|Grief - Original Artwork T Olckers. All Rights Reserved|
I have lost three children since April this year. They weren't human children; two were cats and one a dog. That doesn't mean that my grief is any less than if they were human children.
I still look for them. Sometimes I catch glimpses of them from the corner of my eye that turn out to be shadows. The pain of their passing is real, and I miss them every day, as much as I miss my father who died four years ago.
Yes, I will be ridiculed by some people. Of course, that is to be expected. "It's just a DOG. It's just a CAT. You can get another..." and "Don't be silly. They weren't REAL children."
To me they were real. I have no human children and I love my animal children as much as I would if they were human.
I still expect to see Bodhi sauntering up the drive to greet me. I expect to find Diego wagging his tail at the gate. I still sometimes think I see Leilah surveying the world from her perch on the roof. And then I realise that none of them are there, that they are gone, and I grieve.
I have cried more these past four months than I have in the past four years. My children are gone. I still have five living, four legged and furry babies. I love them too. I miss the ones who are no longer with me.
And I grieve.