Grief is not a disorder, nor a disease or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve. Earl Grollman

I had spent several months in what I now understand to be called ‘anticipation grief’.

Anticipation grief is the anticipation of the pain, the passing and the loss of something. In other words, you begin the grieving process in advance of the actual loss.

It is believed that dogs have helped to shape the lives of millions of humans over the years as much as we humans have influenced dogs.

Prior to Ginty’s passing, I tried to adopt this very sensible and philosophical attitude.

We had to wait a few months for Ginty to be born, but it was easy to choose her from the pack of other pups because of her boundless open energy that greeted us on our first introduction.

I was smitten!

It may be natural if you have reservations about the love that can exist between a human and dog — I get it, I used to have them too — but I had never known love like this; and certainly not from a dog.

Ginty taught me something quite profound.

Previously, I had tried so very, very hard to prepare myself for that fateful day. As stoic as I felt I wanted to be the tears rolled down my face and soaked through to my facemask, and my heart felt twisted, torn in two and gauged open.

I knew that I had to acknowledge the hard reality that she was gone, and I understood it was the best outcome for her since she had become so ill. Still, it didn’t stop the internal conflict inside.

Former me would have busied and numbed myself, so I didn’t have to think and feel the pain.

But I can’t do that anymore.

Hence why I have been quieter than usual.

When I realised this, I had to parent myself to stop and grieve properly.

Then something wonderful happened!

I did NOT get eaten up alive by the emotions!

Generally, here are the main five stages of grief are:

- Denial.

- Anger.

- Bargaining.

- Depression.

- Acceptance.

And I am still working my way through them all.

Then there came a gift…

I was speaking to a lady at some traffic lights by a road crossing a few weeks after Ginty passed and I asked about her own engaging and excitable dog.

That’s when the gift revealed itself.

Former me/Past me would have been the same as her and deprived myself of a dog’s love for years.

New me knows I have to keep the feelings and emotions moving.

So, as much as the intensity of emotions and feelings have felt uncomfortable at times, it has also been cleansing.

And then there was a second gift that brought with it another important surprise.

By welcoming Poppy into my home it also allowed me to grieve Ginty more deeply and more completely, which was a pleasant surprise and which I recognise, maybe an ongoing process for some time.

The message I am trying to convey is to keep ‘feeling your feelings’, no matter how uncomfortable or painful you may think it is, you will be surprised for it leads to greater joy in the long-run.

Ultimate Emotional Health.

What did that mean for me?

What does that mean for you?

Trust that you can handle whatever comes up if you feel the feelings and trust the process.

Founder & CEO Of — Helping Women Put Endometriosis Condition Into Remission Through The Laidlaw Protocols.

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