Losing someone you love is never easy, but losing someone during the COVID-19 pandemic is especially challenging while not being able to receive in-person support. These last three months have been challenging to the max, hint why the lack of blog posts. In today’s blog, I’m sharing my experience on grieving during quarantine. Losing a loved one is one of the toughest things we as humans have to go through and it never gets easier, but time heals all wounds. Monday, May 4th, 2020 will forever be one of the toughest days of my life.
I don’t remember exactly what I did that Monday, but I do remember everything that happened right after that call. Right before that call I was on the phone with one of my friends when I got a call from my mom. Before picking up my mom’s call I would of never imagine what was to come. Right, when I took my mom’s call I knew something was wrong — my mom in a shaky, nervous, panicking voice screaming, “please help me, help me!” I asked what was wrong and she told me our dog, Frodo had been attacked and needed a vet right away.
Once I heard my mom’s voice and those words I immediately panicked, got nervous, and with shaky hands I looked up the closest veterinarian. I called to make sure they were open and after receiving confirmation I called my mom back and sent her the address. I ran out the door, got in my car, and drove to the vet. On my way there I was so nervous since my mom hadn’t told me exactly what happened or how my little Frodo was, but I was in shock and just praying to God for everything to be okay. I called my mom and I could hear my little Frodo’s cry — it broke my heart and little did I know that would be the last sound I heard from him.
Once I got to the vet I found my mom waiting outside. Frodo had been taken in already, but due to COVID-19, no one was allowed inside so we waited outdoors. Maybe about 15-20 minutes after we arrived the nurse came outside to ask if we wanted them to provide CPR and take all measures in case it was needed. When the nurse came and asked me to sign those papers my heart dropped! I knew then that this was serious and there was a chance my little Frodo wasn’t going to make it. I prayed for him to be strong and remain with us.
Doggie Heaven Gained an Angel
God had other plans. After I signed that paper about 15 minutes or so I got a call from the veterinarian to inform me that Frodo, unfortunately, hadn’t made it. One of his little lungs was punctured and after providing CPR he didn’t make it. My heart dropped and shattered, I couldn’t believe it. My mom was devastated, crying, and I didn’t want to imagine how my brother was going to react once he found out.
When my brother arrived at the vet I told him Frodo was no longer with us and he lost it. Dealing with my pain was enough, yet I still had to see my brother and mother go through this pain too. My mom and brother are my world and seeing them devastated and knowing there was nothing I could do to ease their pain crushed me. After we each said our goodbyes’ we went back home empty-handed with one family member less and three shattered hearts.
So, what happened to Frodo?
That night like any other night my mom was walking Frodo around the neighborhood. I wasn’t there so I don’t know exactly how everything happened but, this is what my mom recalls — they were walking when out of nowhere a big dog a pit bull ran to them. The pitbull instantly attacked my Frodo, bit him, and wouldn’t let him go! Neighbors rushed out to help they hit the pitbull and tried to scare him away but, he was stubborn and just wouldn’t let go. Finally, he let go of my Frodo, and right away a neighbor ran to my mom gave her a blanket, and wrapped him to stop the bleeding. My mom ran to the house, called me, and took off right away to the vet.
Frodo is a hero — he saved my mom. If he hadn’t been attacked then my mom would have had. She only came out with a burn from the leash.
Frodo came into our lives in May 2016 and before him, I had never had a dog as a pet. Frodo was more than just a dog, he was family, he was our baby and brought so much joy and happiness to our lives. Yes, he was spoiled and one thing is for sure we always showed him how much we loved him and that makes my heart happy. We showered him with love and my only regret is not being able to spend more time with him. The last time I saw him was that Saturday before we went to Starbucks and I ordered him a puppuccino and I have the clear images of him devouring and enjoying that whipped cream. He was so happy and now I get to cherish that moment forever.
Now, three months later after his departure, I can say I’m okay. But oh man how do I miss him! I miss his barks, his little paws, I miss him running out to greet me, I miss his kisses, his eyes and I just miss him so much. It doesn’t get easy. It didn’t help to see my brother or mom sad and cry, which made it so much harder.
If you’re reading this and thinking, “all this for a dog”? well, let me just say you don’t know that type of LOVE.
Before Frodo, I never knew I could love a furry four-legged creature so much, but it happened, and losing him has been one of the hardest things I’ve had to go through. I was sad for weeks, I would think of him or look at photos and start crying – it was just a tough time. And of course, if life couldn’t get any worse when it rains it pours — life happened and I just had to deal with one hit after another making it tough to process it all and heal.
Despite dealing with so much at once COVID-19 was still happening which didn’t help. I felt lost, confused, unmotivated, no energy – I was just in a mood, and not being able to go out to distract myself or hang out with my friends sure didn’t help. Being home all day every day just thinking about things over and over wasn’t helping.
