Multi-dimensional 'Stages'

by Steven
(Sebring, Florida)

Taz 1997-2011

Taz 1997-2011

"All the world's a stage", as I slide silently- and sometimes in bombastic anger!- from one to the next- acting out my new found freedom and rage. It is an absurd and surreal theater of empty and plush red velor seats from which I can seem to find no clocks, no stage hands, no critics, and no exit.

When my little girl; 'Taz the amazing swimming dog' died on April 15, 2011, I was suddenly a prisoner in my own life. I realize it was only a small brown dog, but I am a single- never been married- parent who has lost his only child; one who is wondering how much worse it will be when I loose a human someone?

At this the 5 week mark, I am not given to the deep gut wrenching grief of the first month, but 'observed endearment' (movies, stories, TV, etc) can act as a trigger. It seems that slipping into 'the 3rd person' perspective is what gets me and as long as I stay inside myself, I seem to be OK. Great music can always make me shed tears of joy and now that joy is inseparable from my grief so I try to embrace it as such: Disaster and Opportunity.

Your description of the 'non-linear' aspect of the process helps acknowledge and validate the sudden bouts of anger that pop up when driving, doing chores, etc. Also, looking forward to my new found 'freedoms' (catching up on travel, projects, etc) helps to console.

The last thing I'd say is to allow this process of 'open heart surgery- sans the anesthetic- is helping me to embrace my 'new life' one experience at a time. A final footnote of interest was that reading a very objective and pragmatic dissertation on 'correct dog handling' actually took much of the stinging guilt away from her death as I was not with her when she passed. I realized that I had done most things well with Taz, but there was room for improvement, and that I will get better at being a dog person in whatever capacity I play that role in the future. Thanks

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Jun 01, 2011
mulitdimensional stages
by: Janelle


Thanks for sharing your story about grieving Taz. I am sorry for your loss. You express your story well--the ups and downs of your many and varied 'stages.'

I have often wondered how folks dealing with pet grief might relate to some of my articles. And hope to eventually add articles that are more specifically related to pet loss.

I have only experienced loosing a beloved dog as a child. I don't remember the specifics of my grief, but I remember that my grandmother sent a pie over for us. I thought, "How can a pie replace our dog?"

Your comments on how reading a dissertation on correct dog handling was healing for you, reminded me that we never really know from what direction glimmers of hope and healing will come. We just need to stay open for it, even when all hope seems lost.

Thanks again for sharing.

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