Layla: A Story of Grief, Love & Healing
by Jacquelyn Strickland
It has been almost five months since our family lost our beloved golden retriever, Layla, at the age of 13. Her death was very unexpected and happened four days before the Pacific Northwest Gathering began on August 27, 2006. It was a difficult and trying time, but thanks to the wonderful HSPs who attended I made it through.
During this time, I was fortunate to remember the wonderful work of Dr. Elisabeth Kubler Ross, specifically the Stages of Grief & Loss. The five stages are: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Refreshing my memory on these stages was a godsend in helping me identify and understand my fluctuating emotions. I still have emotional "Layla moments" when I sense her physical presence, or dream that she has shown up at the door. This creates brief moments of joy, only to immediately realize the loss once again, and back I go through the stages of grief and loss.
The joy of having her for 13 years is slowly replacing my grief. I try to take time and be grateful for each "Layla moment." When I do, I experience a sense of gratitude, connection, love and healing.
I hope none of you have experienced a loss lately, however, if you have I suggest educating yourself on the Stages of Grief and Loss. There are many websites connected to the work of Elisabeth Kubler Ross.
Finally, here is a website relating to the loss of one's pet that I found especially helpful:
The Stages of Grieving
As Dr. Kubler Ross says:
"Our grief is commiserate
with the depth of our love."