E. T. Phone Home
E.T. My Special Friend
Author Dee Sclafani
A couple of days ago I lost my best friend. He was 15. He was my cat, E.T. We shared quite a bond. The decision to stop his suffering was logical but gut wrenching. The feelings afterward were disbelief, pain, extreme sadness and a feeling of being in a surreal situation. I write about grief because I've experienced it on several occasions and each time I think my reaction will be different but it never is. As much as one tries to avoid those intense feelings, they're meant to be in your soul at that moment to grieve a loss that was part of your life. The compassion and sympathy for me from loved ones has helped me to come to terms with this loss.
I know in this time of mourning I will be patient, compassionate and non-judgmental toward any emotions that might flare up. I will give myself permission to be sad, to eat tons of chocolate if I may, to look at pictures of my friend and cry uncontrollably. I will grieve until I'm ready to stop, until my heart has been mended once again. There is no timeframe for this. I know I will see E.T. again. I picture him running through meadows that are green, with vibrant colors around him. I picture him completely healthy again, restored and youthful.
If I can leave you with one thing, whether you are presently grieving, have grieved, or never grieved, know that the greatest gift you can give yourself is time. Allow yourself to experience whatever emotions come your way and embrace them, even if they don't feel comfortable. Know that one day, when you least expect it, you will be able to get through the day and find much to smile about again.
I would like to add one thing. Grief isn't just about the death of a person or an animal. We can find ourselves grieving from a break-up, a child going off to college, a best friend or family member moving far away. When there is a loss in our life, there is sadness, and it's important to honor all the emotions that show up from any loss you are experiencing.