The other night as I was gearing down for sleep, I started looking at cat and dog videos. I usually always go for the ‘cute kitties’ or ‘silly dogs’ or ‘too adorable for words animals,’ and so on. For some dark reason, I opened a video of a kitten who was stuck on what looked like a large sheet of flypaper. I learned later on that in some countries this is a ‘humane’ sort of trap.
Well—-I watched the video of this tiny kitten, who looked like he/she had just about given up on life. A vet attendant was patiently and kindly washing it with warm water and liquid soap, and bit by bit, the kitten was getting freed from the nasty gook it was stuck in.
I couldn’t stop watching, although the video made me cry, and cry hard. As the kitten slowly was washed clean and was finally off the sticky stuff, it meowed. Although there was no sound in this video, I felt it was a meow of relief. It was as if it knew that it was finally free and was clean again.
Unfortunately, the video only had a musical background, and there was no message of what happened after the kitten was freed. As it looked to be a veterinarian clinic, I can only assume that the kitten was dried off, fed, watered and put in a warm, safe bed to recover and then to be adopted into a loving, kind and responsible home.
These are the kinds of things I generally never watch because they upset me so much. But this one somehow let the inner demons out for me. I am constantly finding that grief over my parents (Mom gone on December 16, 2015, and Dad on April 22 of this year) comes and goes in fits and starts.
Some of it comes out when I see or hear something sad, such as the recent events in Las Vegas, the deadly hurricanes and earthquakes. It is a mix of sadness, fear, anger, hurt, frustration and restlessness. I was afraid that seeing this kitten in such dire straits would keep me up all night worrying and fretting and feeling sad.
Instead, I found that in my own story of “what happened next” I envisioned that kitten, clean, fluffy, well fed, comfortable and living safely in a loving home, purring away in a soft bed. I had one of those ‘ah ha!’ moments when you realize that, although you cannot change the outcome of things, you can at least relegate these things to a place of kindness, comfort, happiness and peace.
Then I ask myself, ‘am I doing all I can to honor my parents, show love to my family and friends, live the best way I can and be a good person?’ If I can say that during each day I have done (or at least tried to) some of these things, I am doing all right.
It is imperative to our minds, bodies and souls that we give ourselves time to grieve and time to survive the grief. There is no time limit and there are no rules for it; it is what it is for each person. We do not have to carry these inner hurts forever. If we can examine one hurt at a time, give it attention, and resolve to let it go, we can survive pain and grief.
As that little kitten was slowly and surely being saved, so can we help save ourselves by letting ourselves be comforted and letting go of as many inner hurts as we can. It’s a process, and it takes time. But it can be done.