With the year coming to a close and 2017 approaching it makes me reflect on 2016 and how far I’ve come in my journey post pet loss. Life has a funny way of surprising you. Change is a part of life and it can give you surprises; both good and bad. With that said, I’d like to share seven unexpected blessings I discovered after pet loss.
7 Unexpected Blessings
Blessing #1: Extra free time for yourself
One of the unexpected blessings I have gained is more time for myself. That extra five or ten minutes in the morning I would normally spend feeding Dusty and clean up her litter box, now is dedicated to catching some extra sleep. Just think of your situation. Perhaps in the morning you had to take Fido out for a walk and feed him, but now you can use that extra time for what you want. If you are more motivated in the mornings, you can use that extra time to meditate or pray. Additionally, it’s the perfect time to use that extra time to get moving and exercise. More free time allows more opportunity to use your time productively.
Blessing #2: Less monthly expense
A second blessing I really did not think about until after the fact was the monthly expenses. Sure when my cats Precious and Dusty passed away there were ongoing and final expenses. There were also extra medical expenses with Dusty’s medical checkups in her last months every other week for her blood work. However as a pet parent going through this I was not thinking about how these expenses impact what I want. My concern was how can I pay for XYZ to make sure Dusty gets the best care.
Now that both of them have passed away, I see more money in my account every pay period. I forgot just how much caring for them did impact me that way, but I sure as heck did not mind. They were part of the family; my kids with paws. With less expense one has a chance to spend the extra cash responsibly and pay towards a credit card bills or pay off debt. Or if you are debt free you can treat yourself to a spa treatment, a movie night or donate to a local charity.
Blessing #3: Unexpected Opportunities
One of the blessings I have discovered is re-establishing my love of art. I wrote a separate post about my love of art earlier this year. I’ve painted a number of small canvases and unexpectedly gained a following of fans. My outlet has created an opportunity to turn my hobby into profit which I never saw coming.
I have gotten a chance to explore painting and try my hand at other forms of creativity, including writing this blog. I’ve used my own personal experience with pet loss to write my thoughts, feelings and lessons learned. This space has given me a chance to share my experiences with others in an effort to inform and provide comfort. I know I’m not alone. I hope using this creative medium helps others to heal and realize there is another person in the world that can empathize and understand exactly what they are going through.
Blessing #4: No need for a lint roller anymore
Any pet owner understands this one. We all know the real life struggle against pet hair and our clothes…especially our black clothes! This is a simple blessing but a good one. Yay! I no longer a need for a lint roller to remove pet hair while rushing out the door to work. I don’t have to double-check my backside in the full length mirror to make sure it is fur free anymore. That is a relief and again, ironically, one less thing to buy.
Blessing #5: I can travel for longer time periods
Before Dusty passed away I limited any traveling I would take to a weekend getaway. I would only take one or two night escape max. Whenever I left for a short trip, I often remember leaving double of everything- 2 litter boxes, 2 bowls of food and 2 huge water bowls for my kitty as a precaution. With Dusty and Precious gone now, I honestly forgot how to take a full vacation without having to worry about food, water and an emergency contact person to check on my cat in case. There is no more need for that now. I know have the ability to travel freely and have many more options when it comes to traveling. Hello spontaneity! That is one aspect that is a silver lining in the storm. One less worry and an unexpected blessing in disguise.
Blessing #6: Helping others helped me
When my youngest cat passed away I really took it hard. She was the sweetest most precious cat I could have asked for. After she passed I was depressed and let myself go. After a while I had to take stock of my situation and make the decision not to stay in that dark place and to find a way to honor Dusty’s memory in a positive way. I had to start to take steps to add positivity and joy in my life.
The best way I knew how to honor Dusty was to do something with animals like volunteer. It was then that I decided to use the Internet and find a volunteer opportunity with a no kill organization called Kitty Kind. Choosing to offer help with this organization allowed me the opportunity to get out of bed and turn my pain into purpose. I regained some joy meeting new people, seeing cute cats, exchanging stories and learning new skills. The ability to help animals in need gave me a new purpose and a new-found joy. It was yet another blessing.
Blessing #7: My testimony is validation for someone else
Lastly, there is a blessing in trials and tribulations. Although we may not understand it in the moment, some good can come out of the storm. With the death of my cats, I have been able to share my story and experience with other pet parents. Through my testimony, I can provide validation and comfort for others going through the same journey. Just know I have been there and am getting through day by day and reclaiming my joy along the way. Please know that you can do the same.
We are in this journey called life together. I am so blessed to have been a pet parent and know one day in the future I will be again. Life isn’t the same without a furry friend to call family. The human – animal bond is not only priceless, but truly a blessing that is heaven-sent.
Comment and share. What blessings have you had being a pet parent?