I can’t help but reflect on how caring and wise my family’s animals are. My wife died a little over two years ago, and I have remained at home with our 4-legged children who are wonderful companions. I find that pets and grieving are a good combination. They are caring and, in my case, they try to fill in as much as possible for my wife.
My wife and I shared a queen-sized bed for many decades. I have kept it just the way it was when she was lying beside me. I have had so many mystical and wonderful experiences in our bedroom with my wife since she died. I’ll find a dime or penny in places they shouldn’t be. And she kisses me goodnight with a puff I hear and a breeze I feel on my face when I get in bed.
Now back to my new girlfriends. Princess and Hope have been with us for many years. So many I can’t keep track. But since Bobbie died, they have started filling in for her with a specific schedule.
Very often before I make the evening meals for our dog and two cats, I put their food out to warm up a bit. Then I lie down for a brief nap. As I go to the bedroom, along comes Princess and she waits for me to get into bed and then jumps up on the bed and waits for me to settle down and get comfortable. Then over she comes and nestles into the space between my legs. It all has a sedating effect upon me; she stays until I get out of bed.
In the evening when I get ready for bed, Hope shows up once the TV and lights are off and she cuddles in the same place as Penny. However, when Princess senses my trying to change positions, she goes to the foot of the bed and sleeps by my feet.
I am writing this to share that they never switch times or places. No matter when my nap, Princess shows up. And at night Hope appears. I know they are doing it to fill in for my wife. Pets and grieving are a good combination.
Read more on Open to Hope by Bernie Siegel: https://www.opentohope.com/we-dont-die-our-bodies-do/
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