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Losing a pet (or loved one) and how it relates to fasting

On June 30th, my 15-year-old Sheltie, Fenway, passed away.

I knew his death was coming because he had been showing signs of approaching the end of his life for a while, but I felt the same sentiments of disbelief as when my late husband was approaching his passing. It felt like a gut punch and I recognized the familiar feelings of hormonally-driven urges to pacify these hard emotions, but I again refused to give into them.

My late husband Jim and I got Fenway as a puppy in 2008, shortly after moving into our first apartment in Ocala, Florida. This beautiful little rambunctious puppy always added so much joy to my life each day. We both felt that he symbolized our "first child" together, and Fenway happily became the big brother for each of his siblings before and after they were born.

Losing Fenway initially felt excruciating because it was like losing another piece of Jim again. Feeling the loneliness of the house now after my kiddos go to sleep is hard to endure right now.

What did Fenway's death teach me, and what does this have to do with fasting?

His kind, gentle, and curious personality is something I always found myself explaining to new friends he would approach and meet, usually when going out for a pee break. However, despite missing his sweet demeanor around the house, I have a significant amount of gratitude for the meaning that his life had on everyone in the house.

The average lifespan for a Shetland sheepdog (sheltie) is approximately 13 years, and Fenway lived to a little over 15. With that above-average lifespan, I feel proud and grateful that he had a long, happy, and healthy life.

Death and loss are just some of the hard and painful realities of our existence, but we always have the choice to decide how these hard circumstances in life impact us.

When challenges arise, do you react or respond?

Reacting is emotionally-driven while responding is thoughtfully-given.

Let's think about this for a moment, how did you handle the last challenging experience you had? Is it still spinning in your thoughts and affecting your behavior or have you made peace with it?

Prior to implementing fasting, my emotions reminded me of a feather in the wind, letting myself be emotionally reactive at every challenge I faced, no matter the size.

While it is healthy to express yourself and allow yourself to truly "feel" the emotions, letting these emotions take charge can be harmful and downright exhausting in the long run.

I know this from painful personal experiences with the many losses and hardships I've experienced along the way. This also reminds me of what I like to call a "victim mentality" where we see challenges and hardships as inconveniences and take offense to them, expecting our lives to be simple, easy, and drama-free. Obviously, we know that this is a non-realistic expectation, but our strength lies in identifying those hard emotions when they present themselves and approaching them compassionately and respectfully.

What you allow, will continue.

This holds true in many aspects of our lives, but especially within our mindset, attitude, and beliefs. My wish for you is that despite the hardships you face (and continue to face), you immediately discover positive and helpful ways to cope and process, without needing to seek food to pacify your emotions. You deserve a long, healthy, and meaningful life, and I know you can do it!

I believe in you, even if you don't.

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Jul 03, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Beautifully written

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