A part of me thinks I’ve figured out why my grief over losing Zack is the way it is. But I know it’s just a piece of the puzzle, not the entire picture.
It’s all about that unconditional love.
If you’ve ever owned a pet that was more than a mere animal at home, you know what I’m talking about. I got spoiled by such unconditional love. With Zack, all he wanted was to hang out with me/us. I don’t have to do anything, to be anything. I’m just myself warts and all, and that’s perfectly alright with him. He was happy to eat, play, walk and hang out. Just constantly waiting for us to pay attention to him.
After losing Zack, I was forced to deal with humans and their conditional love. It took me so long to realize that there were certain people in my life who were actually disappointing me and treating me badly. I was accepting treatment that I know I didn’t deserve, yet by allowing it, I was proving that I deserved to be treated shabbily. I was letting people get away with things by not creating boundaries to what I find acceptable and not acceptable. I’ve always felt like taking the high road was the best way to deal with things, but the thing with taking the high road is that no one even realizes you’re taking the high road. You’re alone in the high road, and people who aren’t supposed to treat you crappily just go about their merry way until the next time they treat you crappily. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and if you don’t squeak every now and then, you’re just enabling them to keep on treating you badly.
Sure, those people might have the best intentions in the world for me. But in the end, actions speak louder than words. With some people, the actions were deafening…whether in the silence or in the noise.
Disingenious behavior like dishonesty, insincerity, hypocrisy, backbiting – those things aren’t something you experience with pets. Those are human behaviors driven by human choices. No matter how kind you are to other people, there are still those who are in it for themselves. In the scheme of give and take, all they know and all they offer is to take. Your honesty and candor gets “rewarded” by lies.
Pets don’t do that. Their concept of pack is actually what we humans think of as family. It’s human superiority complex that makes us think these animals are lesser beings.
The more time passes, the more I’m horrified that he’s gone forever. I will never see him, my little guy, again. But his passing taught me how to value myself – what’s worthy of me, my love and my time. That’s a hell of a valuable lesson taught by such a little creature.