. Don’t get advice from all your friends and family. They will be quick to get it, but you probably aren’t ready for it. (When my dog passed, a close friend told me the only way to get over it is to get a new one- I nearly told that person to “f@#k off”- that may work for them, but they don’t know what’s happening inside this swirling head of mine. Same can be said over a breakup- “go on a date or sleep with someone new”- no- don’t do that- Do the opposite!
5. Time HEALS everything- even when time seems to stand still. Remember to take deep breaths- and approach the new you one day at a time.
6. This is not a week long process or a month long process. This takes years. To this day, I think about a loved one quite regularly- I wonder what they are doing, how their family is, how their pets are– and I leave it in the wonder stage- I don’t go investigate it on social media- or have friends find out- or cry about to my friends and tell them how lonely I am. NOPE- I leave it at the wonder stage along with so many other things I will never find the answer too. What we don’t know usually can’t hurt us.
7. Do surround yourself with loved ones- but not to treat you like a depressed widow– but to treat you the same way they always have.
8. Find humor in life and don’t sweat the small stuff… adding positivity into other people’s lives will help your own life become positive again!
9. End the pity party– like mentioned above — life is not easy. How boring would it be if everything was perfect all the time. No one would grow, no one would be able to find out who they really are and what they stand for. New people and new pets will enter your life.
10. Don’t look back at your past! It’s gone forever- Blaze a new trail- it’s likely to end up better than the trail that got you where you are today!