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Can we Find Joy in Grief?

By:Chrissie Batten
Date: Tue,04 Jun 2013
Submitter:Chrissie Batten
Views:7899

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Chrissie Batten
Spiritual Counsellor,
Reiki Master,
Author.

Last week, Wednesday 29th May at 3.15 p.m. to be precise, my beautiful Eclectus parrot Chloe, had to be put to sleep. As other pet owners will recognise, I considered Chloe to be my baby – for the last eighteen years. I loved her dearly and will miss her soooooo much!

Each morning I would smile when she shouted loudly ‘Wot you doin!’, which was her way of saying ‘Come on, open up my cage. I want to come out and have some breakfast!’. She was quite a good talker and never screeched, even when she was younger. She would just talk, or make a sweet chirping sound, letting us know she was there, that she wanted to play, or just wanting to respond to our prompts. She was one of the family alright! Same mealtimes, social times, play times. I can’t believe she’s not here any more!

Chloe was always there, always there for me to chat to. In fact, all those years ago, when people asked me why I wanted a parrot, I told them ‘Because I wanted someone to talk to’! Of course I was joking (a little bit – but that’s another story). But it was true really….she was always there, willing to listen to what I had to say, and chirp or cheep in acknowledgement at the right moment! Asking nothing in return really, other than just to be part of my life! My adorable little Chloe….!

I’m trying to reassure myself that ‘It was her time’…It’s funny how that statement can console us isn’t it? When we realise that it was the right time for our loved one to leave us, to go where they need to be to complete the next stage of their own soul journey. It pacifies us just a little, knowing the time was right for them to return home to the higher dimensions!

But now she’s gone…my little ray of sunshine! And regardless of the fact that my Chloe was ‘just’ a pet parrot, (in some people’s eyes), the dreaded grief has kicked in big time!

I HATE BEING IN GRIEF – IT HURTS SO MUCH!…I know I’ve written this before in another blog post!

I can’t listen to certain music at the moment because it stimulates the horrible heaviness inside my stomach and the sensation that my heart centre has broken wide open. The feelings of adrenalin pumping away makes it difficult to sit still for too long, so I’m suddenly finding jobs I’ve put off are now getting done! That’s a positive thing anyway…!!

The racing thoughts of past experiences with Chloe make me cry, as I remember what I’ve lost! And the FEAR! The fear that rises because now I feel vulnerable about the future, and my loved ones, and any further losses I might have to face. The fear that keeps me awake at night because now I’ve started to worry about ‘What If’s…’ again – now that I’ve faced the trauma of loss – AGAIN!

Grief is grief…regardless of what stimulates it! And thank God I know it’s also a process, that we have to work through, otherwise we may find ourselves drowning in internal anguish in the not so distant future. So I’m monitoring and correcting my whirling mind, and changing my focus when I start to remember my Chloe, and feel the overwhelm of rising emotions trying to surface. As just for now, I’m working to stand steady and let the emotional and mental crisis reaction rise, pass and subside…there’s time for remembering in the future – when my emotions are not so raw!

Grief makes us afraid, we know that. ‘But can it bring us joy, when we have to face so much pain?’ I ask myself, along with the million dollar question …’What is this life really about?’….!

When we lose someone/pet we love, something happens to us, that changes us forever! Some people become bitter, angry, resentful, even more afraid, as they struggle to understand and cope with the way they feel! Then there are others who see it as a fact of life, where their attitude is one of acceptance, we live – we die…simple fact! It is true isn’t it – once we are born we have to die…so why do we fear it so much? Why is death so painful for the ones who are left?

The reality is we experience so many stages during the grief process, it’s like being on an emotional roller-coaster – we’re up, we’re down, we’re stable, we’re upside down! All we can really hope for is that we eventually end up with our feet back on the ground, emotionally intact, even though we are dishevelled.

The waves of anguish, guilt, panic, sadness and fear can overtake us, if we allow them to. So it’s important to let the waves of mental and emotional energy flow through us, thus releasing any toxic e

Beautiful Chloe

motions, rather than catching and focussing on their critical thoughts that can lead us to unnecessarily condemn ourselves, or stimulate more painful issues from the past.

Our memories of our loved ones are ours, to look at whenever we desire. And whilst at the moment I can’t bear to look at anything to do with Chloe (I’ve got rid of her food, dishes, toys, and put her cages in the garage), I know this is simply my way of avoiding the terrible feelings that her loss has caused to rise inside of me. In time I know I will remember her cuteness and individuality, and the shared experiences that kept our emotional bond intact.

Me and hubby tearfully buried Chloe at the bottom of our garden on Friday night. I lit a candle and said a loving prayer of farewell and thanks, that she had stayed in my life for so long. These symbolic gestures help us to feel able to release our loved one to the higher realms. So in the future, when I think of Chloe, instead of remembering the trauma of her last few hours of life, I can imagine her flying free, with the angels in heaven!

But even though I trust she has reached the heavenly light, I don’t want to look at that part of the garden where she’s buried, as it makes me remember; when my pain wants me to forget so that I don’t feel hurt anymore!

But what is it that I’m really feeling?

I’ve watched myself closely since Chloe died. Depending on the intensity of our grief, we do have the capacity to control how we react to how we feel. So I made up my mind that I didn’t want to over-react, I didn’t want the shock and stress to tip me over the top. And I didn’t want to suffer the pain of grief any longer than I have to! But one of the first observations that I noticed, when I was feeling particularly bad in the early hours and was trying to identify the feelings raging through me…, was that the pain that hurt so much was actually…. LOVE…!

‘Love making us feel that bad?’…you might say! I know… I thought that can’t be right, but as I focussed and felt the raw power of pure love emotion in my whole being, instead of feeling blissful – as we’d expect, it hurt badly because it was sooo powerful and overwhelmed me!

The pain in my heart led the solar plexus to erupt, stimulating reactive fear and negative thoughts in my mind. This is the point I want to scream loudly! But I don’t. I just let the energy flow through me, until the surge has passed and I can breathe again!

They say ‘Love never dies’ don’t they? It does, of course within some relationships. But when we lose someone/pet we love, the love in our heart remains and often gets stronger, as we allow ourselves to mentally embrace their being, our memory of who and what they were to us, and acknowledge our feelings about them. As we do this our heart centre resonates with universal love energy, which amplifies what we are feeling, reflecting back to us the love that we are emitting toward our lost one!

And after a time, when we stop hurting so much, we can start to remember our relationship with them and feel the love in our hearts that maybe we were not fully aware of then. The love, the joy that that loving person/pet was in our life for a little while, to help us on our journey!

So yes, I guess we can find joy in grief – but it takes a little while to be able to feel it!

For all those who are also experiencing grief at the moment….I send my love and prayers to you, and ask that God wraps his arms around you when you hurt the most, giving you the comfort to know that even though you may feel isolated in your grief and pain, you are not alone – ever! And that terrible pain inside, that makes us feel so bad? Well believe it or not, it will eventually subside, given time! Just give yourself that time – don’t let the adrenalyn push you over the edge. Stay steady, try to stay calm, and let the tears flow when they need to.

For me, my aim is to ride the stormy path until my pain reduces. However, I’ve already decided I will not be getting another parrot..or even another pet! Mind you, I could change my mind…!

My Chloe is free now, to fly where she wants. Here is a picture of her taken about three years ago….

Thank you for being my friend darling. I will miss you so much but we will meet again one day in the future. Until then I hold you in my heart, with love xx

R.I.P. Chloe – 3.8.1995 – 29.5.2013 – Love is the legacy you left behind…!
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