Is There Happiness In Grief?

Buckley passed away this morning in my arms. He's been my best little man for 8 years.

Saturday morning, my 8-year-old rabbit, Buckley, hopped out of his cage and sat on the floor. I immediately knew something was up. You see, he is quite old as far as rabbits go and he doesn’t come out unless I get him out. Once he’s out, he’s quite active, no sitting on the floor, he runs around or he is in my lap. I scooped him into my lap and immediately knew that I was going to lose him very soon. He was weak and lethargic. We found a vet with an opening in a couple of hours but I knew we wouldn’t make it. The appointment was more about making me feel better than anything.

Less than two hours later, Buckley passed away in my arms. We had pulled over on our way to the vet. Buckley was my first companion animal that was truly my own. I was super allergic to cats (now cured that I’m vegan and GF) and my apartment didn’t allow dogs but I was living alone in my first apartment and needed a companion. For 8 years, Buckley licked my elbows, chewed my shoes and bit my boyfriends. He could be a little terd at times and he hated everyone except me, but he was still my little buddy. In 2011, I lost two of my kitties separately in really tragic and sudden ways. It was so hard that I can still barely talk about either JJ or Theo. The pain comes back sometimes suddenly and just as strong as when I lost them.  The kind of grief I’m experiencing now is different. I am grateful that he passed in my arms of old age. I really think, given a choice, that is the way to go. But after 8 years of living together, there is just a huge hole in my heart and in my home. Our house is way too quiet without the sound of him munching his snacks, drinking from his water bottle or thumping at lightening.

I just kept thinking, how am I going to write about happiness or work on my happiness project when I am so sad? Now, because of the bombing at the Boston Marathon on Monday, and the explosion in a Texas factory as I write this Wednesday  night, I find, I am not grieving alone. Even though the tragedies are far away, the world is so small now, they feel very near. Everyone seems to be affected in some way or another.

I can still do the resolutions that I set out for myself in my happiness project and I’m tempted to be stricter with myself to see if they start helping.  But I’m finding that what was once very valuable to me, doesn’t really matter with my current mental and spiritual state. I know that I will get back to those goals and desires with time. But what do I do in the mean time?

I’m no expert, but I’m finding that a little extra self-care can go a long ways. So, I’m not beating myself up if I skip some tasks each day. I’m reading some guilty-pleasure easy novels, eating my comfort pho, taking extra long hot baths, and trying to find pleasure in the simple things.

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These little wild friends were in my yard when I got home from work, I don’t think anything could have made me happier. How are you dealing with the woes of the world my friend?

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12 Responses to Is There Happiness In Grief?

  1. I am so sorry for your loss. I think you said perfectly when you said ‘ a little self care can go a long way’. very true.
    hugs! -bebe pies

  2. I am so sorry for your loss. Buckley sounds like he was a great friend. And I totally agree with the above poster, self care is important especially when you’re feeling sad and upset.

    Take care.

  3. I’m so sorry, lady. I’m so inspired by your perspective, to let yourself off the hook, take extra care of yourself, and find happiness in the little things… this is so helpful to read in light of everything that’s happened this week. Thanks, girl. Sending you lots of love!! xo

  4. I’m so sorry. Growing up, I had bunnies that I loved with all of my heart, so I know the horrible pain that you are feeling. I hope you’re doing something nice for yourself. A long walk, a quiet cup of tea . . . anything to center yourself. xo

  5. I’m so very sorry to hear the loss of your beloved bunny 🙁 There really aren’t any words that can take away some of that sadness, but when you think about it, there’s no other way that bunny could have left this world. He was loved and held in your arms. That is the greatest gift you ever could have given him.

    XOXO