By Sheryl Lilly Pidgeon
Several years back I wrote a piece about the positive lessons we can learn from our pets. Yesterday, our sweet, funny, gregarious, loyal, beloved Labrador Retriever Aspen lost her valiant battle with cancer. So today, I offer up a few more PAWS-itive life lessons that I have learned since the original piece was published.
- Embrace grief. Feeling immense sadness is perfectly normal, and we should encourage our children to express their grief openly and honestly. It is in the depth of despair that we realize the magnitude of our love.
- Learn to let go. Even though we are taught to hang in there, there is a time to let go. It is in the letting go that we realize we cannot control everything no matter how vast our desire to do so, and we turn to our faith to see us through. Letting go shows compassion and grace to yourself and others.
- Time heals. It is an old adage that time heals all wounds. I don’t think that is necessarily true for all pain, but I do think healing is a journey and that the pain does, indeed, lessen over time.
- There’s nothing wrong with a good cry. Let your tears flow and mourn your loss deeply. Then, find your smile by reflecting on all your cherished memories you wouldn’t trade for the world.
Heartbreak is life educating us.
Pictured: Precious photos from the thousands if images we all took of our very photogenic, but camera-shy girl.
Above, our daughter Jaxie, middle, our daughter Lindsey, photo right, our son Bryce.
Below: Me getting some love, Aspen enjoying a beautiful sunset, my husband David out for a joy ride.
Aspen also had her own Instagram: Lights, Camera, Aspen