How have you integrated some of your most significant losses and disappointments? Have you noticed meaning that you have found (positive or negative)?
One of the most significant losses of my life has caused a "chain reaction" of integration, both positive and negative. Roxy was "just a dog." I say that with the biggest smile on my heart because she changed my life in so many ways.
Until Roxy entered my life, I never had a pet, and she was my first, my kids first. She was exasperating and exhausting. Roxy was very needy, always wanted to be involved with everything we did. She was mildly destructive, the usual Labrador behaviors and then some. Shoes chewed; she was a scrunchy thief and a garden destroyer, although if you asked her, she'd tell you that she was pitching in, harvesting the veggies. My life was our family, and Rox was a big part of who we were.
I didn't realize how great it was until she transitioned at nearly seventeen years. I remember the pain like it was a few minutes ago. I can feel the tears begin to form as I type. But most of all, I remember how she taught me to feel, how to love unconditionally. Roxy became my spiritual cheerleader. She kept me alive with a purpose through the emergency triple bypass. She knew there was so much more in this life that I had to do to help other bereaved pet parents. Their grief needed to be witnessed, validated and accepted. I dedicated my life to honor her.
Paws to Celebrate was created as an online safe haven for bereaved pet parents to be with their grief, to talk to like-minded souls, and never feel judged or pressured to "Get over it!" Since Paw's birth, we have helped thousands on their journey to the other side of grief. I wrote a book, an Amazon Best Seller, "Tails of Unconditional Love, Your Journey to the Other Side of Pet Loss Grief" which helped so many more people that I have never met. Yes, I believe this is the most powerful example of integration and finding meaning in my life, and I believe Roxy will guide me until we meet again.
Although you may be in the very early days of your grief, can you think of your integration, what meaning comes from your love? Please share in the comments section below.