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Monday, July 2, 2012

Dealing With Loss

Bailey models my painting several years ago.
My heart has been heavy the last several months as I face the loss of my dog to Lymphoma.  He is growing weaker and I know it is not much longer...  I am thankful for the many blessed years I have had with this fury angel, he truly has been one of the greatest gifts in my life.  He and I have been inseparable since he was placed in my arms at 10 weeks old.  I am not sure how to do life without him, but I will learn.

Grief is a funny thing, it has many gifts and lessons in spite of all the sadness.  As the lessons begin to unravel, I am reminded of how our pets lives are too short, and this I believe is the first gift.  I know this might sound crazy to some, but because our time with our pets is very limited in years compared to an average human life span, we have the opportunity to experience the life cycle speeded up.  In having this opportunity to love and be loved, care for, laugh, play and cry with my dog over the years, there is a strong family like bond.  To have the opportunity of seeing youth turn to old age, sharing in his health and helping him in his sickness, it is a great reminder not to take the people or animals we love for granted.  It is a beautiful reminder that every thing is always changing and to remember to be thankful for health and happiness when we have it, and to be present and thankful for the experience of love that we have been given.  It also prepares us for dealing with the grief of losing family members and friends when the time comes, helping us to learn coping skills and understanding the feelings that come with loss.

My art is the best constructive way that I know how to release my feelings.  I started a painting with a single tree, a solitary place made for dreams.  A place to connect with those that have passed on, those that we miss and love.  I find that because of my sensitivity to loss right now, I have a much more heightened sense of compassion for all those who have lost a person or animal they loved... and this unravels another great gift of grief.