Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Managing the Grief

Every so often, it hits. I'm not sad every day because I know Bonnie wouldn't want me to be. She reveled in laughter, in fun, in enjoying life and loved ones. But every so often, something brings me to a halt and I have to empty my bucket.

This time, it was a song. It was Bobbie's song, and I could see her in front of me, clear as day. And then I started thinking about Bonnie, and my heart just ached from the loss of these two.

It may not seem fair or right to compare the loss of a pet with the loss of a friend, but Bonnie and Bobbie had something fundamental in common: they both loved me unconditionally. Frankly, I don't know if that's harder to find in a human or a cat, but they did.

Whenever I was frustrated with myself for not being a better mom, Bonnie was the first to tell me that I was doing a terrific job. I wasn't always convinced of that, but her earnestness made me feel like at least I was doing good enough, and buoyed my strength that I could keep going. Whenever I felt like I wasn't strong enough, she'd be there. Her shoulder was always there for me, and her love had immense power. I think she truly believed that I could do anything, and I loved her for that. And whatever she could offer to help me, she would give me.

Sometimes, it feels unbearable to know that I'll never feel her hugs again, that I'll never laugh with her again, that I'll never get to talk to her again.

She did an amazing job as a mother, parenting this young woman who's become a dear friend to me as well. I miss being able to talk to her about that. I ask myself, "what would Bonnie say?" but the words don't always come to me.

I met Bonnie at a time where trust was difficult for me. She respected that, but she always let me know she was there. When I eventually poured my heart out to her, all I got back was love and support. She never judged me.

She cheered me on and celebrated my accomplishments along with my girls'. From helping me move into our first apartment, and then the second, to planning a party for me when I graduated college, to cheering my daughters at their talent showcase.

I am trying, Bonnie. I am trying to live my life as you taught me. I am trying to find more patience, more forgiveness, and to always let people know how much they mean to me. It's difficult without you here to guide me, but I will keep trying to honor your memory, your spirit, your love.

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