Monthly Archives: August 2014

Time Heals All Wounds?

Time Heals All Wounds?

By Joanna Woronchak

Until We Meet Again Pet Memorial Center

 

as Published in Pet Connection Magazine

 

Have you ever wondered about or looked into some of the “old” words or phrases we use?  This to shall pass, A stitch in time saves nine and As right as rain. Odd little phrases.  Instead of, “wow”, I have been known on occasion to use the term, “holy-liftin”.  Recently, it occurred to me, I had no idea what, holy-liftin’ actually meant, so I did what any modern woman would do, I Googled it.

holy-liftin’ \‘ho-lee-‘lif-ten\ interj – An exclamation of surprise, fascination, or frustration; “Holy-liftin’! These mittens cost $20!” Origin unknown, but etymology suggests a reference to the resurrection of Christ (“Holy-liftin’ Lordy” is a common derivative). This is consistent with the regional practice of cussing through iconoclastic reference: similar terms are used in local French dialects. The theological associations of such terms, however, have been largely forgotten in English-speaking communities. Holy-liftin’ is quite versatile, and may be truncated (“liftin'”) conflated (“holy-ol’-liftin'”) or pluralized (“liftin’s”) at the speaker’s whim.

Thank you dooryard.ca for enlightening me.

Well, I must say I was shocked and a little dismayed.  As the mother of three boys I have always been very strict about the use of curse words in our home.  To find out that for the past 30+ years I have been swearing up a blue streak was a bit of a shock.

Time heals all wounds was recently put to the test in our home.  Our youngest had a nasty scooter accident; leaving a rather large cut in his leg.  Left strictly to time, I am confident that our son would have lost his leg.  Time alone would not have healed his wound.  In the month that followed, his wound needed: the care of a physician, stitches, antibiotic ointment, bandages, cleaning, oral antibiotics, more bandages and lots of love and encouragement.

Like a physical wound, the emotional wound that comes when we experience a loss also needs more than time.  When grieving a loss we may have feelings such as anger, anxiety, denial or guilt.  Physical changes, such as, fatigue and/or changes in sleeping or eating habits are also commonly experienced.  All these symptoms are as real as swelling, redness and fever and likewise are best cared for and not left for time to heal.

As pet parents we can find ourselves in a bit of a pickle. Not all of society understands or accepts the grief we feel when our pet companion dies.  This disenfranchised grief will cause some pet parents to avoid mourning their pet altogether. Staying in their grief. Waiting for time to heal all wounds.  Unfortunately, this is not how grief works.  Grief is a journey not a destination.  It is the moving forward in the grief cycle; one step at a time that counts.  This involves doing the mental, emotional, physical, and for some, spiritual work that will bring healing.

Give yourself permission to grieve and mourn. Surround yourself with supportive friends and family.  Take care of yourself; making healthy food choices, getting adequate sleep and exercise (consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise regime.)  If you are not coping, or you need extra support, consider seeing your family physician or a counselor specializing in grief.

Exotic Love

 

Many people without pets underestimate the bond that pet owners share with their furry friends and may even question the validity of a person’s grief after the loss of a much beloved pet. There has been a definite shift from animals being a disposable possession towards pets being seen as part of the family. Many cat & dog owners do what they can to make sure their beloved family members stay happy & healthy.  Even after life owners are, more than ever before, looking for ways to honour the lives of their pets.  Many families opt to privately cremate their pet and get their ashes back. They may choose a special urn that reflects their pet’s personality, while others choose to scatter their pet’s ashes in a meaningful location or even hold elaborate celebration of life services.

While most of the pets that come in to Until We Meet Again Pet Memorial Center are cats and dogs, we are seeing an increasing amount of other species for private cremation. Rabbits, hamsters, turtles, fish, birds and snakes are just a few of the exotic species that are now becoming more commonplace as pets.

Unfortunately, owners of exotic pets seem to experience having their love questioned even more often than dog and cat owners do. We have overheard friends and family members of people who have a lost a non-traditional pet dismiss the grief of losing a non-traditional pets; disregarding the bond that formed over years of care:  “It was just a hamster, we can get you another one”. Just as non-pet owners need to be careful not minimize relationships between a dog/cat and its human, cat and dog owners need to be careful not minimize the relationship that others may have with their less conventional pets.

The fact of the matter is that humans forge bonds with all types of animals whether they are furry and four-legged or no-legged and scaly; it doesn’t make the relationship any less meaningful. Exotic pet owners spend countless hours feeding, caring for, training and playing with their pets; some species living over 65 years (Cockatoos). Undoubtedly, bonds form during this time. Exotic pet owners, just like other pet owners, want to honour their cherished pet’s life after death. Until We Meet Again Pet Memorial Center is here to help with these memorial decisions for your beloved friends, whether furry, feathered or scaled.

Follow the link to read more about a man and the 30 years he spent with his beloved snake:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/pet-python-to-be-cremated-in-north-vancouver-1.1870180