The coming and going of seasonal holidays is a given. We no sooner close the door on one holiday when the next one is on the porch ringing our doorbell. For those who have lost a beloved pet, these holidays can be the source of a rollercoaster of emotions.
Each holiday is a reminder of what we've lost; and there are so many reminders. The Halloween costumes we come across as we pull out last year's holiday decorations. The Christmas stocking we lovingly embroidered with our beloved pet's name. The cute photographs from holidays past.
As each holiday drawers nearer, memories come flooding back. The memories are amazingly clear. They bring tears to our eyes but as we begin to heal, they also bring a smile to our face. And with that smile, we know we have taken that first step towards healing.
As we heal, our photographs are no longer just a source of grief. Instead, we can look at them and smile at the silly expression on his face as he opened his Christmas presents. We instantly have a vivid flashback to the many memories that go hand in hand with that photo. We remember the outfit we carefully selected for him to wear. We can remember the exact moment we snapped the photo. We shock ourselves by being able to instantly recall the comments of our family and friends. Uncle Fred saying how adorable he looked. The smile on Aunt Sally's face as she commented that she feels the expression on his face is because he's so embarrassed.
As each holiday ends and we managed to emotionally work our way through it, we are once again faced with yet other pet loss reminders. After each holiday there are the never ending photographs of pets in costumes posted all over the internet. And let's not forget the never ending pet videos that get posted following each holiday. Do we look at them and cry? Or do we look at them and appreciate them for what they are? Do you avoid looking at those specific photographs that show your beloved pet's breed dressed in costume? Or do you enjoy seeing photographs of pets in costumes even though they very much look like your pet did?
For many, after losing a pet, there seems to be one holiday that is more difficult to get through than the others. It could be Christmas, Halloween or even the 4th of July. But as we begin to heal, that very same holiday will be the one that that is filled with wonderful memories that will one day make you smile.