Lizards, Love and Loss

Lizzie, the lizard joined our family, two months ago. She was “rescued” in a Starbucks cup at Target & became ours. The boys pooled their money together to buy supplies for their new pet. They searched the backyard for bugs for her to eat. They would come home empty handed more times than not. I would end up at the pet store and buy live crickets at 19 cents a bug for Lizzie to dine on.

Last Friday, my oldest decided to bring Lizzie outside in a portable tank to show her to a neighborhood friend. He made the poor choice to take her out of the tank and Lizzie jumped into a bush.  While the younger two were un-phased by Lizzie’s escape, my oldest mourned the loss of this lizard. He sobbed as he shared that he felt like he lost a member of the family and expressed that Lizzie was special to him. Our two day search and rescue was futile. I wanted to end his sadness and took him to the pet store for a replacement. My husband frowned upon this decision. He felt our son was being irresponsible and knew better than to take Lizzie out of the house. I agreed with him, but wanted to end his sadness.

Even though we replaced Lizzie with a new lizard named Sheldon, my son continues to express grief over his lost pet. He continues to hope that we find Lizzie and worries about her safety in the wild after living with us in captivity.

Sheldon the Lizard, who happens to be female.

This had me thinking about my own losses this year. I too grieved something that seemed irrational. When I injured my shoulder last November, the loss of my aerial practice left me feeling despondent. I do realize I’m pushing 40 & have 3 kids, which means that my age and life circumstances (as well as skill level) will never allow for this to be more than a hobby for me. However, not being able to hang upside down and exercise in the way I loved left an irreplaceable hole in my life. Well meaning friends and family suggested alternatives, none which resonated with me. I tried a few, but it did not fill the void that I experienced.

I couldn’t replace aerial during my hiatus, as we couldn’t replace Lizzie with Sheldon. I know as well as anyone you can’t replace things that you love that easily. Attachments are individual. What’s a loss for one, may be meaningless to another, as can be seen by my younger children’s lack of emotion to their once beloved pet.  Many did not understand why I was so upset about a mere hobby.  Whereas friends, who were fellow aerialists, dancers, yogis, runners, basically anyone who had an interest they were passionate about, seemed to be able to empathize with my sadness.

Even now that I’m back to my aerial practice, it is not the same for me. There is more caution and hesitation, as I don’t want to chance another injury. I still have my goals – I just have to approach them with patience & understanding of my limitations.

“I think anyone who opened their heart enough to love without restraint and was subsequently devastated by loss knows that in that moment you are forever changed; a part of you is no longer whole. Some will never again love with that level of abandon where life is perceived as innocent and the threat of loss seems implausible.  Love and loss are therefore linked.” Donna Lynn Hope

When you are forced to walk away from something you love, things aren’t always exactly as you left them when you return. They may still be there for you, but often look different. However, if you decide to runaway as Lizzie did- then most likely you aren’t coming back.

28 thoughts on “Lizards, Love and Loss

  1. I get it. A hobby or anything you love with limitations is like driving a Ferrari in first gear. Yeah you’ve got a Ferrari but for all the joy you’re getting it might as well be a pedal bike!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This spoke volumes … ‘When you are forced to walk away from something you love, things aren’t always exactly as you left them when you return. They may still be there for you, but often look different’ – incredible!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. This struck me. Another great read with amazing lessons.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It did for me as well. 😊🙏🏽

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks for being my fan, Michelle! Means a lot to me! 😘😊

        Like

      1. You’re welcome 🙏🏽

        Like

      2. Awesome!!! Thank you for thinking of me!!!! I’ll check it out

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Of course, you deserve it! I’ve quickly become an admirer of your writing, it’s great! 😊🙏🏽

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Thank you! I admire you and your writing as well! As I said told you before, you inspired me to write about Chiari.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Thank you! But you’re doing all the work, so you deserve all the credit. You’re doing great! 🙂

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  3. I love this. Grief is individual with no timetable. You can grieve the loss of so many things. I’m still not over the loss of my dog 3 months ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sometimes loss is nothing mourning something we lost but something we’ve been afraid to lose, it’s tough. Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post. Coping with grief is difficult. You eventually accept but it alters you as a person. You become a little fearful and wary about the loss of other loved ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Very interesting and moving thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You are right deep thoughts…….. I guess we all have our day to jump into the preverbal bushes never to be seen again. Just makes you want to enjoy your time in tank while your there more I guess, and savor the moments you have.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow, such an incredible story and I love how you tied in the story of Lizzie. Great read

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I can’t even begin to imagine how you do the things you do (aerial stuff).
    It seems like your son has learned his lesson, and will be more responsible in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aerial is so much fun and I love it! He will definitely be more responsible with him lizard. With everything else, I’m not so sure.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There’s always room for improvement. Right?

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I would have done the same thing as you – tried to replace Lizzie. I love how you tied in the loss of the pet lizard to the loss of your aerial practice. Right now, I am feeling the loss of my running. I went from being able to run a marathon to having trouble running one mile due to injury. Loss is tough. No 2 ways about it. Your son will learn soon enough!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so sorry to hear about your injury that’s keeping you from running. I really do feel your pain. It’s so hard not to be able to do something you love. I hope your recovery goes quickly. The 6 months felt like forever for me, but somehow I made it through. You got this!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. This resonated with me, “When you are forced to walk away from something you love, things aren’t always exactly as you left them when you return. They may still be there for you, but often look different.” I know many people have been in this situation and I have experienced it too! You are brave and bold for continuing to find ways to enjoy what you love. And to embrace how it looks now, rather than long for what has been. Love hearing your insights on your experiences.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thanks Heather! I still do long for what could have been & think about what I missed out on (performances, advancing my skills, etc), but I know it gets me nowhere to dwell on it. I love being there, even if it’s not how I planned it to be.

      You literally made my day by reading and commenting on all these posts today. 😘

      Like

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