A Pooch Named Bubba, a Broken Heart, a Yoga Community
Holy crap, last week was tough! My son, Kevin, rescued Bubba, an 85 lb. bulldog mix about 2 years ago. This guy was the sweetest dog; happy, talkative, soulful and loving. Bubba was my first grandchild; OH how I loved this boy. Bubba became ill at the beginning of August; a trip to the vet reassured us he had severe allergies and Kennel Cough. We administered his daily dose of Claritin and 10 days of antibiotics. Bubba wasn’t rebounding. He couldn’t bark, eat his dry food, and was very lethargic. I began cooking soft foods for him. If you know me, any excuse to cook and feed someone is part of my passion and purpose!
Kevin brought Bubba back to the vet last Tuesday. Bubba never did well at the vet and had to be sedated to be examined. A small dose of sedation was administered due to Bubba’s condition. About an hour later, Kevin received a phone call. Bubba became anxious being examined, stopped breathing and was dead. Kevin was beyond emotional, in shock, despair, and disbelief. I left my meeting to be with him. We shed our gut-wrenching tears, trying to make sense out of what had happened; to no avail.
I have a yoga community that I have been leading for over almost 20 years. I teach a class on Tuesday evenings. I thought long and hard about canceling due to my emotional state. The focus of my teaching is healing the nervous system from emotional trauma. I could cancel or I could be brave and really walk my talk; use my process as a teaching. A big part of my work is supporting people in having the safety to feel their emotions; to not have to numb them or disconnect from them. I chose the courageous route. I showed up in my messy, but beautiful broken heart. I shared honestly, sobbing, and expressed how I needed their support. Sometimes we lead the community and sometimes we need the community! This was my moment of need. We had an open and honest discussion about grief and how it is addressed in our culture. You know, that ONE bereavement day most people get, which is totally insane.
What if we didn’t have to hold ourselves together? What if there were beauty and healing in allowing the breakdown… the falling apart?
As a therapist/intuitive energy healer, I can’t tell you how many clients come in around loss, thinking they should be over it. Grief is not something that has a timeline, in fact, it really never goes away. It shifts and changes. Sometimes it’s hovering beneath the surface and sometimes it is front and center. In Body-Centered Psychotherapy, we learn that grief, not met in connection, leads to suffering. Suffering is what culture supports just by the mere way it is set up. When we are met in connection in any emotion, it allows it to more easily flow; we have support, so we don’t have to hold against the feeling/experience. How many times in grief do you hear someone say, “I am trying to hold myself together”? What if we didn’t have to hold ourselves together? What if there were beauty and healing in allowing the breakdown… the falling apart? I met my community in the place of falling apart. It was a beautiful experience. I felt held and supported. Isn’t that the purpose of community, to help each other? Bubba left me a great gift – the gift of being seen falling apart, openly sharing my broken heart and the courage to be vulnerable. In my experience, there is nothing more powerful than realness. So sorry for your loss Kevin. RIP dear, sweet Bubba.