The Emotional Storm That Is Grief

Clouds gathering in a stormy sky. What it looks like in my head when an emotional storm is brewing.

TW: PET LOSS. Man, when it rains, it pours, I guess. Two blogs in two days? It’s a lot of words pouring out of me lately, but I notice that happens when an emotional storm is brewing. Yesterday, it just rained words, today there was thunder and lightning in my brain. At this time (after I consumed a few emergency edibles), here comes the rain again (you can finish the lyric in your head). Today I want to talk about the emotional storm that is grief.

My Emotional Storm Started Brewing When

I knew my doggo was getting old. I could see it happening. And that doesn’t happen all of a sudden. One day you look up and your pup’s muzzle is all white. You see him having a hard time getting up and down. He starts to not like his food as much so you start The Food Scramble for what he WILL eat. And you realize your best friend is nearing the end of his life. It’s a hard thing to look at, but that’s the tradeoff for all those years of love, loyalty, and joy. And lessons! Like what unconditional love looks and feels like. I swear to God, we don’t deserve dogs.

On a cloudy, windy Wednesday afternoon in the middle of November, we called The Rainbow Bridge Express out to the house. Well, that’s not the name of her service, but that’s what I call her in my head. Sidenote – If you can, please use an in-home euthanasia service ESPECIALLY if you’re autistic and can at all afford it. If you’re in Bakersfield, I’ll be happy to provide her name upon request. Anyway, she … came to the house and collected her passenger. It was all very peaceful and easy and my doggo went out doing what he loved best – eating! They say the last gift is the most painful, but it’s the most loving act we can do for them. Grief is the price of love, they say. Truer words never spoken.

Animated gif describing llighting flashing near the horizon of the sea. I often ascribe emotional storms to physical ones.

Far Out In An Emotional Sea – Lightning Flashed

I thought I was okay in about three weeks. I didn’t want to tell anyone at first. I have seen more people posting their pet’s passings and I’m just like holy shit I don’t know if I can handle talking about it online. You know what I mean? Well, maybe you don’t, but I know what I mean, but barely at that. I’m pretty high right now. But we’re plowing on! So I kept this all locked up away from any kind of public eye. It all felt too…raw. Bodi was the first dog I ever had and ever will have. I cannot outlive another animal. I cannot “reset the clock” – and I’m sure every pet person knows exactly what clock I mean.

But cried? I cried the entire first week and I spent it in an edible-powered fugue state. But I didn’t drink! So that’s something. I haven’t had a drink since July 16 (we’re working on our blood pressure and our health). But yeah, I cried floods of tears. I was NOT prepared for the GIANT hole of grief that opened inside my heart. My mother and husband grieve as well, but he was MY dog. My soul dog, if you will. I didn’t know grief like this existed. It fucked me up.

And The Emotional Thunder Rolled

It’s starting to get windy out here

Am I shamelessly paraphrasing Garth Brooks? I am. Moving on. You know that feeling just before a storm where the wind starts blowing and you think you hear a thunderclap in the distance but you don’t know if it’s your next door neighbor rolling in his trash bin? That’s where I was this morning. Man I could just FEEL the emotional storm brewing. I didn’t even realize that I’M STILL GRIEVING. Grief for a beloved pet is a fucked up thing. So many people just don’t – understand that love.

They just don’t. And a lot of people minimize it. “Oh it was just a dog/cat/lizard/baby ball python.” Omg fuck off with that, into the 9th ring of hell. Or “you can get another one.” Both of which I’ve heard in the past. I guess even I minimized it to a degree – read: stuffed it down so I could get on with the daily doing of living. I miss him. And this grieving business is sneaky. Did you know your grief fucks with your immune system? Remember I was sick recently? Turns out grief ANNIHILATES the immune system. The more you know.

THUNDERSTRUCK

I guess today is the day my cork just popped and I had a meltdown all over Twitter. Someone came at me sideways and I was like NOT TODAY SATAN and I lost my mind today all over Twitter. Here came the news about my mom’s beautiful tortie cat – my Big Little Sister if you will, and then I flung the news to the heavens about Bodi. Today I’m ready to talk about it. As an autistic person, feelings can be fucked up for me. What’s that thing where you can’t identify your feelings? Yes, Alexithymia, that’s right. So I’m having all these new emotions happening inside me. I’m having a rough time identifying what they represent. A lot of them aren’t real pleasant. Here’s what I’ve learned so far; grief, like prison, changes a person.

And especially the grief for a dog. Dogs really are a special breed all on their own in the way of grief. But then I was devastated when I lost my soul cat almost 20 years ago. I think it also depends on how old you are, but on that note, I could be talking out of my ass too. That’s what it feels like for me – that age is a factor.

It’s Raining Sideways!

Thank you, Ollie. Another bit of grief-related fuckery I’m having to deal with? It’s Christmas time. I’ve always disliked this time of year. I try to like it, but I fail. Frequently. Turns out I have a LOT of Christmas-flavored childhood trauma. And grown-up trauma, truth be told. Makes sense why I’m not real fond of “The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year.” Like I said on Twitter, now I gotta do it without my furry little best friend and/or my furry little sister by my side.

My house is so much quieter, but oh do their absences echo.

So I’ve been going through it a little bit on TOP of it being the holidays, on top of, on top of, on top of. On top of life happening. I’m sure there are a lot of you who can relate. If you can’t – well, hey, I wish I was you.

Being In a Glass Case Of Emotion Sucks In an Earthquake Especially At The Holidays

If you’re grieving at the holidays like I am, Jesus, I’m so sorry we’re in this boat. I think grief sucks ANY time of the year, but it seems to ESPECIALLY suck at the holidays, when we’re all supposed to be jolly. And if you have fruitcake scented trauma on top of that, well, I’m sorry that life is giving us a one-two punch right in the ding-ding. It’s a fucked up place to be. I wish I didn’t feel like this. Heck, I wish we ALL didn’t feel like this. Well, I can’t assume to know what you’re feeling, but for me, life doesn’t feel real good right now.

But like I say, grief is a sneaky snek. It’ll slither quietly up on you at the most inopportune moments. And doggo-flavored grief is like a sidewinder. It’ll bite you before you even saw what happened. It isn’t lateral, that’s for sure. I guess I shouldn’t expect it to be. I don’t know what the hell to expect. But you know what I CAN do? Talk about it. Not lock it up inside me. So I guess that’s the purpose of today’s blog. If you got this far, seriously, thanks for reading. I miss my doggo and my catto. And now we wait for the emotional storm that is grief, to pass.

Your Sister-In-Arms,
Meredith Silverman

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. revdrtsgtc

    This. My doggo is getting older and I’m noticing more and more the ravages of time. He’s had a run of 15 years so far, and he still has good quality of life, but the clock is ticking. It’s making me more cognizant every day of the limited time we have left and to ensure I’m spending it with him every opportunity, since eventually, the memories are all I will have.

    Condolences to you and Matt, it is such a hard thing.

    1. Meredith Silverman

      You are so kind to think of us. I completely get it. It really IS such a hard thing. I imagine time will heal, but not as fast as I ever would like. I hope you’re well. πŸ™πŸ»πŸ’›

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