Bridging the Divided

Companions in Grief

My husband came home the first day after his mom’s passing, tired, stressed, sad, wondering how he would get through the next several days. All three of our Yorkies met him at the door. They sensed something was different. Instead of barking, jumping up and down, and carrying on as they usually do, collectively they followed him into the house, looking up at him with their big, brown, eyes. Once he sat down, all three gathered around and gently cuddled up close or licked his face. Even Kaiah, who is generally oblivious to everything but her beloved fluorescent yellow tennis ball, stopped to study his face, his body language, which was clearly different on this day. She gently climbed onto his lap and planted sweet puppy kisses on his tear-stained cheeks.

Tasia is our healing dog and has been since the day we brought her home. Highly intuitive by nature, her gentle demeanor and calm personality sense subtle changes in our moods. Tasia looks deeply into our eyes when she knows we are hurting, then curls up alongside, providing easy access to her soft fur. The simple act of petting an animal eases stress, calms our spirits, and helps us to process and sort through emotions and feelings. The only time she pipes up with insistent barks is when Kaiah has a bone Tasia wants, never mind the fact we have a wide array of bones from which to choose – Tasia wants Kaiah’s bone. They really are like kids.

Chardonnay and I are close. She was my first Yorkie, and together we have weathered many a storm. Chardonnay and I comforted one another when Harley, her sister, was taken from us suddenly at the hands of a negligent groomer. Sammy left us last year, then Rowdie a couple of months ago, and Chardonnay remained steadfast by my side as we traveled the path of grief together. Now that she has seizures, it is my turn to be her rock, her port, as the storms rage within her brain. But, on the day my husband needed her, Chardonnay was quick to offer her healing strength.

As the week came to a close, and those who stopped by to pay their respects returned to their lives, we were again faced with a profound sense of loss, the sting of grief, and the emptiness once filled by the presence of my husband’s mother. 

Grief is a journey we often travel alone. Blessed is the one whose pet travels alongside….. 

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