Thoughts on Grief

Indi on Thanksgiving, 2010. See the line in her fur from her surgery?

Brad and I spent the weekend house sitting for a friend the day after Indi died. It was great to get out of the house, take a jacuzzi bath, watch movies in bed… When we came home Sunday night we pulled our bikes up to our apartment door. I stood waited as Brad got his keys out and tears welled up in my eyes, rocks in my throat: Indi was not behind that door. Brad paused, too, thinking what I was thinking. He looked me in the eyes and I started to cry. After Indi died, the hardest part was coming home at the end of the day to an empty house.

One month later, coming home is not sad anymore. I don’t cry everyday, but I cry weekly. I feel I have left the first phase of my grief, which was mourning the loss of my first love, and entered the second phase: I have lost my job.

We know that caring for a tripawd with cancer is a big job. And when our dogs leave we don’t have our jobs anymore. I feel like I’ve been laid off! I have more time on my hands than I know what to do with. I work part time, and when Indi was a tripawd and needed more care that was perfect, but now I’m bored. I’m lost.

Two times last week I woke up in the morning and lay in bed thinking, there is NO reason for me to get out of bed today. When Indi was here I had to get out of bed to let her out to pee, feed her breakfast, and take her for a walk. After work I had to come home and let her out, feed her dinner, keep her company… I lost that. I don’t have anyone to take care of anymore. I am solely responsible for myself now and I don’t like it. There is a big space in my life that my dog used to fill. Now it is empty.

Here is the positive side to all of this: I’m free. We are free now, all of us. James, Indi, Fortis, Mackenzie, Maggie, JD, Commet…. and us pawrents. We can stay out late. Spend the night at a friend’s house! Leave town for the weekend. Watch movies all night. We have so much space to spread out in. It is both freeing, and sad.

The work is to find the balance to be at peace with the empty space.  Don’t try to fill it up, hard as it might be. Because it is what it is.

It is what it is, says love.

About indi

Raina is Indi's mom. She is 30 and lives in Portland, Oregon. Raina was 22 when she got Indi and her heart broke when Indi was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. Today Indi and Raina are living life one day at time. Things sure look brighter with a supportive Tripawd community.
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7 Responses to Thoughts on Grief

  1. coopsdad says:

    thank you for saying what I think so many have struggled to find the words to say… your words hold the feeling and the emotion that we want to voice for you all. I have lost special furkids in the past , but could not find the depth in my words to say what you did here. thank you

  2. I’ve been meaning to write back to you on your post that you made about Mackenzie – I thank you so much because your words brought me so much peace and comfort. I haven’t gotten the book yet that you’ve recommended and I know it’s something I would be able to relate to. Every day I think I’m getting stronger but then I find myself crumbling into pieces. Yes, we have lost the love of our life and our job too. So well put. No more worries, new found freedom, relief, all those things you think that would make you feel a little better….but it really doesn’t. I would trade all of that in again to have more time with Mackenzie. So thank you for sharing your feelings about your loss of Indi – it’s really helped those of us going through this too. Here’s wishing you much peace and comfort.
    xoxo Kami, Angel M and Kobe

  3. admin says:

    The work is to find the balance to be at peace with the empty space.

    Beautiful. Thank you for the reminder.

  4. indi says:

    Thanks for the kind feedback, everyone. We all say “there are no words…” when reaching out to another family who is grieving. So I’m glad I could offer up a few that resonated with you.

  5. Ginger says:

    To feel laid off must be a strange feeling. Still mourning, yet strangely free. You did your very, very best for Indi, and she returned that love by helping to complete your life. Thank you for keeping us updated with how things have been for you guys.

  6. annie1fan says:

    We lost our Annie on Dec 27th, a mere 24 days after she became a tripawd. I worked from home for most of her recovery period, or when her stamina had returned a bit, she came to work with me. It was an honour and a privilege to care for her, and it felt like a tiny instalment/repayment of all the love and support she gave us over her 11 years. I know what you mean by the unwanted freedom you now experience-I’d give it all back for more days with her, as long as they were good days for her. After a rough first week she had been recovering slowly but surely; she’d mastered her new kangaroo like gait with grace, was digging and chasing magpies again, so when she began to go downhill again on Christmas Day we had a sense of dread. After many hours at the emergency vet, we found out that she had a 10 cm diameter tumour and was bleeding internally. I’m glad she wasn’t in great pain at the end, and we gave her all the love, pets, comfort and cookies we could in her final moments. The grief is still very fresh- Annie went everywhere with my husband and I and she hiked all over western Canada and Alaska. I know we had a good life together-but I desperately want my job back.

    • indi says:

      Hi Diane,
      Thank you for sharing your comments. I have not checked this blog in a long time! I’m sorry you lost your job, your dog, your love such a short time after losing the leg. Indi died five years ago this December. Thinking about her or looking at her pictures is still the quickest way to make me cry.

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