Embracing GriefJun 30, 2021
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In an effort to bring the best of the best to the world of AHG we aim to invite a talented and delightful mix of guest contributors to educate and captivate our audience with a variety of hospice care subjects.
In this article, our very first guest blogger Tamara Macaluso shares her valuable expertise and inspirational words on the enormous and difficult topic of G.R.I.E.F.
Tamara has always been an enthusiastic animal devotee and nature lover. She has often been inspired by Mother Nature and animals over the past 25 years, which has helped her create poems, articles, blogs, etc., designed to inspire, motivate and comfort humans, and which promote love, harmony and peace in people's lives. She wholeheartedly feels that animals teach us many life lessons. Over the years, her life has been graced with her own 4 amazing dogs named Nugget, Casey, Toby and Missy, in addition to the plethora of animals she has had the privilege to care for with her pet sitting business. All of these animals have been a source of motivation and strength for her. It is her privilege to share this GRIEF article with our readers. She dedicates this writing to all the caregivers, families, and individuals who have provided unwavering love and devotion to their beloved animal companions, and who have had to grieve their passing.
EMBRACING GRIEF | Written by Tamara Macaluso
Grief is an experience that we all inevitably encounter throughout the course of our lives. There are countless circumstances that can trigger the onset of grief, including the passing of our beloved animals who have touched us immeasurably with their presence. Allowing ourselves to feel, express and embrace the sea of emotions flowing through us during these difficult times can serve as an act of grace for our individual journeys on the path to recovery. The grief pilgrimage can walk us gently through a portal to healing. It is like a bridge, which when crossed by each of us in our own way and time, can lead to an expansion of our hearts. When we trust that Love always finds its way and presents itself, even if we are not together physically, we may perhaps discover ways to reinvent or envision a new transcendent relationship with those who have passed. Each letter in the word G.R.I.E.F (below) holds its own special meaning that can soothe and assist us as we navigate this sacred journey.
Grace is a gentle and ever-flowing waterfall of divine assistance that is available to each of us with every breath we take. Grace is the thread that weaves together the moments in our lives. It envelops us like air – invisible, yet always there to sustain us. Grace can regenerate strength to endure trials in our lives. The passing of a cherished animal can swallow us up and send us spiraling into an abyss of sadness. Grace holds our hand and gently walks us through as we mourn. Grief is grace in disguise. If we allow it to, grief can expand our hearts and humble us and break us open to a new depth of love. Grace comes bearing gifts in many different forms, including grief, all of which eventually lead us to love and the home in our hearts. A river of grace flows through all the chapters of our lives.
Grief can be viewed as an act of love to those who have passed on, including our beloved animal friends. Remembering and honoring those we cherish are genuine expressions of the depth of the love we harbor for them, and can serve as a therapeutic and healing balm to our soul as we navigate our way through the pain. Our individual paths to healing can be welcomed by memorializing and paying tribute to them in a variety of ways as we remember and reflect on treasured things such as days that were sacred and meaningful to us, the countless ways they lit up our being, and the gifts they left behind that are forever imprinted on our souls. Keeping their memory alive and flourishing in our hearts is a gift not only to ourselves, but to them as well, and sustains our connection forever. Remembrance is a powerful act of love which not only honors those we hold dear, but radiates out and caresses the hearts of all who embrace it.
Grief is a visitor that inevitably knocks on all of our doors during the course of our lives. The essence of the visitor is the same for us all, yet it wears different disguises – the end of a relationship, the death of a family member or friend, the loss of a job, the passing of our animal companions… How each of us responds when we greet this guest at our entryway is an individual journey, and we must meet it face to face in our own way and time. The universe provides an abundance of assistance moment by moment when we are ready. Grief can break us open and expand our hearts and create a passage to a portal for healing. This pilgrimage is sacred, and ours to uniquely experience as grace embraces us every step of the way.
When we are open to genuinely feeling and expressing the storm of raw emotions that move through us during the grief process, it can create a corridor that can guide us to a deeper healing of our soul, and empathetically extend outward to those around us. When we find our way out of the depths of sorrow that can consume us, we can emerge with more empathy, kindness, understanding and sensitivity toward others, which are all extensions of love. Empathy is a jewel that shines brightly and radiates outward. When we make use of the tender and broken within ourselves, love creates a passageway into the hearts of others.
FOREVER IN OUR HEARTS
The journey through grief is a winding path with its own set of twists and turns, ultimately leading us to coming Home. The realization is that the door to our heart opens to the place inside of us where those we cherish live on forever, including our beloved animal friends. The essence of their being caresses our souls, and leaves an everlasting mark on our hearts. When we remember, honor, and embrace how they touched our lives and the lessons they came here to teach, we join with them in that sacred place that connects us eternally. The heart space is boundless, and unites us all together in an eternal flame of love which can never be extinguished.
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