I have spent time with animals
I’ve always been someone who loves animals. In fact, I’m vegan for that reason. Therefore, animals may make me happier than the average person. But I’ve found that being around them, especially my cats, has been extremely helpful.
I know I sound like a crazy cat lady, but when my cats sit in my lap or greet me at the door, I feel adored and loved. My cats give me a reason to get up every day and a reason to keep living, especially right after Reg passed away. They make me laugh and smile more than pretty much anything or anyone else. They give me love unconditionally.
Similarly, I love going for a walk in the park and seeing the dogs. Even right after Reg passed away, when the grief was almost unbearable, I would smile when I saw dogs. I especially loved—and still love—when they stop, and I get to pet them and play with them. I truly feel joy seeing animals.
Just the other day, I felt depressed after receiving emails from two different friends who told me about their wonderful vacations with their spouses. I then went to the grocery store, which still can cause sadness since Reg and I used to shop there together. Between the emails and the store, I felt depressed, cranky, sad, and just down. But as I left the store, I saw two dogs waiting for their people in an area cordoned off for dogs. Both were happy dogs who desperately wanted me to pet them, which I did. I felt lighter and happier because of their cuteness and love.
Almost every widow and widower I know feels the same way about their pets. For one thing, for many of them the pets also knew their spouses and went through this loss with them, which bonds them. Animals have a way of bringing joy and unconditional love into their lives.
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