You’ve all heard the express ‘time is a great healer’ and I saw this wonderful poem by Mark Allen (in Belfast):

They say that ‘Time is a great healer’
but one year on, it isn’t.

The reality is that time blurs and erodes memory.
While pleasure is hard to find
it helps you forget the pain that
forces you to hope.

Chasing pleasure and running away from pain;
this can’t last forever,
today could be different,
today something might just change.

The last month of Smudge’s life with us was one when we both focused on him 110%!  We stopped thinking about ourselves, our challenges, our problems, our fears, our concerns … we focused on him!

After his passing, part of the challenge we faced was that as we live in a farming community and we had to really think about where and how we buried him.  We talked about the wild life around us and what they might do.  It took us three days to bury him – finding that right spot, digging the whole, creating the base of his ‘protection’ – a concrete shell, waiting for that to dry overnight, burying him the next day, putting the top case on this protection, again waiting for that to dry overnight, then filling in the hole and covering it so that not even our other cats could dig there.

Yesterday we sat and talked about how we were feeling!  Four weeks after he has passed away.  Without realising it we were both taking our grief out on some of our own problems and challenges.  We weren’t talking about it.  Just feeling very low.  After our conversation I sat and thought about emotions.

Grief in a situation like this is a natural emotion, but it’s one that we try to hide from others.  Grief is personal.  Grief is something that we can’t explain.  Grief is something that takes its own time.  Grief is normal.

This took me back to one of the courses I studied many years ago which taught me to understand and work with others who are holding onto emotions!  In the dictionary an emotion is described as ‘any of the feelings of joy, sorrow, fear, hate, anger, love, etc.’  One of the challenges that we all have is the one where we hold the emotion with an event.  The event may have been over for many months or many years, but we hold the emotion!  Is holding onto this emotion appropriate?