(my dog Koko after she got done eating a vanilla cream horn treat. she has cream on her little face. Lol silly girl!)
” And I’ll never be the same without you here
I’ll live alone and hide myself behind my tears
And I’ll never be the same without your love
I’ll live alone and try so hard to rise above” ~ Christopher Cross
Ready to start laughing again. Those good belly laughs I used to laugh almost constantly every night and day for as long as I can remember. Until my dog died. Three months ago.
I stopped laughing then. I wouldn’t let myself. When I found something amusing as I usually do I would quickly remind myself, “Wait! You can’t laugh, Koko is dead!”. And I would become somber. Or apathetic. Or grief stricken. Or just stop. And go about my day. Not laughing.
I wouldn’t really say or think those words but the concept of my sweet dog being dead would creep into my brain destroying any desire I had to laugh, any ounce of amusement I began to experience .
Ever since I was little, in elementary school, probably even before, I have been very easily amused over everything and nothing. I laugh more than anyone I have ever known.
I got in trouble in class often for laughing out loud uncontrollably at kids being bad.
My mom yells at me sometimes for laughing during inappropriate situations like when my dog eats out of the cat’s litter box. Lol
Once, my therapist asked me if it is some sort of coping mechanism or cover up for Anxiety. And my answer is NO. I am genuinely amused. Just a silly, giggly girl. I usually always find something to laugh about even when I am unhappy or depressed or angry!
There are occasions when I have been super furious at someone but still amused and laughing uncontrollably and I would be so pissed at myself for laughing because who is going to take my anger seriously when I’m laughing my ass off?! Lol 😀
But when Koko died in April I stopped laughing. After a few days I started to smile and laugh a little bit and be slightly amused but those serious belly laughs have been extremely rare.
Grief never goes away. Grief over a human friend or family member or grief over a fur or feather or reptile…… friend dying is forever etched in our hearts.
But for many people it eventually heals to a point where it’s not always raw or always the main feeling everyday. It appears and reappears and on some occasions even decades later, maybe it resurfaces at full force and then subsides again.
It doesn’t have to hinder or taint happiness.
My grief has for the most part taken the back burner and I can still be happy and I even eventually began feeling mostly like myself again. But still there has been some kind of damper put on this life of mine.
There will always be a part of me missing. Always. My dog wasn’t just my “pet”. She was my friend, my family.
And this death hurts me so much it’s unbelievable.
But this death is somewhat easier than what many people have to endure with a loss. Koko was old and lived a whole dog life and 12 years with me. And she was not sick, in pain, or suffering when she died. My mom and dad were there with her and watched her take her last breath.
She began to slow down days before her death and her breathing changed and we hoped so desperately that she wouldn’t begin to suffer and that if she must die soon that it would be easy and quick. I couldn’t bear to think of her suffering or being euthanized by an animal doctor as my mom mentioned may have to happen.
Some dogs die alone, in pain, lost, young, and abandoned, never knowing true love. Some are so bad off they are euthanized.
But not Koko. She was loved by us for 12 years. We celebrated her every birthday, bought her gifts every holiday, let her sleep in bed, on the sofa, she had other fur friends. I bought her treats home every night after work. The girl was spoiled!! 😉
And she died old, quickly, and naturally.
And for all of that I am so blessed. Seriously what more can I ask for?!
It does not take away my grief. But grief should never go away anyway. Grief is part of living and loving and when one life is so impacted by another grief is the result of loss.
A few days ago I began laughing again a lot
Throughout the day like before. And it has been continuing everyday now.
And I realized I haven’t been my giggly self for so long. I felt different but could not put my finger on it. Then one night I laughed hysterically over song lyrics and realized I haven’t laughed quite like that in ages!
I think after three months my grief is finally beginning to heal more.
It’s important to remember that it’s ok to laugh even when someone else has died or is dying or experiencing tragedy or pain or illness.
I have a tendency to feel guilt laughing when I hear about, see on the news, or know someone who died or is experiencing tragedy.
But me/you/someone not laughing and intentionally not having fun does not help the tragedy in the world. It just results in another unhappy person or one who is not fully living.
I can laugh. It won’t hurt Koko. If I choose not to laugh, it won’t bring her back. It HURTS to let go. Hurts desperately. But it’s ok.
Just because you laugh doesn’t mean you are cold or don’t care or are forgetting or ignoring the death or pain of others.
You are still living. It’s your life. It’s ok. It’s necessary to move forward.
I never wanted to admit this but a few days after Koko died my pain was so severe I thought I wanted to die too.
I felt nothing but anger every day and pain.
I wasn’t angry at anyone specifically. There was no one to be angry at.
But now I don’t feel angry. I feel blessed. I am blessed.
Two nights ago I was looking through older pictures trying to find one of my dog, Isis Summerjo, and I accidentally saw like 100 of Koko in my phone and I felt as if I was suffocating and drowning all over again.
I have only been able to look at pictures of her and talk about her on certain occasions when I felt enabled to do so. And then I accidentally saw them and I clicked each and every one I saw and looked. It hurt but I smiled and realized how much stronger I am now.
A brief fleeting thought of me wanting to die ran across my brain. But I told myself. What good will dying do? Will it bring Koko back? No. Will it end my pain? Yes but it will also end everything else. And I don’t need that.
There is always hope.
My life is more good than pain.
And even when it doesn’t feel that way.
There’s always hope.
I am so skilled now more than ever at being able to see the good amidst the bad. The positive in the negative. The hope in the darkness. The healing in the hurt.
I can even feel happy while depressed.
It’s now July! You know what that means right!? Nine months. I haven’t been suicidal or even thought about it seriously in nine months. That’s the longest I have ever been able to go without those compulsions and thoughts in……FOURTEEN years!!!!!! Fourteen years!!!!!!! In case you don’t know, I wrote about this in previous blog entries here. I suffer with clinical depression. I have suffered with mental illness since I was eleven years old and at 21 years old I was hospitalized and was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder with Psychotic Features. I was hospitalized again and participate in psychotherapy and drug therapy. I struggled for years
and in 2010 I truly started to get better. Four months is the longest I have ever been able to go without being suicidal since I was 13 years old. And usually not even that long. Until now. But now I’m back and better than ever! 😀
I changed my ways. My thinking, my attitude, my life. And I am going strong. I celebrate living everyday.
I hope everyone will find hope and love even in pain and darkness.
I am ready to start laughing again. To start living again.
P.s. Wondering what lyrics and songs are so hilarious?! Lol! Check these out!!
“My head hurts , my feet stink” by Jimmy Buffett. Just the song title has me rofl
“Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes”
“With these changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes
Nothing remains quite the same
With all of my running, and all of my cunning
If I couldn’t laugh I just would go insane
If we couldn’t laugh we just would go insane
If we weren’t all crazy we would go insane”
“Growing older not up”
“I’m growing older but not up
My metabolic rate is pleasantly stuck
Let those winds of time blow over my head
Id rather die while Im living than live while Im dead”
~ Jimmy Buffett
“The Asshole song”
“Were you born an asshole
Or did you work at it your whole life?
Either way, it worked out fine
‘Cause you’re an asshole tonight “
And I hope you find a bit of inspiration in some of these lyrics as well.
Here’s a pic I made using an app, it’s one of those “when you see it” pics. Lol