Monday, August 16, 2010

Pet Grief

Checkin' in on the Animals...

Brittney was our only child. While there are many things that intensify the situation because of this detail, for me, it has provided some sense of ease. It does bother me that I will never experience grandchildren...and that Mother's Day has a certain edge because a part of me no longer feels like a mother; but on the other hand, my husband and I have had the luxury of working through the initial devastation without the responsibility of helping other children through their grief. We do, however, have two pets whose whole lives were spent with Brittney in the house.

Rosco, our German Shepherd is 10 years old, and Baby Kitty is 14. I wonder sometimes, if they are feeling the loss. In some ways, I think this is silly...Brittney would have graduated from high school and headed off to college this year. She was such a free and independent spirit, I don't doubt that visits home would have been few and far between. Still, there are indications that both animals are very aware of the emptiness left in the family.

Rosco perks his ears straight up at the mention of her name. Early on, I said to him a couple of times, "Where did our Brittney go?" after which he looked around the house for her and eventually gave up with what seemed like sadness and confusion. I no longer do that in the likely case that he does realize she is gone, but does not understand why. Baby Kitty is my rock. If I have a flood of emotions, she senses it no matter where she is in the house. She comes running, jumps up on my lap and pushes herself hard against me. Whether or not our pets are grieving the loss of our daughter, I thank God everyday that He put these two creatures in our lives and allows them to provide us with such comfort during this time.


  1. Dearest Traci,
    Hello, you do not know me, my name is Terry Beaudry, Arnold and Betty Beaudry's daughter in law from Oregon. I am married to Mark, thier eldest son (your second cousin?). Betty told me about your blog and in my haste I quickly became your second follower without leaving a comment (telling myself I'd be back to do it when I had more time) well the time is now.
    So first it is wonderful to meet you!
    I first heard your name about a year ago when Betty told me about your daughter Brittney and above all else, I truly want to let you know how very sorry I am for such a tragic lose in your life. I have no children of my own therefore my mind truly has no way of knowing such grief. Nor how to even begin to put one foot in front of the other to move forward in life but I am so very glad you have through prayer and blogging.
    For me, it is a source of expression and at times a great source of comfort, companionship and sharing and has opened up a huge new world for me. I pray it will be the same for you.
    You can just "feel and say" whenever you need to without having to worry about anything except maybe a typo or two and even then, that's OK too.
    Though I never knew Brittney in the truest sense of the word, I know your sweet, spirited, independent little girl would be so proud of you for this beautiful blog and living for her.
    Keep doing what you are doing and she will be right there beside you writing and reading right along with you ...

    God Bless,
    Terry B.

  2. Hi again Traci, I read your blog again with tears in my eyes and I think as time goes on as I read your blog I will have many tears. It makes me happy to see my daughter-in-law's comment. Love to you, Ryan, Rosco and Kitty
    From Aunt Betty