Coaching and helping others through their pain over the years has taught me some profound lessons. The biggest being that any feelings, thought, or emotion you're going through - someone else has gone through the same. This is what connects us all. I offer more guidance on self-compassion and love in my free guide here. Here are 6 ways to overcome. Feel the feelings and don't force yourself to "just get over.". Getting over a broken heart can take a lot of energy, work, and time. Don't try to force yourself or listen to anyone who says "just get over it".
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You thought you've completely moved on but you had a dream about an ex and wonder why you still have feelings for them. I am able to write this post only because i've gone through these situations myself. Here is why having your national heart broken is a good thing: because most of our fragile hearts have holes in them. There are wounds, some of which have healed entirely, some that have scabbed over, and some of which are still open. But because it has been shattered into a million little pieces, the light can shine through. You are not broken. You have been cracked wide open. Wide enough to feel deep and hard. And i know that it hurts, but from that hurt you can begin to create a profound connection with yourself and others that wasn't possible before. Having your heart broken means being human. It means that you have a good, loving, and caring heart.
Ill adopt another dog-again and again-knowing that each will break my heart. But none as deeply as Max. I'm writing this post with a lot of love for women who are nursing a broken heart. Unless you married your high school sweetheart who you met when you were 14 (I know a few people who fall into this category, and part of me is envious of you) you probably have gone through one of the following situations:. You went through a terrible breakup that has left you bleary eyed, shaken, and afraid you lost your soul mate. You have been cheated on or cheated on someone and you're feeling upset and confused. You broke up a while ago but have just seen (thank you facebook) that your ex is getting married, had a baby, or is posting a million pictures presentation with his new person and you can't help but think "maybe i shouldn't have let them go". You're in a relationship now that just isn't working and you don't know what. You love this person but there are a ton of red flags and you're lonely and lost.
It sneaks up and bears down when my three-year-old asks, mama, is Max alone? I know time will blunt the edges but, as life resumes its normal ups and downs, the ache to hug my dog is still sharp. Im learning how to be sad without him; navigating without my north Star. Ive lost so much more than a pet, i miss his love: the kind you cant get (and wouldnt want) from online a human relationship. It would fuller be weird if my husband burst into crazed elation upon my return from the grocery store, but it sure felt good when Max did. No complicated relationship dynamics, no mixed emotions nothing but the pure love of a dog is worth the heartbreak we choose by loving them back. So ill take the winter to heal, and then Ill choose it again.
Im going to miss you for the rest of my life. The next day went almost exactly as imagined. It was agonizing, but also full of love and importance. Grieving Max is painful, to be sure, but it feels more natural than preparing to lose him. Anticipating the loss was desperate, agitated dread; a blinking, neon orange. Mourning him is sorrowful, empty throbbing; a muted storm cloud gray. The grief comes in waves, swelling up from a thousand daily reminders.
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Lying still with him, Ill collect myself enough to call the rest of our family home. My son and our other dog will kiss him skywriting goodbye, my husband will carry his body to the crematory, and I will never see him again. Every cell in my body recoils from the thought of ending my best friends life; I want to throw myself on the floor in kicking, screaming refusal. I feel like i'm being forced to overcome my own survival instinct: volunteering to walk the emotional plank. Im absolutely terrified, but determined not to let fear steal the end of our togetherness. Theres still a little time to lean into each other. So tonight I will trim his nails one more time, brush his soft black fur, and tie on the handsome blue bandana.
I will sit with him all night and try to keep him comfortable, reflecting on his life lived so fully-so faithfully-for. Ill speak softly of our adventures, from the bottom of death Valley to the top of a city skyscraper, and of how deeply he savored simple pleasures: chasing rabbits, barking at the mailman, and basking in the sun. Ill talk about the way he grumbled out of bed to accompany every late night newborn feeding, warming my feet at the rocking chair. Ill remind him that, as soon as that baby could talk, he declared that Max is a happiness dog! Youre a good boy, a great friend, and the best kind of happiness.
