It only matters what works for you.

Grief is physical.

There’s a lot written about how grief affects the mind. 5 stages of grief, types of counseling. It’s easy to forget that things that affect the mind also affect the body. I don’t know about you, but all my various health issues often cause me to think about my body in the third person, as something separate from the ‘real’ me. I don’t believe that’s particularly healthy, but, you know, work in progress.

This was brought home to me recently by a bad cold.

My husband gets sick more often than I do. He works in an office with people who can’t remember to stay home when they’re sick (very liberal work from home policy) and he rides the germ-ridden DC metro twice a day. I work from home, giving my immune system many fewer trials.

Two weeks ago my husband brought a particularly nasty cold home from a conference. He was sick several days and we held off any kissing and he’s good about hand washing and corralling his tissue pile, and I went about my business as usual.

Then my sweet kitty got sick. I took her to the emergency vet thinking ‘gastroenteritis’ but it turned out to be poisoning from advanced kidney disease with no reasonable treatment options. I can not clearly express the depth of  my shock. She was her normal, happy self only two days earlier, and then she was gone.

And by the next evening, I was sick.

Now it’s entirely possible that I was going to catch it anyway, but I don’t think so. I haven’t had a full on respiratory infection in nearly 10 years, since I fixed my asthma and allergies by giving up dairy.

So the next time grief comes into your life, remember to be kind to yourself, not just emotionally, but also physically.


Comments on: "Grief is physical." (4)

  1. Oh, Pamela, how my heart cries out to you! My eyes, too, as I weep. I am so, so sorry. What a beautiful cat and dear, dear friend of yours. We really need that feline support when we are writing and editing. Bless you, my dear. Take care of yourself and get well and know you have my shoulder to cry on, as long as you let me cry too. Deb and Sid

  2. Oh man. I’m so very sorry about the death of your cat friend. That is so tragic. 😦

    When my two closest cats died (separately), I was in such grief I could barely move, it was so slow, the grief was affecting my whole body so much.

    • Thanks, I know how you adore your cats. I’m sorry to hear you’ve lost more of them. I still feel like I’m walking through mud a lot.

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