How I've been moving through the grief

jameson Mar 25, 2024

At some point in life, we are all going to go through something painful like losing a loved one. It sucks. But it's inevitable.

What has helped me:


1. Reading/learning about grief. Just a few weeks before saying goodbye to Jameson, I read a few chapters about grief in the book Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before. I went back to those chapters and reread them. It's a good reminder that grief comes in waves. Some days I am fine and some days I hurt. And it's normal. It's a part of moving through it.


2. Acceptance. From the book, she says acceptance doesn't mean that you like the new reality, it's still not how you want things to be, but you're beginning to take on the new reality. I wish my dog lived forever, but I am getting more to a place of accepting that she is gone and also opening up to possibilities of traveling again in the near future.


3. Movement for mental health. We always hear we are supposed to exercise to cope with stress, but I wanted to share more about how/why it has helped me.


From the book, "When your anxiety response is triggered, your muscles fill up with oxygen and adrenaline... Exercise is one of the best anxiety management tools because it follows the natural course of your threat response. Your body is geared up to move. Allow it to do that and your body can use up the energy and stress hormones it has produced and rebalance."


I sit in my head thinking about different scenarios with the pup and stressing myself out. Exercise helps me use the stress hormones, and it helps get my breathing back to normal again.


4. Sticking with your system. This is from a life coaching book I read years ago, and I have this photo on my phone to remind me of it. Sticking with your system helps interrupt depressive thoughts.

I spend a lot of time thinking about the pup, and that's fine and needed, but if I spend too much time thinking about her, I will fall into a depressive hole.

Going to running class every morning like I always did has helped me not stay in bed crying all day. Some days I run really fast. And some days I hide out in the back of class, put in ear plugs, close my eyes, and walk really slow.

I did something instead of doing nothing. And I still get to check off my habit tracker that I did a thing. I was still consistent even if it was a crappy class.


5. Therapy. I chatted with someone last week and have another session this week. I know Paul is dealing with things differently than me. I want to talk about Jameson 24/7, so it is helpful to have someone listen to me and hold space for me.


6. Collect evidence from photos and videos.

My natural inclination is to think that I did something wrong or that I was a bad pet owner, and photos and videos from the last 14 years are evidence that is untrue.

We did a lot together. We had amazing adventures together. She had a great life.

I am looking at getting a portrait of the pup by an artist, and we will probably get tattoos at some point.




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