One of the hardest things By Jo Clutton

creativementalhealth.org.uk

…we’ve ever had to do.

Grieving over the loss of a pet is HARD. Many people – those of a tougher disposition, perhaps, or those who’ve never had a pet – might not understand, I’m not blaming them, I’d like them to know – *bow, scrape*- and they might say: ‘It’s only a pet.’ Husband is burying her this afternoon after the vet put her to sleep when illness caught up with her and I’ve dreaded it. He brought her back from the vet and she’s in the utility room as I type. I don’t feel horrific, but I’ll be glad when it’s all over and we can move on. She was my unjudgemental companion for some years while I suffered depression, so naturally I’m going to grieve.

I had a real traumatic crying session after seeing her in the utility room,  after which I showered to freshen up, then Husband and I went out for our daily coffee. I felt much better. Out and about it’s better. It’s when we get home it hits me, cuz this is where she was. Preparing my lunch she’d be fussing for food, in the evening she’d be curled before the fire. These are the hardest parts. I’m reminded, by family and mates, that she’d had a great life with us. A big, slightly wild garden which she’d happily roam. Shady spots in said garden she’d hide from hot sunshine (we do get it sometimes!) good food, lots of stroking, tickles behind the ears and scratches under the chin…

Anyway, just needed to say that it’s vital, after the death of a pet, just as for a human, to let it all hang out if that’s the inclination. We all have different ways of dealing with these things, I howl. Lustily and loud. Feels awful and heart wrenching at the time, but it has to be done in my case.
The problem is that we Brits have been brought up – many of us – not to show emotion, particularly in public. Terrible. Let’s be not British-like, and howl lustily and loud. Let it all hang out in public and wave our arms around and collapse into our neighbour’s arms (not sure I could do that, much as I’m fond of my neighbours!). :-} Anyway, moving on, I’m having a go at moving on. Going to wash my Mini while Husband does the dreaded deed.

About Jo Clutton

Hi! I’m Jo, and I’m a writer, artist and renaissance soul. I’m 63 and have been writing for many years. I write light-hearted anecdotal articles, and had a year’s supply published in a local newspaper. I’ve also had a few published in various magazines.
I’m currently writing a novel titled Alias Jeannie Delaney – a western with a rough n’ tough, sharp shootin’ female protagonist. I’ve been writing this for thirty years, as long as I’ve been suffering depression/anxiety since the birth of my daughter. I think it’s kept me sane! I’ve been very embarrassed and self-conscious about it – the plot covers sex, bisexuality and violence (shock, horror!). I’ve written the beginning, a muddle and the end, now I need to finish it. It’s been hidden for so long, with only selected friends reading it. Now I’m putting it onto Facebook writing groups and receiving very positive responses, which has boosted my self confidance enormously.
I’ve recently started my blog Creating My Odyssey, about my complete recovery from my depression and the rebuilding of my creative lifestyle. I’m hoping to inspire and encourage other creative people with mental health issues, and, hopefully, give some enjoyment too.

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