As I walked my dog today, I met a couple whose beloved family dogs died within months of each other, the last one passed this week.
Loss is a blow to the heart. In the moment the shock is received, you feel the pain, but only for a moment. And then the numbness spreads.
As they tried to recall the exact date of their loss, they reached out to pet my dog Bree, as she greeted them with a snuffly nose and wagging tail.
You know you are wounded, but your mind can’t process the unexpected reality of being rent open. So you begin the first aid: stop the bleeding, analyze the situation, go through acts of self-care so the wound doesn’t fester.
I saw a tears behind their smiles as the couple lovingly patted my Bree girl; my cheerful traveling companion.
It is only after this initial phase of grief has passed that the ache sets in and you wonder if you will ever be whole again. Threads of self aren’t easily healed, without a bit of borrowed thread.
The couple’s shared sorrow allowed for a bittersweet moment of companionship, and reminded me that we are never alone.
Because we all have wounds. Some deeper than others. We try to hide the damage from each other, but we know they exist. Life gives us battle scars that ache in the solitude of denial. In the company of acceptance, the scars become symbols of strength.
As the sun set, Bree scampered into the backyard and we watched the stars come out together.