Don't Let The Memory Be Stronger Than You

by Kate McGahan
 The Side Yard

Just because I wrote a book doesn't mean that I am above my own sorrow and grief. I am just like you. We are just like each other when we grieve and I know when I tell you this story that your own story will come to mind. I apologize in advance, but just bringing the story into your mind will heal you a little bit more. If you're not ready to heal, then don't read any further.

I have a little side yard which is where I always took Jack in the mornings to do his "thing." He went in for surgery (for the removal of a rectal mass) on a Tuesday and during his 'recovery' period I took him to the side yard like we always did. But it wasn't like always. He tried to poop but he couldn't.  I won't go into detail, but I sat on the rocks that you see in the photo and I wept as I watched. It went on for three days.

I wouldn't go out into the yard after he passed; it bothered me too much. The memory was so strong that it took over the side yard. The memory was stronger than I was.

When I got Immy in early May, I started using the side yard again because it's really the only place we have shreds of grass around here. The first time I went out, it was really hard to be there. I couldn't stop thinking of him. I cried, I almost wept, again. The next time was a little better. Now, six weeks later, things have vastly improved. Jack is still "there" in The Yard In My Mind but every day it gets a little easier.
If we try to avoid the pain and the memories by avoiding a part of our life (or part of our property in this case) we will not progress. We will remain STUCK at the place where we started avoiding. We will never move beyond our grief. There was a very good book written years ago called "What You Feel You Can Heal". You cannot heal without going through the torrent of feelings that comes from facing reality and letting go of what no longer is.

I believe Jack is still beside me.  I need to remove him from that memory because it does not serve him either. He is happy and healthy and strong and he is full of light and love. There's no room in him for anything else but these things.

Love, Kate

Jack in the Side Yard One Month Before He Passed
All is well.

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