Grief is a Dog.

“Your real life, your whole life, is worth getting your heart broken a few thousand times.” ~ Martha Beck

Take a vacation with Grief. Take the trip. I’m not talking about going somewhere, but getting to the bonfire of your broken heart.

Take a vacation with Grief the way you would with a dying dog. Let Grief snuggle up to you in all her juxtaposed, shell-wrecking emotions.

Pet Grief. Look into her eyes. Release your tears under the weight of her tender touch. Put your hand to your heart.

Make your time with Grief matter.

Is Grief’s size similar to that of dogs? Does small Grief linger, biting at our ankles for 17 years, while large Grief makes its presence known in every room, until its departure is so profound it’s as if all the furniture has been removed from the house?

I don’t know, for Grief’s size can’t be measured, not its timeframe determined.

Grief is as large as a Great Purines and as small as a teacup pup. She bites, but she loves.

Grief is the guide dog assigned to us, suddenly at our side, when someone we love dies. We’re so unused to having her, we often trip over her.

We don’t know how to care for this dog named Grief.

Feed her. Feed her your attention, time and affection. Let her fetch memory’s ball and bring it back slobbery.

Don’t put Grief out. Not only does she belong to you; she’s chosen you. Of all the dogs in the world, this Grief is yours.

Try to leave her out back and she howls like she’s in heat.

Just when you think you’ve trained her and invite her to escort you into the world, she’ll drop an extra-large pile of poop on your friend’s white carpet.

Or, when you believe Grief has made her peace with other dogs—finally!—she’ll snarl like a wild animal.

Grief is a dog. Logic isn’t her forte. English doesn’t make sense to her.

Sure, she can learn a few words. Grief knows Sit. Down. Food. Water. Walk.

She loves to walk in the woods and needs to drink water.

Grief will be by your side as you pray and meditate and write.

She won’t complain about your choice of music or the sound of your voice.

Grief wants love and attention. She requires your time.

Sure, you can lock her in a kennel and only serve her basic needs.

But, that’s not why you were given this dog named Grief. She’s your companion who requires sensitivity.

What feels like a burden can transform into a gift.

She’s vulnerable. Walk slowly with her. Nurture her.

Love your Grief like an old dog who’s dying.

Caring for Grief can be an honor.


10 thoughts on “Grief is a Dog.

  1. Love it, hate it, fear it.

    I found myself wanting this experience, then realizing what the hell I was desiring … I’m glad my puppy has yet to appear.

    So well written that I fear I’m missing out, then again I remember, I love cats …

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful post. I had written a post (which is not up on my blog anymore for some personal reasons) which was called “Sadness is a person” and your post reminded me of that. Reading this post made me feel all kinds of things and I’m thinking of rewriting my post and re-publishing it. And I have you to thank for it.


  3. Reblogged this on WRITE OUTSIDE and commented:
    I really like reading essays on grief. They are spot on and creative.
    “Grief is the guide dog assigned to us, suddenly at our side, when someone we love dies. We’re so unused to having her, we often trip over her.” Visit her site!

    Liked by 1 person

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