Getting through the mental blocks of grief

Since I said goodbye to my beloved, Carmela, just over a month ago I’ve developed a lot of mental blocks. These are things that I used to be able to do, but can’t do at the moment because they feel weird without having Carm around.

Some of these mental blocks include:

  • Dancing around my apartment. Sometimes after a frustrating day at work when I had a lot of nervous energy I would crank the music and dance it out. Without Carm following me around wagging her tail, or sitting in the middle of room watching me it just wouldn’t feel right. Plus there would be no one to trip over. Where’s the fun in that?

Dog yoga

  • Doing yoga. Anytime I would whip out that yoga mat Carm would be right there next to me—pacing over the mat, stepping over (on) me, and lying down in the center of the mat forcing me to work around her. She really loved being “right there” for any physical activity especially when she got older and couldn’t do a lot of it herself.

Pasta pup

  • Cooking any kind of pasta dish. I would often make pasta for myself and inevitably would make extra for Carm. Bow-tie pasta was her favorite so that is what I usually bought. Now when I’m at the grocery store I carefully avoid the pasta aisle altogether.
  • Eating/throwing away end slices of bread. Carm loved her bread and peanut butter every morning. She especially loved it on days that I would start/finish a loaf of bread because it meant that she got an extra slice that day. I don’t mind the end pieces, but for some reason since she’s been gone I’ve been saving them. I currently have a bag of bread in my refrigerator that contains 4-5 end slices of bread.

Pizza dog

  • Eating pizza crust. Yes, a lot of my mental blocks are food-related. We would always share pizza together. She would eat the crust, and I would eat the rest. Currently the crust goes uneaten as well.

Painting with dogs

  • Painting. It has always been an on-again/off-again hobby of mine, but one that I had taken up again a few months ago. I loved going to my painting class every week, and painting at home most nights with Carm by my side. For the moment painting is still something I cannot do.

There are many more mental blocks that I’m currently fighting. Even just leaving the house and coming home throws me off. I often spend several seconds trying to figure out if I forgot something or why things feel “off.” It’s because my buddy is gone. There’s no one that I have to rush outside after work, or give 20 kisses and cuddles to before I walk out the door. My life revolved around Carm, and without her I just feel off balance.

It will get easier. Time heals all wounds. Eventually all of these mental blocks will cease to exist, but the ache in my heart for my beloved Carmela never will.

Did you develop mental blocks after your pet passed away? What helped you get through them?


  1. You’re right – it WILL get easier. For a long time I couldn’t even look down the pet food/treat aisle at Target or the grocery store. I’d speed past with my head turned in the other direction. Hang in there.

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