Yesterday, my family and I experienced a loss we had never ever felt (thankfully) before, but I am sure we will experience again. We had to put our dog, Ginger down.
I anticipated it would be awful, but was not quite prepared for the sorrow of watching my family be so emotional or how I would feel when our beautiful pup lay there motionless as she breathed her last breath.
We wondered whether we should post anything on social media or whether we should keep our grief private. We put the idea away for a while as we gathered all of Ginger’s belongings: her food, her favourite toys, her bed.
We were all exhausted from the sheer emotion of it. We didn’t answer the phone when it rang or pick up our phones at all.
Everywhere we looked, there were reminders. The silence was and is perhaps the hardest. By the end of the afternoon, we thought it might be easier to post what happened, so we could avoid that awkward question when someone asked how Ginger was doing.
The resulting outpouring of support and condolences was so overwhelming and touching and it helped me. And you may say, sure, it’s that dopamine high from getting likes on social media, but it was more than that. You see people took the time to send a message or a separate DM, or a text. A friend even shared a poem.
I take away two thoughts.
- For as much as people blame social media for the ills of the world, this was yet another reminder to me that it can be an incredibly beautiful and supportive space too.
- We will all be in school tomorrow still grieving in our own ways. I am reminded that we need to reach out to people in kindness every day because we don’t know what inner struggles they are facing or the heaviness of their hearts.
Thank you to all of you who made a positive difference in my world this weekend.