Precious

When my dog passed away last year it was a blow that brought me to my knees. She was my first real pet, my first dog, and she was like a child to me.

She was precious. And that was her name.

I was so devastated that I had to take time off of work. I had no idea how long it would take to move through the stages of grief, but I gave it my all. I cried all day every day for six weeks. I yelled, I screamed, I bargained, I sobbed, I begged to re-write history. I have never experienced grief like that, not even when my dad died.

There were a several things that got me through that time.

One of the most amazing and Grace-filled parts of the whole experience is that my daughter, Dani was home from school when it happened. She had been away at college and was home for a week or so on summer break. She got to experience Precious alive one final time and then was there with us to grieve and help us move through those first difficult days. I found Grace in that serendipitous timing.

Another was my husband. He missed her as much as I did and we grieved her loss together. Being able to share our sweet memories of Precious with each other brought so much solace to our lives. We found Grace in each other.

Another thing was Modern Family. Have you seen it? It’s freaking hilarious. We had never watched it and I was determined to find something to make us laugh and bring us joy. So every night when my husband got home from work we watched episode after episode until we fell asleep. Season after season, laughing through our tears. We found Grace in comedy during our misery.

And one other thing that got me through that sorrow-filled time in my life was my friends.

One of these is Jen, a lady that I met kind of as a result of Precious passing. I have come to cherish this woman so much. During a Facebook conversation with her regarding Precious she said these words to me, “Maybe there is a place for a ritual/altar/ceremony for your dear pup… Maybe there is a way your soul wishes to honor the gift of her presence in your life…” I was so wrapped up in my grief and how my life was changed that I hadn’t stopped to think about anything like this. Her simple words changed everything for me. I did, in fact, create a little altar with her ashes and a few of her favorite things that I could look at every day. A year later, it’s still up and every time I see it, it brings a sweet smile to my face. Another thing that I did as a result of what she said was write a eulogy for my sweet dog. Wonderful memories of her came pouring out of me; her peculiarities, her verve and vigor, her sweet kisses. It was so cathartic and I never would have dreamed of doing that if she hadn’t mentioned it. I found Grace in ceremony and a sweet friend.

Another one of my friends, Kelly, texted me EVERY DAY for months to see how I was holding up that day. I spoke to her a few weeks ago and she didn’t even remember that she had done that. Her check-ins with me were a lifeline to the real world. Someone out there cared how I was doing. Every. Day. I found Grace in connection.

PreciousDied

The day Precious Passed, 2013 Me and Penelope The Great

On the day that Precious died I took myself outside and raised my face to the sun and thanked God for the gift of Precious and for the joy that she had brought to our lives. I made a specific point to do it that very day because I knew that it’s easy to get mired in grief and it’s easy to find yourself adrift without something to tether you. So even in the shit of that day, I found the Grace and the gratitude and I made a point of expressing it in my way.

This is the second of 31 {or more} posts that I’ll be writing on the topic of Grace. I’ll be writing about what Grace means to me and the ways in which I’ve found it in my life. Please leave a reply any time about what Grace means to you or if you have any questions for me about Grace.

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