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  • Writer's pictureDr. Dara

Dear anyone that believes in divine interventions,

Do you think things happen for a reason? Do you believe in miracles? I do. Don't get me wrong, life sometimes is really confusing and things often do not make sense. Hell, one minute we thought we were on vacation and the next minute our dog is horrifically dying literally in front of our eyes and in our arms. We do live in a world where children die and icky things happen. And yet, babies are born, leaves change colors, and no matter what, the sun always comes out.

In the darkness there is light. We just have to stay still long enough for it to manifest. Driving home to Asheville on Friday we were in disbelief and shock. Immediately following Breaker’s death there was conversation about getting another dog. Denzel was not made to be an only dog-child! Two of his pack died within 2 months of each other. Oli and Breaker were not only Denzel’s pack, but our family members.

On our somber drive I reached out to the amazing rescue angels Greyhound Pet Adoption FL/SE that placed Breaker with us. Two and a half years ago when we decided to adopt a greyhound, they visited our home, got to know us, and lovingly made sure we were a good match as if they were picking a pet for themselves. Since Breaker adopted us, the rescue group made it inviting to share our journey with Breaker. It seemed instinctual to let them know of the tragic news. Within moments the president asked to connect. “I have a dog that needs a home,” he said.

It seemed absurd to wrap our minds around another dog, let alone consider adopting one so soon. No other dog could replace our Breaker. It felt rushed, yet, all the details and pieces fell into place. The contemplation and preoccupation to consider another dog felt more joyful than the inevitable sadness and devastation of mulling in grief.

What is grief anyway? Grief looks so different for everyone. There is no one size fits all formula or specific way to navigate through death and loss.

Here is what I have learned (thanks to Dr. Jon Connelly and Rapid Resolution Therapy):

-Grief occurs when the mind causes a thought or feeling in order to promote a connection in a way that is no longer possible.

-People think something needs to be done to stop the feelings of despair.

-Pain dissipates when the mind realizes that there is no action that needs to be taken.

-People get stuck in grief because they think those they cared for should not have died. There are feelings of blame. Some experience anger thinking it should have been prevented. Often people are left feeling incomplete.

-There is often the idea that grief is a sign of love and respect and that people who don’t grieve must not have truly loved. If she’s okay, people may think that she didn’t love enough.

-The amount of pain has nothing to do with the amount of love and respect for the loved person.

-There are people who had an incredible love who didn’t grieve at all, and there have been people who felt hatred and contempt who grieved forever.

-Sometimes people believe that grief is the only connection left to the loved person. They are afraid to lose the grief because they don’t want to lose the connection they have.

-Grief is not the connection. Grief blocks the connection.

So, the amount of grief we feel does not equate to the amount of love we feel.

Grief ≠ Love

Divine intervention to me, is the president calling us at the perfect time, with the perfect dog, hand picked and sent to us by Breaker, to heal. And yes, it is crazy how much Merlin, our new GREYThound looks like him.

Breaker brought us a special energy of calmness and togetherness. Breaker gave us a love to expand and share. We are forever grateful for you Breaker.

Welcome home Merlin.

Full heartedly,

Your no bull-shiFt, advice giving, shame-abolishing, health advocating, Mom, Psychologist and wife,

Dr. Dara

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