24 May 2017, by E-van and Terry
Just last week, my family had to say our final goodbyes to our beautiful family pet member of 15 years, a Siberian Husky called Shasta. It pains me to even talk about Shasta now because, does that mean I have to talk about him in past tense?
I’ll be completely honest about my relationship with Shasta. I wasn’t the closest to him since there were a total of seven family members for him to share and he could choose any one of us to be his owner. But even so, I played with him and reminisced about the times we brought him to East Coast Park, or to the big green fields right outside our house where we all had much fun altogether.
One of my favorite photos of him, sleeping and curling up like that of a little furball… when in fact it’s not a little furball but a big one. Goodnight Shasta, you’ve been more than just a dog to us. You were family.
During this grieving period, it was crucial that Terry was there for me when I needed the comfort. He knew he did not have to say anything, but to give me long hugs because sometimes, there are really no words to make anything better. He has been a great source of comfort and tries to cheer me up even when he is up to his neck at work.
I know during this period of grief makes me a slightly different person. A little absent, a little impatient. One day, on our way home in the train, I asked, irritably, “Why do you have to live so far?” I forgot what his response was. But the next day, he said to me “I love you darling, my family loves you too. I know Jurong is very far, but it is never too far for home.”
I knew in my state of sorrow I’ve forgotten to care for my husband’s feelings, and apologised for affecting him at work. Terry has been very empathetic and a great pillar of support, together with his parents. My mum-in-law makes sure I bring food to work the past few days because I haven’t had a good appetite. At least with this food, I can draw some sort of comfort, from it knowing it was cooked by someone who cares for me.
The first few days were the hardest and I hadn’t had proper sleep. I would wake up crying, I was filled with guilt, a guilt that made me think that I should have done better, I should have given more but didn’t…
To my husband, a very big thanks, who in my time of grieve, has been very patient, understanding and comforting. He played an important role by helping me cope (and survive) my emotional well-being. This I find is very important in a relationship, to support and love each other in times of need.
To end my entry, there is something I wish to address; that of making the decision to continue keeping a pet (if you already have one) if you’re having a baby or trying to start a family. If you do not already have a pet, make the decision with your spouse if you should or shouldn’t have one.
If you think you don’t have time for your pet when baby comes along, maybe you could adopt a different mindset and have your pet grow up with your children. You’ll be surprise at how good pets are at babysitting!