Yochabel's Wisdom: Living with Loss
Written by Casey Hersch, MSW, LCSW
November 6, 2019
Published on www.consciouscat.com
I am thrilled to have this opportunity to share my precious Yochabel's story as a guest author for www.consciouscat.net, with Ingrid King. This is the eighth and final post from a series of blogs over the past few months. In this series I discuss what it is like to live with a chronically ill cat, the stress, the joys, and the heartache of loss. I also talk about how Yochabel has helped me live with my own chronic illness and ways she helped me cope and gain resiliency. My philosophies about integrative healing apply to Yochabel's treatment as does the use of my healing wheel.
Excerpts taken from The Conscious Cat. For link to full article, see below.
We are stronger than we think
"Sometimes we don’t realize how much strength we have until we are thrust into one of life’s challenges. If someone had asked me a year ago what I would do if Yochabel had a terminal condition, I never would have believed I had the inner resiliency to endure it..."
See full article below to read about how I am living with loss since Yochabel passed away this year.
Feeling hurt and relieved at the same time
"After Yochabel was euthanized, for a brief moment, I felt a surge of relief revive my tired body. All the stress, worry, and carrying of our pain lifted. Yochabel was safe and no longer in any discomfort. I felt sure that I had done what was best for her...But the relief that Yochabel was no longer a prisoner in her own body was quickly replaced with a tremendous void in mine"
Read full article to find out how asking myself one question, helped me keep perspective and find my inner strength to take one step at a time without Yochabel physically by my side.
What would Yochabel want me to do RIGHT NOW?
Keep memories alive and find meaning
"Yochabel had no choice; she had to leave her body. While neither of us wanted this, by not accepting this reality, I was punishing both of us for something neither of us could control. I found peace when I realized that the best way I could honor our relationship was to continue living my life. I lived in honor of her..."
"Unable to sleep for many nights after she left, I thought about the many lessons Yochabel taught me about living AND dying. It was during one of these nights that I realized the ultimate way to honor her was to share her wisdom with others. This was the beginning of the Yochabel’s Wisdom series on The Conscious Cat. Writing became an outlet for me to heal, to remember, and to keep Yochabel’s memory alive for the greater good."
With every loss comes a gift. Our challenge as humans is to look closely
for these gifts and to find ways to turn a loss into something beautiful and meaningful.
Grieve at your own pace and be gentle with yourself
"...My answer every time was when I am ready. I don’t have a plan or a timeline.”
The Kubler-Ross model, also known as the 5 stages of grief, describes a normal, yet individual process of grief:
Denial: This cannot be true, it never happened.
Anger: Why me? How could this happen?
Bargaining: If I did this… then…
Depression: Sadness, isolation.
Acceptance: It is going to be ok.
The healing power of those who understand
"My greatest healing came not only from the things I did on my own terms to remember and honor Yochabel, but also from the gestures made by others around me."
Read full article to see how honoring Yochabel through art comforted me and helped me remember I am never alone.
What I learned from all of you
"As the Yochabel Wisdom series comes to a close, I thank all of you who have been there, reading and honoring Yochabel and our bond..."
Yochabel's Wisdom: Securing the Bond
Yochabel's Wisdom: The Food Connection
Yochabel's Wisdom: Coping with Cancer
Yochabel's Wisdom: Hospice at Home
Yochabel's Wisdom: Emotional Turmoil
Yochabel's Wisdom: The Last Day
Read the full article here:
Ingrid King's award winning website, www.consciouscat.net, and her heartfelt books, including Buckley's Story and Purrs of Wisdom, expand our loving and soulful connections with our cat companions while offering practical information to enhance our lives. For more information and an abundance of resources, please visit her website.
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