The grief of separation

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Hello dear reader, today I’m talking to you about a subject that many people experience, but that is not talked about enough: mourning separation.
Once upon a time there was Micheline, a woman who adored cats. She has already experienced several animal losses. She was considered the crazy cat lady.

It all started one day when she lost her cat Master, he was 2 years old, died of intestinal disease. She was very sad. A friend had found a kitten a few days old in her yard. On a whim, she convinced herself that it was Master’s reincarnation, because she had asked God to give her a sign and the next day her friend had told her about the kitten found. It was then that she told him that she was going to take it. She had to wait another month for him to be breastfed elsewhere by another female who had just given birth.
She thought the time was long. She was very anxious to meet him. Finally came the day of the meeting. Her friend gave her the kitten, it was in a box. She said to her: i will need patience and a lot of love. She took him in her arms and he leans her head on her heart. When he got home, he hid everywhere under the bed, furniture. He was very anxious. Months passed and he hid less.
One day, a girl posted on Facebook that she was looking for a babysitter for a woman who closed her Bengal farm. Of course she didn’t have the money to buy it, but to keep it yes. She entered the cat into her house. From the first evening, he came to lie down at her feet. He was magnificent. A miniature leopard. He had a certain character, but she fell in love with it quickly. She knew she could keep the leopard for free. She was very happy.
A few months later, a savannah breeder offered to sell her a savannah at a discount, because she could not sell them. For a reasonable price. When the Bengal and the Savannah met it was love. Micheline was happy.
Three years passed and she had the opportunity to realize her dream of having a British shortair a dream of a decade.
So Micheline found herself in addition to the two cats she already had, a total of seven cats! She had trouble going to the vet and paying for food for them.
With the arrival of the quarantine due to the Covid-19, she was full time at home and realized all her presence. There was his bengal who assaulted his females. There was the savannah and the domestic who was anxious. She felt a kind of inner invasion. Despite having had her cats for five years, she was thinking for the first time of the financial impact, the stress of the cats, her future bereavements. She was aware of the impact on her life and theirs. She made the very difficult decision to rehome her cats.
A difficult decision. How to trust people? How was someone going to love their cats the same way? No matter all her questions, she felt it was time to do it.

The timing was perfect. Her son moved to an apartment and brought the two females. A few days later, her son’s owner adopted Bengal and Savannah. He had three cats left, including the anxious servant that no one wanted.
While she was taking the four cats to the people involved, they meowed a lot in the car. A long journey of 45 minutes. Her heart hurt, very bad. Pressure in it, like a heavy weight crushing it. Was it the right decision? Will they be fine?

She took out the cats and brought them to the landlord. She spoke with. A nice person without other cats. The Bengal was walking around like he was at home, he had taken possession of the house. The savannah, as planned, went to hide under the bed.

The other two cats, brought to her son, looked fine. Especially not to be attacked by the Bengal.

She returned home alone. No meowing cats in the car. The silence. There was only the sound of tires on the road. Also, silence had settled in his head. Nothing, she thought of nothing. She arrived at her house and there was the domestic cat who looked at her with a worried look, as if he were saying: what about me? The other two weren’t even meowing. Nobody was looking for anyone.
In the days that followed, everything was calmer. She realizes that her domestic was calmer. All were calmer. She came to the conclusion that the presence of several cats caused stress for several cats. She felt that there was a certain emptiness, but also a calm. She was mixed in her emotions.  A confusion between the guilt of having given her cats, when she should have taken care of them all their life, until the end and a peace of knowing that they were there where she had taken them.

Stepping back allowed her to realize that she had taken many cats to compensate for an emotional void. The grief of children she had lost. She was now faced with her unresolved mourning. There was nothing to fill the void other than to give it importance. Feed your grief in the right way. A healthy way. She cleaned up all of her baby things she had kept and gave them away.
She had difficulty crying, living in mourning separation from her cats, because letting go of her cats was also letting go of her deceased children, but that was okay. She gave herself time. Nothing press. The most surprising thing she realized; that her cats had a great resilience to adapt to their new house, new person, which comforted her.

So, my dear readers, I wanted to share this story of separation with you. Imagine all these people who have to leave their animals for whatever reason. Whether it is a breeder, a refuge, a tenant, the majority will experience mourning separation.

Mourning separation is feeling the emptiness of absence, lack. Like a drug that you have to purge the body. It hurts as much as mourning death.
I wanted to tell you the story of Micheline to make you aware of this type of mourning.

Have you ever experienced this? Talk it over.

Would you like me to speak on a specific subject? Comment.

Brigitte Bérubé
Grief therapist-petloss specialist

Brigitte Bérubé

Brigitte Bérubé

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