Hi all, I hope everyone is keeping well. It’s been a sad few days for me as iv had to put my dog Bonnie to sleep, it’s been very difficult for all the family. Everyone reacts differently towards grief, for my mum its expresses itself as remorse– For my brother it expresses itself as anger. For me it’s been a bit different, I had been preparing myself for it since my dog was diagnosed with kidney disease. At the time I had to put her down I was overcome with emotion, with sadness and tears. I moved within a day to acceptance, acceptance I think is the hardest sage of grief to get to. The fave stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. I preparade for this like I said, so I had been though a lot of these emotions beforehand, finally coming to acceptance soon as it happened. My brother went through denial when we started telling him to prepare, he is at the stage of anger just now. Witch is difficult for everyone around him and has not made it easy for anyone. My mum is in depression and its very difficult to see. I feel somewhat guilty for accepting it, though I know if I don’t ill just become a mess, I would be angry and depressed. I’m still very sad about it, I was telling my psychologist about it today and was filled with tears. The biggest thing I wanted for myself when it happened was not to be useless, I achieved that. Iv been able to do the planning and be there for my family in various ways. That makes me feel somewhat good about my progress in mental health, I was able to compose myself and not let my emotions govern my behaviour. I don’t permit myself to suffer any more than I had to, that is what grief is it is suffering the loss of some or in this case a pet one loves.
This all got me thinking about the philosophy of grief, I guess I used such thinking as kind of escape. Gives me something to focus on. Grief is described as something that transforms who one is, I think meaning we learn something about ourselves in grief. I learned I’m stronger than I ever thought I was, I deeply worried about how I would handle this loss– having not coped well at all with previous losses. Such as the losses of my gran and grandpa. To suffer loss is to understand something about the experience of life, that is that it is fleeting– it is precisely that which makes life beautiful. We know deep down that when we lose someone we love it is as to be left behind– not necessarily alone but it often feels that way.
When we are young and lucky, having not yet experienced such suffering. We don’t worry about it doesn’t flicker it to the realm of our conscience, we don’t face the big question of death. Never pondering that one day lives will and be gone forever on this earthy realm. Perhaps they know it in some remote corner of the mind, but the young don’t feel it. That is what is so transformative about grief, it forces us to face our mortality. Something of which we have no control over, that is perhaps the scariest thing about death—we have no control over it. Often death is sudden, which may be a mercy considering the alternative of a long-drawn-out death. This feeling of grief is something that comes deep from within, aches and pulses through our very being.
There is no one philosophical position on the universal truth of death, most writing from the Christian era of western philosophy come from a religious perspective—as most philosophers were Christian. Such a thing as death was an issue for priests and scripture. Most cultures predating Christianity had their own beliefs about what happens after you die, the afterlife has played a big role in the human psyche. Death is most often accompanied by religious thinking. It would very hard and long to describe them all, so I won’t attempt it. One thing that comforts me is the thought that all energy all life is barrowed—one day you have to give it back. The Stoics had a belief that when you die, or we lose someone that they or we are simply returning to the source of our existence. I like that idea; also, I believe in heaven so enviably I believe in hell too. This thought doesn’t provide me with much comfort however, because there is always the thought that one’s soul or the soul of loved ones might go or have gone to hell. This provides me personally with a whole new sense of suffering, I call despair. (I struggle with at times) It’s not a very nice feeling and I know a lot of people get a sense of comfort from the idea of heaven. I can only hope I go there, but I have a feeling I won’t. In the Christian tradition the promise is that if you come to the lord through Jesus Christ, one will be saved– that one is never beyond redemption, so repentance plays a big role in the life of Christian. A sinner is to live a life that shows regret. (Something I try to do.) which is not to say to live a life of misery, so it helps me to know and accept that this life is fleeting and something to be enjoyed while it lasts. This promise gives the Christian hope and comfort, faith is a powerful thing. I wish always my faith was stringer. Grief has taught me that while I am stronger than I ever thought I could be, I am still afraid. The Stoics also believed that we ache or suffer grief or loss, because we wrongly think things are ours for all time. So that’s something to think about.
Anyway, thanks for reading my ramblings. Stay well all.