The truth is, letting go is never easy for most people, be it a person, job, situation, habit, furbaby, or anything else. This post is not about teaching you how to let go, or even how to make it hurt less, it is simply my own realizations and experiences from a life that had seemed filled with letting go.
I think most people learn about letting go at a young age with either the passing of a family member or family pet.
The very first experience I had with it, that I remember, was my great uncle when I was 4.
He was severely diabetic and I barely remember brief periods when it wasn't obvious, even to a child, that something was wrong with him. Of course, I didn't understand what being diabetic was back then, I only knew the man I loved and called "Papa", that was like a father to me, was sick and had to go away a lot. I understand now that he was in and out of the hospital a lot, but I didn't understand that then.
His death, and learning what death was, was my first experience with having to let go.
The next time was my beloved cat, Baby. As loyal as any dog, and just as smart, she was my first dance with being a fur-mom.
Given to me as a dying runt when I was around seven, baby went on to have numerous litters of her own, making me a "child grand-ma" many times over.
When I was about eight or nine, she tried to run across the road with a bob-tailed semi coming and he never even tapped his breaks. She died in my arms in the backyard, too broken for the vet to fix her.
My cousin, friends, and I gave her a proper burial in the backyard and years later I could often still be seen sitting alone by her grave, crying quietly as I told her how very much I missed her and struggled to let go.
Death is, of course, a part of life, and since then I've seen death claim more than it's share, including furbabies, a few friends, my beloved Daddy Teddy Bear, The Puppet Master and many family members, including the cousin that was like a brother to me, that had attended Baby's funeral. We were only 30 when a motorcycle accident claimed him and I still miss him.
Death is only one form of letting go though. Death, at least, gives you no choice. Other forms of letting go are not so clean-cut, like the relationship you didn't want to end, but they did -- and then you run into them with someone new, or the family or friend you cared deeply for that had become poison and you had to walk away.
Sometimes, we have to let go when we really don't want to, knowing it's for the best for one or more of the people involved, and personally, I think the pain involved in that one ranks right up there with the pain of death.
I know when I lost Step-Dad due to circumstances I couldn't control, it hit me just as hard as losing The Puppet Master had earlier that year.
Recently, I had to let Dragonfly go. It was one of those tough-love moments every parent prays never happens to them. Deep-down, I pray it doesn't have to be permanent because I love my child, but sometimes, you just have to make a stand and make them figure out life on their own.
The pain of making that decision had been weighing on me for months and when I said it to her, the pain slammed into me like a freight train with no breaks. It laid my heart bare and left me bleeding on the inside. A pain I'm still struggling to find balance under.
During all this, two people close to my heart have laid beloved fur-babies to rest and I have done what I could to help them heal while struggling with my own pain.
Although I know time does not truly heal all wounds, I do know that time will help make the pain more bearable for all of our losses.
Meanwhile, I struggle to find my equilibrium in a world full of limbo and letting go peppered with the humor I have to find in life to save my sanity while I do what we all do, and try to learn to let go.
Blessings from The Lair,