MartyT Posted May 3, 2006 Report Share Posted May 3, 2006 On another day in another forum, Maylissa wrote, Thanks for asking about my gal-pal, and yes, that's why I haven't had time to really post of late - too much research and general taking-care of her to do more than read here once in awhile. I've also been reading your e-course on Pet Loss, to prepare myself for the worst, whenever that's going to be . . . Generally, my husband and I have been in full-blown anticipatory grief lately and just trying to cope with all those all-too-familiar emotions on a daily basis . . . Frankly, I've wanted to post under animal loss, but aside from having too little time, it's been hurting so much that I couldn't bring myself to do so anyway...it's enough just to experience everything I feel in any one day.My dear Maylissa,Despite all your negative experiences with dysfunctional family members, in our forums you have demonstrated repeatedly your wonderful ability to reach out and support others in their grief. It is a gift -- a legacy perhaps? I cannot help but think that so much of what you've learned about life and love and loss has come from loving and losing your beloved Sabin and now, caring for and anticipating the death of your precious Nissa. Animals have so much to teach us about living, aging and dying, and in the way they experience and accept death as merely another phase in the natural cycle of life. They are so much better with death than we are! As I was searching in my files for another article this afternoon, I came across this wonderful piece by Teresa Wagner, and I thought immediately of you, and what I've learned about you in all your other postings. I often wonder if you realize what a special person you are, and if you love yourself even half as much as Sabin loved you, and as Nissa loves you now. Anyway, I couldn't resist sharing this bit of wisdom with you here, as I hope it speaks to you and offers you some comfort, as you face whatever lies ahead. As you read it, think of your beloved Sabin and Nissa, and what they've given to you:Loving Ourselves FirstWe are at our most hopeless and despairing in our loss when we’ve not yet learned how to give ourselves or provide for ourselves what it is that we received from another who is now gone. It is true of any loss in life (when children grow up and leave home; when we lose a job and the identity that goes with it; when we lose a significant other who was the only source of unconditional love in our life). To find the gift in loss, we must first learn what it is that our loved one gave us that we don’t yet give to ourselves — and then find ways to learn somehow to provide this for ourselves — to become more whole, more inter-dependent as opposed to dependent on those we love, for the sake of our own growth and our own relationships. Ask yourself this question: Do you love yourself the way you love your deceased beloved? And do you love yourself the way your deceased beloved loves you?You may respect yourself for certain roles and certain accomplishments, but do you love yourself — unconditionally — even half as much or as fully as your beloved loves you? Loving another can be so out of balance. You can never ever reconcile the grief of losing a loved one as long as you pine for what that person gave you without even trying to learn to give it to yourself — to love yourself. The lesson here is that the profound, unconditional love we get from our loved ones need not die with them. We need not be without that love, even after their death. You can learn to love yourself.We still need to be loved by others — but if we don’t love ourselves first, we need and expect too much from other beings to meet our needs. If we’re dependent only on an external source for love, we set ourselves up for horrible suffering at the time of separation or death. When we learn to love ourselves, we will still experience the pain of loss, but our suffering will change to quiet grace. — Teresa Wagner, in Legacies of Love. Visit Teresa's beautiful Web site, Animals in Our Hearts Wishing you peace and healing,Marty T Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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