To feel the full range of emotions is to experience our humanity fully. Yet, as a society, we seem to celebrate the stoic, the even-keel, and the put a happy-face-on-and-push-through-it behaviors while shaming those who are authentically expressive.
I’m here to say it’s ok to feel sad. It’s ok to feel angry. It’s ok to feel fear and doubt. Emotions are simply energy in motion. The more we resist letting these emotions flow, the more that energy stagnates in our body. Over time, that can cause physical ailments. Body, mind and spirit are all connected.
For me, this week, I’m feeling bouts of sadness come and go in waves. I learned a few days ago that my dog I shared with an ex many years ago will be assisted across the rainbow bridge this Saturday. I am grieving this inevitable ending.
I remember picking up Bimmer, a rare grey and tan Chinook, from the breeder in Kirkland, Washington. He was a ten-pound, rolly-polly, fuzzy ball of uncoordinated energy bounding toward me with his sisters and brothers. He had the most beautiful, bright blue eyes that were full of curiosity. I fell in love instantly.
He cried so much in the first twenty-four hours after bringing him home. He had left his pack…his mom and siblings…to go with a stranger. It broke my heart as quickly as his adorableness filled those cracks.
There was potty training followed by obedience training. As he grew, he experienced separation anxiety and we worked on giving him a job to do while we were at work, which greatly alleviated it. He quickly developed into a 110-pound gentle giant with a long tongue that loved to lick anyone within a few feet. It inspired a welcome mat to the house that said, “BEWARE: Dog can’t hold his licker.”
He was my buddy, my constant companion through some really tough times in my life. He eased my broken heart after splitting with my ex. He kept me company, reminding me I had value, when I was laid off from my job and feeling lost and alone. He kept me physically safe by ferociously barking at a man who threatened me and rattled my windows and doors in the middle of the night.
When I foreclosed on my house and couldn’t find a rental that would allow a dog his size, I reluctantly gave him to my ex, who also loved him dearly. It was the right thing to do for Bimmer, who needed space and consistency…even if it broke my heart.
He’s now twelve years old. I have missed the past seven years of his life. Now it’s time to rejoin his brothers and sisters, who wait for him on the other side. I know he’s lived a happy, long life. And still, I am sad. I grieve for myself, who remembers what a joy he was in my life. I grieve for those who know him and his loving spirit. I grieve for the loss of life, even though it’s all part of the circle.
So as I write this tribute to honor Bimmer’s life, I also let the tears flow. I feel the weight in my heavy heart, the pain in my throat, and the hot tears falling from my eyes down my cheeks. I notice where the ripples emanate from and to and let it wash over me.
To Bimmer: Mamma loves you. May your spirit be well. May you rest in peace. May you know you left this world a better place and me a better person for having loved you.
To those graciously reading: May you allow yourself to feel all the feels as they arise. May they flow as naturally as you breathe and your heart beats. May you experience your humanity fully.