A Spin in the Grief Cycle

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January 28, 2013 by Julia West

They say it takes a full year to process a life change – you have to go through all the seasons, the holidays, the yearly landmarks before you adapt to your new normal.  Xena died on February 16th, 2012.  The one year mark is coming up quickly and my grief has been like a raw edge, poking out and rubbing against my life. Tonight, as I drove home from training class, I burst into tears.  A long day with not enough time or energy was wearing on me and I realized the winter storm “felt” just like the storm on the day of her death. The back of my mind had been repeating that day while my conscious brain was navigating the slick pavement. 

So many things have been calling my mind back to last February…

This year’s version of the last trial that Xena and I entered in… she was pulled for what I now know was a symptom of hemangiosarcoma.

The jar candle that a dear friend bought for me to burn in mourning, which always seems to let out a faint scent when I’m thinking of Xena… or perhaps, when she’s thinking of me. 

Delta’s first class wearing Xena’s leather collar and leash… on the smallest hole and still a little bit loose.

A visit from a friend who never had a chance to meet my sweet beaner baby…

It is hard, but I am trying to let that raw edge hurt as much as it needs to, to allow myself miss her as much as I have to, and to give myself room to honor the pain at the same time as I let it go.

I miss you, my Xena bean.
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