MERRY CHRISTMAS! We’re only two sleeps away – can you feel the magic? I wanted to pop on quickly to send the merriest of wishes your way. Happy Holidays and best wishes from our family to yours! We designed our 2019 Christmas card with Minted after loveloveloving how they turned out last year, and we couldn’t be happier with the result. What do you think?
We chose the theme JOYFUL for our Christmas card since it really seemed to sum up 2019 as a whole for us, given how very different the 2019 holiday season went down. While the year of course still had its challenges (don’t they all?), I think the OG being happy + healthy + HOME made all the difference. She really is our JOY, and we’re so beyond joyful that she’s spending this Christmas at home with us instead of in a hospital covered in tubes.
On that note, I wanted to drop a few quick thoughts for anyone feeling less-than-joyful this holiday season.
While we had a non-permanent sense of grief and loss of time and moments last year, we got a taste of more permanent pain in unexpectedly losing our sweet Pumpkin few days ago. She was J’s + my first fur baby and was only six years old, so it was far too soon in our eyes for her to go. She had had an ear infection and was on antibiotics for it – and seemed to be healing up just fine. But on the literal last day of antibiotics she took a turn for the worse and relapsed, developing a drool and having just one of her eyes being dilated – which typically points to a neurological problem. Sure enough, somehow it had escalated; the ear infection had also jumped to the other ear even while on the antibiotics, and had also hit her brain. The vet had told us to come back in the morning to have her put on IV and hospitalized – but she didn’t make it to morning. Pumpkin passed at 4 am in bed with us.
Death sucks in so many ways.
At first I felt silly even trying to empathize with those who have pain from human death around the holidays, since a missing seat at a table can maybe have more deeply felt ramifications than an animal. But that’s not always reality. I was comforted in seeing so many of you reach out on social media and comfort ME, expressing how much of a real part of family pets are – and it’s true. The loss of a pet really does feel like the loss of a family member in so many ways, because they’re with us every single day through thick or thin and help us through more than we realize until they’re gone.
Whether you’re grieving the loss of a pet or a person, know that your pain and sadness is valid and you’re allowed to have that space to mourn their passing.
BUT. Even in pain, as with all things, I firmly believe that life comes down to your perspective.
- Survive or thrive
- Blame it or bloom besides it
- Go through it or grow through it
The positive in Pumpkin’s passing on Friday morning was that a.) it was on her own and at her time, and b.) it wasn’t even closer to Christmas, or requiring an unimaginably hard decision on our part to have to put her down if the brain infection was progresing and untreatable and her pain kept progressing with it. We mourned Pumpkin’s passing, but then we also intentionally chose to celebrate her life. We pulled out all of our Shutterfly photo books from the years of having her, because I make a pet page for each fur baby in each book. And we reminisced at 5 am together about all of the funny, quirky things that Pumpkin did through the years.
For anyone with someone spending Christmas in Heaven this year – I feel you.
It’s not easy – that’s for sure.
But as with anything in life, only one thing really is constant: it goes on. It might be really, really hard to go on at first – or for awhile. But time heals many wounds, or time at least makes for a decent Band-Aid over the deepest of losses.
One of my best friends on the planet, Chelsie, said two profound things on our podcast episode this past week that are worth repeating here since the episode was all about Loss, Infertility, & Heartache around the Holidays: (it’s SO SO GOOD so give it a lesson especially if the topic pertains to you personally, but even if it doesn’t – she drops truth bombs for all.)
- “Sometimes when you’re in the wait, you’re wasting time.”
- “I can’t control it, so I can’t let it control me.”
Two tough but true pills to swallow.
May we never forget to savor the time we do have by wishing for some other time that has passed or that is to come. And may we never allow for things to control us that we have no control over ourselves.
Regardless of your pain, heartache, or grief this season – I hope you are able to spend time with the people you lovelovelove.
I hope you are able to celebrate + cherish the little things – beautiful lights, or your favorite carol, or a really freaking yummy Christmas cookie.
I hope you are able to remember the real reason for the season and feel true JOY, even if you haven’t felt joyful in a long, long time.
Sending you so many wishes for a Christmas that is truly BLESSED.