I miss her so much every minute of every day. The best way to describe how I feel is that there is a gaping hole. I feel physical pain in my heart. I’m telling myself over and over again that this pain is worth it for the nearly 13 truly remarkable years that we got to share.
The hardest moment of the week was by far setting foot on the trail for the first time without Sullie. This trail was my little fam’s happy place. I walked so many miles on this trail while I was pregnant with Sullie on my left and Zoey on my right, and then as a family of four pushing Finn in the BOB. I literally felt like I was going to come apart. I walked down the trail sobbing and talking to Sullie. I felt like I could look down and see her on my left, like I should be able to reach my hand down and pat her.
The love I have received from my friends, family, neighbors and online community has been nothing short of awe-inspiring. It’s been a true testament to the power of kindness and that social media can be a place of safety, love, support and belonging.
A friend of mine sent this message via Facebook messenger…
“Praying hard for you Jen. I’m constantly amazed with your vulnerability to share with others in order to help others heal. I was reading some Instagram comments on your post, and people sharing their recent loss of their pets. You are creating a space for people to heal and say life sometimes hurts like hell. And not everyone can create that. That space gives people the freedom to say, ok, I’m “normal” for feeling this way in my loss. There is hope in darkness. Trust that. Super proud of you.”
I realize that I am far from the first person who’s ever had to endure the grief of losing a cherished pet. My Instagram has been a sad place this week but it’s always my prayer that by bringing all of myself and my full spectrum of emotions to the work that I do (both in teaching yoga and sharing online) that I can help others feel less alone in whatever they may be facing in life.
I have felt fortunate to have the space to share so freely and not to feel forced to “return to normal programming.” If you are also in a time of loss, I cannot recommend reading the comments on my last few Instagram posts enough. They are full of heartbreakingly beautiful words and reminders. I haven’t been able to start responding yet but I have read every single one.
Work was hard this week. I mostly gave myself a pass on productivity. I took a break from my blog. Understandably, I’m not in a creative place right now. I subbed out about half of my classes but still taught a few. I found that the few I did teach really helped me get out of my head and sadness and shift my energy more towards gratitude.
These two have brought great comfort. My mom and I were talking about what Finn must think. I know he realizes that Sullie isn’t here. Zoey has been mopey and extra clingy (although she’s always been a velcro dog) but I’ve made an effort to spend as much time with her as possible. We’ve gone on walks, runs and I’ve been taking her with me in the car whenever I can. I used to always do that with Sullie before I had two dogs and she loved joining me for rides. And Finn thinks it’s awesome to have a partner in the backseat.
Finn adores Zoey and I swear his first word is going to be Zoey. He makes the sound of it all the time. It sounds more like “oh-ey.”
Speaking of Finn and firsts…this happened the day after Sullie passed. It felt like the circle of life…that Sullie’s life ends and Finn takes his first steps. He had previously taken about 2 steps but this was the first thing you could call waking.
He has been a ray of sunshine during a very tough week. He’s been battling a cold all week but has been the sweetest and funniest sick baby (or toddler I guess I should say!) ever.
Finally, my mom arrived yesterday. This visit was planned before I lost Sullie but the timing couldn’t be more perfect. My birthday is this weekend and I want nothing more than a quiet day with my mom, Finn and Zoey.
And unrelated to everything in this post, you’ll see on Finn’s arm in the photo above a giant mosquito bite. Unfortunately, mosquitos seem to love Finn as much as they love me but he’s super reactive to the bites. I welcome all of your suggestions for bug protection for littles. What do you use?
Thank you for being wonderful. Sending lots of love out to all of you.