February Kisses – Love, Loss & Life

Love is a big, broad word…abstract at times. We say it often, sometimes without the passion and fanfare it deserves. We say it at times without thinking or feeling, allowing it to become ordinary and routine. The love of a pet is different… often described as unconditional love; a love with no end. But with love, comes grief. The funny thing about grief is no matter how many times you personally experience it, there are no short cuts. Each time is different, but you never get used to the pain. There are no steps to shorten the process; there are no techniques to lessen the heartache; you cannot control or stop the moments when your emotions decide to take over… You. Are. Paralyzed.

If you ever had the wind knocked out of you, then you understand the feeling of grief. That feeling of not being able to breathe or move. Soon anxiety and pain begin to take over. Grief is similar. It’s that same initial feeling of the wind being knocked out of you, followed by a series of painful firsts. The first birthday, the first warm summer night, the first fire of autumn and the first holiday season… without you. Those firsts leave you breathless each time.

Often, we learn to keep the panic, pain and anxiety inside so no one can see or question why you aren’t “doing better yet.” Slowly, you begin to function again, and the pain engulfs you less frequently, but… it never fully leaves you.

Helping others is one way to ease the pain. I found through my own grief, there is always hope. That’s why I started The Izzie Fund, to provide hope to others in those moments of desperate need. It wasn’t an easy path to get here, but Izzie and I never did anything easy! If there was anything she taught me, it was that even in my darkest moments, I am still strong and determined. So, I push forward, in her legacy and honor to help provide families and their beloved pets precious time together.

I was so very lucky to be able to provide Izzie the care she needed all the way to the very end. Her greatest gift to me was packaged in her last kiss on that cold, February morning. Her bittersweet goodbye is forever imprinted on my heart. Our pets are our everything – will you please consider donating to The Izzie Fund and help our cause?

There are all kinds of love in this world, but never the same love twice – F. Scott Fitzgerald