I’ve learned in my later years to “feel all the feels”. While I understand the human tendency to avoid painful emotions, and the midwestern tendency to push down these emotions or pretend they don’t exist, they are a part of the fullness of the human experience. So now, I embrace them, sit with them, feel them, and then they don’t usually stick around quite as long.
With this new philosophy, I found myself grieving the loss of our beloved dog, Tully. I let the grief wash over me. I cried the ugly tears. I played all my sad music. But there aren’t too many songs about the loss of the family pet, so I turned to the music I listened to at my last moment of grief and found, interestingly, that grief is just grief. It lives in the same place in my body and feels the same, no matter the source.
So I listened to all the music about the loss of love, about the dissolution of relationships, and found the emotion not so different than the grief of losing our dog friend. Which is, of course, amusing enough to elicit laughter that helps grief to not be all that unpleasant after all.