It is certainly not my first post on letting go, nor do I suspect it will be my last post on the subject. The last few weeks, the universe has honed my ability to do so more quickly.
I am no stranger to traumatic experiences, nor am I trauma’s biggest fan despite the familiarity. What I have learned about trauma is that no matter how quickly you pick up the leftover pieces and continue moving forward, the imprint physiologically remains far longer.
Loss and trauma are strange bedfellows, I have also learned. Not all losses are traumatic, but most trauma involves a loss of something/someone.
With the vicarious trauma professionally, and from simply watching the news about the various tragedies happening world-wide, experiencing a personal trauma in addition, has created a variety of interesting visceral responses.
Nearly 2 ½ weeks ago, I unexpectedly lost my third dog in three years. The first two were inevitable as they were seniors, but the third was only five years old, and we experienced a painful final 72 hours of her life together. She was very vocal about her pain and suffering, and no amount of medication was easing that for her. I chose not to prolong her suffering.
While I chose to let her go, the experience of her suffering remains both in my heart and in my mind.
I went back to work the following week, and while apparently numb, I found myself extra sensitive to suffering of all kinds. In my semi-conscious waking state for the first week, I saw her eyes and felt her pressing her painful self into me attempting to ease her pain. The second week was a bit more interesting in my sleeping state.
Nearly every soul connection I have had in the last decade came flooding back in my dreams. The gist I could gather when I would awaken was the theme of letting go on a different level. Interestingly enough, Duke was not among them because he was in my dreams the week before all this happened with Ruby. It was his death anniversary, which is the last time I posted a blog.
Because it is my nature to look for the lesson and potential growth opportunity in everything, I cannot help but to think more about these losses and the residual effects they may be having on my ability to move forward in my life. Perhaps that was Ruby’s ultimate lesson for me in our relatively short time together.
Grieving, letting go and healing trauma happens as a process. It appears to be happening on a global scale, and not just in my personal and professional life, so I have to believe that continuing to move forward while being open to the process itself, will promote that healing process.