I dont have to wait until he stops eating or falls down the stairs. Rather than waiting in distress for some moment of anguished certainty, i can trust myself half as much as Max does, and drop this yo-yo of self doubt. I can let him go because i feel, like no one else can, that its time. So tomorrow Ill ask the vet to make a house call and Ill spend Maxs last few hours alone with him. Ill give him an extra pain pill, cuddle up to a movie and feed him salami.
Dignity intact, he will greet. Hamilton enthusiastically while i breathe through the sickening anxiety. Ill play the song that feels like ours, and hold him as he drifts into a barbiturate overdose. With the rise and fall of his last breaths, Ill thank him for being such a fine boy and my heart will shatter into a thousand pieces when he dies in my arms. Ill see the doctor out, rush back to maxs body, and have the complete meltdown ive been resisting for months. The deadness will startle me when he doesnt lift his white muzzle to comfort. Ill sob into his neck and, for the last time, feel his tear-soaked fur against my face.
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Its often said that a dog is ready to die when hes just not himself anymore, but too many things remain untouched by the aging process: he still does the flappity-ear shake to announce himself into a room, and still snouts along the couch. Stroking his whiskers still makes him yawn and, sitting with entry him now, i still hear the familiar thump of his sleep-wagging tail. With or without his quirks, max could never seem completely un -himself, when loving me is so much of who. I think readiness is better measured by what. Jessica vogelsang described as the. Intuitive emotional bond that develops between owner and pet when they are signaling that they are done. Im not making this decision alone; weve been partnering toward this for a long time. Weve brought each other so much comfort over the years, it feels wrong to write full-blown misery into the end of our story. I dont want our goodbye to be an emergency.
Through new love, remarriage, pregnancy, motherhood—all my greatest joys—Max was here with pure, undoubting encouragement. He fell for the man who makes me happy, rested his muzzle on my expectant belly and accepted my son, like a slow, patient grandpa. For 4,254 days, he has been my constant, unwavering companion. The embodiment of devotion, max wins my victories, loses my defeats, and loves my soul mates. Unbridled by the concept of death, he has no doubt that our duo is forever. Im glad hes unaware of the wretched truth, because Im not evaluating his quality of life; i am his quality of life. But Im rapidly declining under bay the weight of this decision.
growing inconveniences are a labor of love; I would continue them indefinitely if they werent beginning to fail. I would do anything for him, and its almost time to prove. Looking back to his adoption, my dog is the only thing that hasnt changed since 2005. Twelve years, two marriages, six moves and three states Max stood with me through it all, steady by my side, as the world evolved around. Through divorce, job loss, financial struggle, miscarriage—all my darkest days—Max was there with his quiet, absolute presence. He stayed up all night with my insomnia, waited outside the bathroom for my stomach flu, and spent long days in bed with my broken heart.
In hindsight, i wasnt merely spoiling my old boy; I was augmenting his apple quality of life. For a long while, maxs declining comfort and mobility were easily accommodated. When his weak joints refused to jump, we lifted him into the car. When stiffness became pain, we added a second medication to his anti-inflammatory. And when family walks became unmanageable, we pulled him along in a wagon. Long gone was his former exuberance, but he was content. Family life marched. Now, suddenly it seems, max is elderly. And his discomfort exceeds my ability to compensate for.
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Supporting a shredder pet through the end of life is like caring for a baby. Relentless needs are constantly evolving, feeding and pooping take front and center, and sleep is disrupted. Both situations are heavy with love and sacrifice, but they move our hearts in opposite directions. While a newborn promises a long future of easier days together, an old, fading dog reminds us that the hardest part is yet to come. Sometime after line-drives became gentle lobs, but long before the tennis ball was fully retired, there unfolded a gradual progression of bent rules and new privileges. Most of the earliest changes were unconscious, like forgetting to make him sit for a treat. Others were more deliberate, like finally granting his quest to sit under the dinner table. Eventually, the allowances became downright shameless, like smuggling meatballs from my plate.