IN LOVING MEMORY OF TEAGAN ROSE
Loss. A part of life none of us escapes. Loss in all its forms can be painful and potentially life altering. I want to be a bit vulnerable with you and let you know about the losses I’ve faced recently. I’m not telling you for sympathy but to offer all of us an opportunity to consider a quality of humanity surrounding loss that often times is missing.
A client recently told me her mother had had a significant stroke. The stroke has left her mother a person my client no longer recognizes. Many people have minimized her loss not understanding the depth of her despair. Telling her she’s lucky her mother didn’t die. And yet, my client’s mother – the woman she was, no longer exists. Loss is loss. And how it impacts each of us is unique.
March 9th (my birthday) we were told our beautiful Doberman Teagan Rose had lymphoma; a very aggressive cancer. She was only 8. We were told we had 4-6 weeks if we chose to do nothing. We chose not to pursue chemotherapy. Our choice was to pursue a holistic approach with a holistic veterinarian in Jacksonville (close to where we live). Today, May 6th we said goodbye to her as she crossed over the rainbow bridge. An amazing veterinarian, Dr. Paula Backus, came to our home. Teagan was in familiar surroundings with her people – we held her in our arms assuring her we would be ok and it was ok for her to let go. As I was holding her I felt her soul leave her body just before her heart stopped. She was free of cancer.
Loss – deep profound loss. She was my four-legged soul mate. There was an inexplicable connection between the two of us even my wife says she had never witnessed before. And letting her go was part of that understanding we had. She was clear with me it was time and I with her. So, here I am sitting on my deck with tears running down my face knowing my sweet angel will never bring me her bone again – won’t snuggle me again in bed – won’t go on hikes again. And yet, to the depths of my being, she changed me. In ways I feel and know and yet, can’t find the words to express how she touched my life.
Loss – on April 11th I was in a fairly severe car accident. In an instant my life was changed. I was at a complete stop and the young woman behind me got distracted (her words) and without braking hit me from behind. My car was a total loss. I was hurt. My entire back, neck, shoulders are all impacted. And yet I am grateful and blessed it wasn’t worse. I was told had I not had the tow package on my car, I would have been hurt far worse. In an instant – an instant my life changed. And once again, I was faced with the realization that life is so fragile and can be over or impacted permanently in a moment to no fault of our own. I’m not angry at the young woman. If the truth be known, how many of us have been distracted while driving and were fortunate not to have caused an accident? I was grateful she wasn’t hurt.
Loss - May 19th will be three years since my daughter has spoken to me. I refer to it as being shunned. Some reading this will assume I did something to have caused my daughter to sever her connection with me. It’s a loss I couldn’t have imagined ever knowing. At one point in our lives, we were so close; the two of us against the world. Nothing I could have done, in her mind, can possibly come close to the excruciating pain, agony and grief her absence has caused. Nothing. Loss.
I find there are times when I am speaking to clients about the loss they are experiencing, that many express the same sentiment the woman whose mother had had a stroke. For whatever reason, the message they have received is their loss isn’t worthy of care and concern. Yet, when the loss is our own, we assume others will be there for us, offering words of support, sympathy and love.
There isn’t a hierarchy of what loss is more worthy of our support and love. When loss happens to any of us, it is painful. Our hearts ache. Literally. At times our breath is taken away when the realization of the loss comes into focus once again. Maybe we’ve lost our sense of safety. Maybe we’ve lost our ability to do some activities that once brought us pleasure. Or maybe we’ve watched a loved one – a two legged, four-legged, winged one or creepy crawler – pass over to their next journey; a new adventure that awaits us all when we no longer inhabit the body we are currently living in. Maybe a spouse and/or partner has left the relationship and we are standing in the middle of our living room trying desperately to figure out what went wrong.
Loss is loss.
I’ve lost my beautiful, sweet angel Teagan Rose. I’ve lost my sense of safety as I drive around now. I have flashbacks and am overly sensitive when I come to a stop. I am forever looking in the rearview mirror to see if the person behind me is going to stop. I’ve lost the love of my daughter and the opportunity to see her grow and share in all that life holds in store for her. There are no cards. No phone calls. I don’t even know who she is. Loss.
So, I ask you. When someone comes to you and tells you of a loss they are walking through, listen. Listen with an open heart. Don’t make yourself more comfortable by reassuring them all be well. At the moment we reveal our loss and how it is impacting us, we want and need to be heard. For there to be a gentle and safe place to land. To grieve in our way. To cry. To scream. To tell the same story a hundred times. To reminisce. To pull out photo albums. To just be quiet. A time to reflect. A time to process what the loss means to us; how it impacts our life not only today, but how it will impact us in the future.
Time. I don’t believe in the adage time heals all wounds. I believe time gives us perspective. It gives us a chance to make peace with the loss. And when we are at peace with the loss, we are free from the pain.
If you are experiencing loss, know whatever you are feeling deserves to be heard and witnessed. I understand loss. I know loss is deeply personal. I know no two of us will walk through our loss in the same way.
If you would like a safe place to land, to be heard in a loving, supportive and non-judgmental environment, please contact me at: shamanicCrone@gmail.com or 541-450-7533. Together, we can navigate your loss with dignity, affirming what you’re experiencing deserves to be heard.
Janet (aka Crone)