I just received a phone call from our Vet’s office. Nala has returned and we can go pick up her ashes. Of course hours have been shortened due to COVID 19, so thoughts are running through my mind about when I’m going to go pick her up. Then I remembered the test results for her thyroid were never provided so I asked and was put on hold.
The damn music they play when they put people on hold is now a trigger for me. My mind was pulled right back into all the confusion, worry, and fear when my sweet Nala was suffering. Tears welled up, heart and mind racing. I used Mel Robbins 5 Second Rule to just get me through the phone call. (Typing this is creating anxiety.) It helped and allowed me to keep my Sh!# together.
Nala did in fact have a low reading on her thyroid. Of course my mind goes to: If caught sooner, would it have saved her? Could it have? I don’t think so, but I know what I’ll be researching now. It crazy to know she had hypothyroidism and I was just diagnosed early this year with Hashimoto Thyroiditis. #twinning (sarcasm)
My heart aches from missing her so much. Being aware of the triggers and using the energy from that to do something about it like researching hypothyroidism in dogs for early signs and symptoms for my pets does help make me feel a little better.
In my opinion through what I’ve learned, for me it comes down to identifying my triggers, getting a handle on them, and choosing what you will do about it. Let it consume you? Or choose to do something, plan something to help you through? I choose to do something about it.
In my first blog I said I didn’t know what I was doing so I’m just going to do what I feel in this moment right now. The technical stuff can wait. I’ve been struggling with Nala’s loss and I know I haven’t gone through and given you all the details of how or the great moments/experiences I have had with her leading up to having to say goodbye. So for today, I just need to pour my emotions into here and now.
I’ve always occupied my mind with distractions to my emotions of loss. My opinion is that it’s fear of facing what is and accepting it. This time is different for me. Through the help of a Lightworker which I will get into as I tell Nala’s story, I’ve decided to take the message and work through and heal from my losses the right way for myself.
Instead of pushing the tears and emotions away, I’m letting myself feel them. I’m taking a moment to cry, reminisce, be angry, tell Nala that I love and miss her, say it outloud to my loved ones around me, and just be present in what I’m feeling and thinking.
Some people put everything out of sight that reminds them of their loved one, thinking that it will help them “forget”. Wrong. The first thing that came to my mind was: I need to throw those torn up soccer balls and basketballs away that are laying around the backyard. Wrong. The thoughts and feelings will come regardless. I decided to think of a memory or daily routine that was positive when I see her ball, her food bowl, harness, and pawprints she had left on floors throughout the house. I did move the 2 balls out of my front yard and put them in the garage where I could still see them. The reason I chose to move them is because every time I pulled out of the driveway I couldn’t help but notice them and feel happy about returning home and letting Nala play out front with them. I can’t do that anymore so I felt like I was torturing myself by leaving them there. Simple change without completely removing them out of my life at this time.
It takes time to accept a loss, so give yourself as much time as you need before you start moving/removing things that were connected to your loss. It’s a process and you deserve to move, heal, and work through it in your own way, at your own pace.
The daily routine is what hit me first. The morning breakfast of 2 scoops instead of 3. All 4 energies of my animal babies hitting me all at once with who wanted to go out when, instead of all at the same time (sigh). Nala jumping and punching Lenny with excitement as we walked down the hall to the door. Dinner time seems to be the worst. Nala jumped like a kangaroo all the way to where I’d set her bowl down. Not long after her dinner she would jump at me or nudge my elbow so hard it would pop up and throw me off balance while I was sitting to me let me know she needed to go out. First couple nights I just couldn’t do dinner time and had Denny or Adrian (my son) do it and that’s ok. Feeling the dynamic of the entire house change because Nala wasn’t around anymore was a tough pill to swallow but I kept paddling and pushing through, and taking moments to myself when needed. Hugs help a lot by the way!
It felt good not to cry for a couple days but then I went grocery shopping. (Oh my LORT!) So I’m making my way through the store with my son and I’m getting frustrated at the hoarders of COVID 19. Then I see the tennis ball display (gulp). I look at my son and say,”Oh my God, Nala. I would have bought a pack for her.” Adrian responds with, “Mom, it’s ok.” Adrian then tries stopping me from going down the dog isle. “But I always go down the dog isle, we still have 3 dogs, hello!”, I said. I enter anyway and try to decide on treats and think passed all the emotions and thoughts I’m having and then I see the Nerf tennis ball gun we had planned to purchase this Spring for Nala. My heart sinks and I hold back tears as hell starts to break through inside.
When we got home with the groceries is when it bubbled over. I sat in the living room and cried and told Denny my thoughts. Coming home from the grocery store is a big thing for my animal babies because they know I have something for them and their energy gives me energy and happiness. I love seeing the sparkle of excitement in their eyes and Yogi sticking her head in every grocery bag looking for what’s hers, haha! Nala taking her treat and pacing the house trying to find a safe place. She pranced around so happily, yet anxiously. Diddy looking confused but you could still feel his excitements. Lenny shaking his butt towards and running around us all. They were different too this time and maybe it’s me and my energy they’re feeling. Maybe they feel the missing piece. The firsts of life and routine after a loss hit hard for me, that’s for sure.
Being outside playing basketball with Adrian yesterday struck a nerve too. Nala would always be out with us. She would play with her ball then jump in on our 1 v 1 making Adrian’s life hell because she would go after that ball while he dribbled and she would help me steal it from him. After we played a couple games I asked Denny to come out and play a game with him. I let Lenny out front unleashed, who is not to be fully trusted but I needed it. I also brought out my Yogi on a leash (she is definitely not to be trusted).
I sat and let it all sink in. I imagined the times Nala would run around and play, follow me while I cut the grass, chase the ball while Adrian dribbled, and shed tears. I allowed myself to grieve. It’s much easier to be present and go through the motions than save it for later (it shows up later, no doubt).. because that’s what we are doing if we are burying it or distracting ourselves from processing and accepting what is. Fear makes us believe otherwise. I decided that I’m still going to buy that Nerf gun. Why not see if it’s something Lenny might enjoy?
One thing I want to bring up is the fear of falling into depression by sitting in the feelings. I think I would if I obsessed over the negative aspects of this experience so I’m choosing not to allow myself in doing that. Something I have control of and so do you. Follow up every negative with a positive.
Appreciate your memories. Appreciate the lessons. Grow and learn from it. Trauma and loss can be redirected and created into something much more powerful than being a victim or prisoner to it. Take a moment.
I don’t know if I’m doing this right, but I know why I’m here. I want to share Nala’s story. I believe it will help not only myself but others out in the world that have lost their beloved pet or want to connect better with them. The recent events that have taken place were nothing short of a nightmare, yet I have learned the lessons and seen the light in the darkness that I can take with me going forward.
Nala’s life with us was not as long as we wanted or thought it would be, but very full to say the least. Nala’s voice is my motivation in doing this. The next time I post I’m going to begin with her story.