I’m very familiar with grief. Since encephalitis and acquired brain injury occurred, it feels as though I’ve constantly been grieving the old me. At times, it has felt as though I’m wrapped around a thick blanket of sadness. I’m quite snuggly and warm wrapped under that blanket, but I can also get all tangled up, numb and struggle to find the motivation to escape its safety in order for me to get a taste of this new life of mine.
As the years have passed, I’ve become more accepting of the new me and the fight between the old and the new is somewhat lessen. There are still many moments where I am offered a reminder of this blanket of sadness, but I have grown to learn that they never last forever.
Grief came back to visit me yesterday, but it was a different grief. My first baby, my fur baby Maggy would have turned 18. It was the first time in 18 years that I’ve had to celebrate her birthday without her being physically present. It was such an emotional day and I didn’t think that it was going to affect me that much. I treasured this girl of ours so much. I even flew her from Canada to New Zealand so our worlds could remain united. It was good to reminisce on the good time we spent together, her quirks, but it also brought up a lot of sadness. As I saw her age year after year, I knew the inevitable was eventually going to happen...and that day eventually came indeed. So yesterday I took the time to laugh, smile and cry and most importantly remember all that she brought and still brings into my life.
I’ve also thought lots about whether I need to approach my grief of the old me in the same manner? The old me has taught me so much and also brought lots of joy, happiness and sadness into my life. Perhaps now is the time to learn to adapt and to stop reaching out for the old me. Perhaps I need to accept that, just like Maggy, it may never come back. Letting go doesn’t mean that I won’t be able to cherish many aspects of the old me. The old me, just like my Maggy, will always be a part of me no doubt. The old me built such strong foundations, perhaps I should just trust that those foundations will in turn contribute to forging the new me.
Funny how an important moment in our lives can translate into a greater realisation. Thank you Maggy for all that you brought and still bring to us. #gonebutneverforgotten