For a while, I was angry, mad, and confused – why him? Why, why and I had no answers. Why did he have to go through pain, why the violence, he didn’t deserve to go that way. For weeks I would imagine what happened, reinvent the scene in my head just to try to understand how things happened without noticing that I was only hurting myself more. The thought of my Frodo getting hurt and being in pain broke my heart and I wish I would have been able to do something to prevent what happened. I didn’t understand why him, why now, why this way!
Grieving during quarantine has been challenging because I couldn’t just go out with my friends and get distracted or I couldn’t just go and spend time with family either. When you’re constantly in the same place and not in a good mindset it’s so easy to slip into a black hole and that’s where I was. It was hard to pull through but it wasn’t impossible.
Here are 10 things you can do that will help you while grieving during quarantine:
- Support System – It’s important to have support from your family and friends during tough times like these. COVID-19 has made it challenging by keeping your distance, calling, FaceTime, Zoom or texting are always great alternatives. It’s good to talk about your feelings and just have someone to hear you out. I promise you will feel better.
- Take a walk – Since going places is currently limiting going for a walk is always a great idea. Walking is good for your mind and body – keep your body moving. I would go on morning or afternoon walks by myself with my music which helped me cleared my mind and made me feel more relaxed while keeping my social distance. Don’t forget to wear your mask!
- Pray/Meditate – Whatever or whoever you believe in, talk to them. Praying always helps me feel calm and relaxed. After losing someone you love and causing you pain you question the higher power, why? I’m a believer that everything happens for a reason, but I just didn’t understand why. I was angry, but praying helped me find peace. I know that my Frodo is now resting in peace, happy watching over us.
- Find a hobby – Distraction is key because it’s so easy to get caught up in negative thoughts, be sad, depress. As much as you don’t want to get up, push yourself, and find something that you enjoy that will allow you to distract yourself. I took on biking after so many years of not riding a bike. I was excited to buy a bike although it was challenging finding one since they were all sold out! But eventually, I found one — those afternoon rides and breeze lift my spirit.
- Journaling – Writing is therapeutic! If you don’t want to talk about your emotions that’s fine, but try writing them out and I’m sure you will feel so much better – trust me! I enjoy writing and even though I enjoy talking too there would be some days that I just didn’t want to talk to anyone. On those days I would grab my notebook, pen, and write my heart out. I felt relieved and calmed right after.
- Breathe – Take a deep breath and let it out! There is so much we can’t do and control and we don’t have the answers to everything. Take it all in and let it out, you’re only human and it’s okay to feel sad, mad, lost – take it one day at a time. Some days will be better than others, but with time those days will get better and better as long as you’re breathing.
- Cry – This is one of my favorites, let it all out. Crying is good for the soul, let your feelings out, wash it all away. Some might see crying as a weakness or avoid it and rather bottle everything up, but that’s not good. Crying and letting it all out brings me peace and comfort and I always feel so much better after a good cry.
- Self Care – During tough times it’s so easy to forget about yourself and make time for you. Despite the situation or how bad you’re feeling don’t forget about you. You have one body, one life so take good care of it. Make sure you’re sleeping enough, eating well, drinking plenty of water, exercising, and making time for you. Spoil yourself by watching your favorite show/movie, treating yourself to your favorite dessert, masking, sleeping, or even doing some retail therapy.
- Read a book – Sometimes all we want to do is escape our reality and what better way than by reading a book. Grab your favorite book or a new one and make time for some reading. Books help you stay distracted while getting some knowledge or getting lost on a fantasy, your pick just make sure you’re doing something to stay busy and that makes you happy.
- Share your memories – Talking and sharing memories can be helpful although it can be hard too and lead to crying. However, remember the good times and I’m sure it’ll make you smile. Be grateful for the time you got to share with your loved one, you got to know them, spend time with them, and had the privilege of knowing them. My mom, brother, and I talked and shared our memories of little Frodo and although it made us sad it always brought a smile to our face. We remembered him as he was a happy, loving boy, and all the happiness he brought us.
You’re not alone, you got this!
This year has been shitty for me as I’m sure it’s been for many of you too. I lost my fur baby, Frodo and I miss him dearly. During this pandemic, I have friends and family who have lost a loved one due to cancer and COVID-19, and I can’t even imagine their pain. When I lost my good friend six years ago it hurt and it was tough understanding that he was no longer here and Frodo’s passing hurt different yet again I need to understand he is no longer with us.
Death is a part of life, but it never gets easier. If you’ve recently lost someone you love and you’re grieving during quarantine, I’m sorry! You’re not alone and I promise things will get better with time — just be a little patient. Make sure you have a support system and if you need someone to talk don’t be afraid to reach out to a therapist, and don’t forget to take care of yourself because if you don’t then who will?
The rona has complicated life and if you’ve lost someone recently I hope this blog post on grieving during quarantine has helped you feel better or reassure you that you’re not alone. Sending you virtual hugs, wear a mask, and stay safe!