Today marks two weeks since our hearts were overjoyed and broken all in one day. Believe it or not, things have been easier since Valentine’s Day. We have been open in discussing miscarriage, something that we weren’t even sure we could do. We even talked about possible baby names, and trust me, that was hard, should we ever have children of our own.
The days seem long, I’ve returned to work, which has been good. Busy, but good. Our lives are busy, so it is nice to have this feeling again. I returned to the classroom for the first time in a week yesterday. I missed my 8 a.m. students. I’m not sure if they missed me or the work, but it was nice to be back. My online students have been patient with me, and I appreciate the work they have been doing with the occasional check-in from me. We are back on track, though.
I heard something that really resonated with me, and that ultimately affects my family today. Pets are not service dogs. I know I have said that before, and I will say it again and again. Please don’t put a small dog in a bag and pass it off as your service animal. Situations like that make it hard for Sam and Memphis.
Memphis is like Sam’s furry child. He is his rock, support, and best furry friend. He is trained specifically to work with Sam and support Sam. He is very good at his job. He is most loved, and he is part of our family.
He’s like a furry child.
Hearing or reading about folks who are trying their best to test the patience of those with a real need for service animals stings. How do you explain that sometimes at night your husband wakes with a nightmare so real and intense that he’s covered in sweat, but yet pulled back to reality by a dog? Do you take time to explain the horrors of PTSD and why that precious dog is necessary?
Memphis is not a pet. Sure, he has toys, a leash, cool Funky Mutt collars and amazing bandanas, but he works. He gets days off because let’s be honest, the work he does can take a toll and he sometimes needs a break (even if it is on the human couch).
So how does all of that tie into our loss, and emotions, and feelings and family?
Well, loss in any form (loss of a child, loved one, dog, you get the idea) can leave you feeling like something is missing like you are less than you were before, and sometimes it is hard to process grief or understand the traumas of war. You relive moments, think about what could have been, you fear of losing more, and these emotions, feelings, sense of loss and hopelessness are different for everyone.
Memphis knew something was up a couple of weeks ago. He sensed something was off with his favorite human, and he knew that something was wrong with me.
You can’t skip or hide emotions at times…even dogs can sense that.
But, we are here to tell you we sure can feel the love.
Healing is a process. I think my body knows what to do, I hope my heart starts to heal. Expressing those emotions, what we hold dear, it has meaning. It is important to feel. Sam couldn’t feel for so long, for trying to be brave, trying to keep it together, hide emotions, feelings, but since Memphis he allows himself to be in the moment, to feel, to grieve, to process.
Sometimes it seems as if the tears will never end, but it feels good to release them. We aren’t weak, we are just processing and trying to understand.
One of the most important lessons we have learned after this loss is that we are not alone. Even at home, with our furry kids, they love us no matter what, and they are with us, here for us.
Sometimes you just a good blanket and a spot on the couch.