Everyone has their own personal way of dealing with their grief, loss, depression, stress; etc. We all have our own means of coping. For some, it is best to be surrounded by loved ones, while for others isolation is more soothing. Because people vary so much, it can be difficult to know how to be there for a friend when they're hurting; but I hoped that I knew what my dear friend, Rachel K needed.
A few months ago, Rachel had suffered the loss of her beloved friend; Barry; and then on December 26, she had to say goodbye to her four legged son, Bart. I may not get this exactly right; but I believe that Bart was a 16 1/2 year old, wire haired, Dachshund; and I can honestly say that I have never met anyone who was more devoted to their dog; than Rachel. Rachel adored Bart; and she treated him with the utmost love and respect. During the last month of his life, Rachel cooked special meals for Bart and tried to do everything and anything to restore his health. She even took him to a holistic vet in addition to seeing her traditional vet.
When Rachel called to tell me that they had to put Bart to rest; she was sobbing uncontrollably, and I felt helpless. There are NEVER any words that anyone can say to someone who has experienced such a loss; and so all I could say was "I'm so sorry;" and I was / am. I'm so sorry that she has to hurt; I'm so sorry that she has to be without her friends. I'm so sorry that she won't get to hold them or be comforted by them again, and I'm so sorry that this is unfortunately the way that life is.
I hadn't heard from Rachel since she called to tell me about losing Bart; but because I know that she needs to keep to herself when she's upset; I tried not to crowd her. I left her a message on a weekly basis; just so she would know that I was thinking of her; and I sent her a text as well. I wanted her to know that when she was ready, I'd be here for her; and in the meantime, I'd wait and send my love.
Rachel was very much on my mind today; and perhaps that's why she called me. Rachel told me that she was working on healing, slowly; and we discussed how unfair death was. I told Rachel that I felt terrible for not being able to do more for her; but I knew from personal experience that there was absolutely nothing that I could say. I apologized for not being able to do anything to provide her with some relief, and again told her how sorry I was for her loss. We chatted a bit longer, and discussed how awful death is. I said that hopefully, as time goes on; she'll be able to remember the wonderful times that she'd had with Barry and Bart and those feelings of gratitude would replace the agonizing pain that she was experiencing now. I know that right now, that seems impossible; but I speak from experience when I say it can be done. It will always hurt to miss our loved ones; but I do believe that Tennyson is right, "Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all."
Rachel is a woman who treasures her family of friends, and all that are fortunate enough to call her friend; are truly blessed. I am so sorry for Rachel's recent losses; and for anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one. All I can offer is my love , my words and my sympathy; and hope that in some way, there is comfort in that.
Till next time...
Queen of EVERYTHING