When You Have To Say Goodbye Before You Are Ready

Saying goodbye is hard.

My heart was breaking as the veterinarian told me my sweet dog, Shadow had cancer.  This large tumor in his abdomen was untreatable.  Tears starting streaming down my face as I realized we were going to have to say goodbye before we were ready.

My boys and I decided to spend the last 24 hours of his life loving on him and sharing memories. As a rowdy puppy, he brought joy and mischief into our lives as soon as we brought him home nine years ago.  Some friends and family also stopped by to say their goodbyes; they either took care of Shadow while we are on vacation or just spent lots of time with him.  It was therapeutic to share memories of how he grabbed their food off the counter while they were not looking, rookie mistake! He also loved to get on the couch and snuggle like he was a lap dog when in fact, he was a 110 pound black lab.

Sharing the memories brought both laughter and tears. 

It was good to remember all the amazing ways this special dog impacted our lives. As I personally reflected, I am thankful that Shadow was there for me during my divorce; he was a constant who never left my side as well as a protector of our home. But more than that, he was a member of our family!

Again, it is hard to say goodbye when you are not ready.  

Maybe you can relate. If so, let me encourage you with some truths that I am reminding both me and my family.

  • Give yourself lots of grace because grief is hard.
  • Surround yourself with loved ones that will understand and listen.
  • Be honest with how you are feeling and let others know what you need.
  • Share memories about your loved one
  • Remember “It is okay to not be okay.”

Praying for all of us today that had to say goodbye before we were ready.

To my sweet Shadow Bear. You may have only been by my side for a short time, but you will always be in my heart! You have been the best dog any family can ever ask for!  We love you so much and you will be deeply missed.

Love, Jodi

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