My husband and I had to put our dog of 12 years down last month. Just 5 days after the 6th anniversary of Bob’s passing. Our dog, Mason, was the world to us. He was our son. He died of cancer and hung on for a month after surgery. I slept next to him every night and was with him almost every day, thankfully being able to work from home. He declined rapidly, going blind, then not wanting to eat, ultimately not being able to walk. My husband and I were next to him, holding him, as he had a stroke Sunday night, shaking in his plush dog bed surrounded by his stuffed animals. We rushed him to the ER, I snuggled up with him in the back of the Jeep, wrapping 2 blankets and my arms around him and talking to him softly, letting him know everything will be okay.

The loss of my brother has helped me understand the grieving process. I will grieve differently for Mason, but it’s still the same amount of pain. Mason was my loyal companion for 12 years. I cry every day, mostly mornings and evenings, when I miss him the most. Missing the person or pet is the worst part of loss. There is  nothing you can do about it. They’re gone. It’s helpful to keep talking to them, to realize they are still with us, but it’s obviously different. One major thing grieving over the loss of my brother has taught me is that it’s okay to cry, to let it out, to feel that emotion, any time it wants to present itself. Allow it to overcome you, do not fight it. It will subside. And, of course, as with any loss of a loved one, the ONLY thing that will help us heal is time. Drugs, therapy, meditation, new hobbies, none of that helps as much as time.

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