Note to readers: This is part one in a two-part long-ish post series and not directly writing-related. But it’s something I needed to write. Before my blog became a writing focused blog, it was more ‘me’ focused. More of a personal blog that I used to chat about things going on in my head and do a bit of navel-gazing. It also helped me find my voice. In light of recent personal events, right now I need to write one of those posts. So, if that’s not for you, feel free to skim or skip.
It hasn’t been the start to 2021 I expected. Moving from the train-wreck of 2020, many of us – particularly here in Australia – were moving into 2021 with a hopeful outlook. I was no different. I had plans to draft my goals, get focused, and attack the year with intention. I guess life had a different plan.
If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen that on January 10th, our darling golden retriever Lulu passed away. She was not even three years old. It was unexpected and a huge shock that left us reeling, particularly as we were not home when it happened. We were on our way home from a mini-road trip to the Great Ocean Road when we received the call from our distraught house/dog sitter. The drive home was the longest drive. It seemed to take forever. As much as I wanted to teleport myself home immediately, I also didn’t want to face being there either.
Almost a week has passed now and we have brought Lulu home from the vet and buried her. The results from her tests ruled out any type of poisoning eg. venom, poison, bait, and determined it was most likely a heart attack or stroke. We could have opted for further testing, but they may still be inconclusive. It was important to us that we bring her home and lay her to rest.
The grief that you feel upon the passing of a pet is only something another pet owner can understand. To us, our pets are not just animals, they are complete members of our family. An intrinsic part of the moments of our day. From the morning waking up to their smiling faces, to the pats, cuddles, walks, and companionship throughout the day, and the snuggles on the couch at night. Lulu had a personality like no other. She had a spark, a life to her that filled every crack of our home with love. And with her permanent smile and unbounded enthusiasm for life, she was the heart of our home. The hole she has left is gaping, and can now only filled with memories.
The sadness comes in waves. The ‘firsts’ being the hardest. The first morning waking without her smiling face greeting us at the door, the first time we arrive home after being out to not see her meet us with a ball, a toy, or a shoe in her mouth to offer as a welcome-home present, the first time walking our other golden retriever, Sorbet, without Lulu, the first time saying goodnight to Sorbet and putting her out to bed on her own. Everyone in the family is at different stages with their grief and are dealing with it in their own way, but together we will get there. It will simply take time.
I had big plans this week to set my writing goals for the year and to make a big dent in reviewing my copy edits for The Five Year Plan. But, every time I’ve sat down to look at the blank page titled ‘2021 Goals’ it’s remained blank half an hour later. I’ve only reviewed ten pages of my manuscript. For whatever reason, both tasks seem overwhelming and endless, and sometimes even pointless. Again, I know this will pass, but it’s also exhausting to feel this way.
Death always brings clarity making you question life, your direction, and your future. Lulu’s passing has made a huge dent in my life. Almost a wake-up-call. And, while I know this questioning is a part of the grieving process, it also may have highlighted some things that it’s time to seriously consider. More on that next post.
If you’ve read this far, thank you. I promise normal ‘writing related’ posts will resume soon.