Your Trauma Is Valid

October 26, 2017

I seem to find myself in situations where I am explaining my grief to others, validating the way I feel about my loss of my sweet Pharrell. Having moved away to a town where very few know of my loss, it is easier, but when you are the newbie, people obviously want to know your story. What brought you to this journey in your life? Why did you move away from where you were? I know that I don’t owe anyone an explanation, but I feel a little happier when I can still talk about Pharrell to those who did not know him. It helps me to keep his memory alive.

I am an avid follower of Tiny Buddha– the little snippets of wisdom often speak to me. I recently ran across this one, by Daniell Koepke, that made me feel validated and left me a feeling of confidence in my feelings of grief:


In the past month, I have had times where I find myself reflecting on the loss- Pharrell being sick in the end, and trying to stay very busy to prevent myself from sliding down that slope. Despite my efforts, sometimes the slide happens anyway.  How could I have done things differently? I often call my mom, who was with me on Pharrell’s last day, and I have her run through it all again. Even though I have heard her tell me a hundred times that there is no way he could have gone on as sick as he was that last night, I still need the confirmation that I made the right decision to help him cross over the Rainbow Bridge. I do know it. I know it is true, but my mind tries to recreate the story sometimes. I start asking myself, “what if I had taken him to the emergency vet the morning I noticed something was wrong, would that have changed the outcome?” The answer to that question doesn’t matter. The ending is still what it is= trauma. My heart is still not healed, and has a gaping wound inside that tries with all is might to mend, but for now, it is still painful, just a little less traumatic at times than others.

When Pharrell passed away, that evening, when I finally did fall asleep, I dreamed of him. He was running in a grassy field, down near a creek, like a puppy again. His arthritis didn’t seem to be an issue, and he looked so happy. I have yearned to have a dream like that again, and in 8 1/2 months, none came. This week, finally, a dream of Pharrell came. I was holding him in my arms, blowing bubbles on his belly, like I used to. It was such a warm and joyous time. I woke and was disappointed to wake, wishing I could stay in that moment, but was also pleased to have had that dream since I wished for it, so deeply.

I’m not sure if this pain will subside, but for now, I am content with the fact that my pain is my pain. The trauma I have experienced is valid, and it’s mine. No one has to understand it, and that is okay. I will continue to work through each day, attempting to look for those moments that bring me joy and contentment.


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