Grief Brings Perspective

Our cat passed away this weekend and I’m amazed at how much I feel the loss. I spent a lot of time with her in the past few years, being at home recovering from burnout. I would love just one more day with her. I’d love watch her scamper off the bed to herd me towards her bowl in the morning. She followed me around the house, and even meowed at me angrily when I closed myself in the sanctuary to work. She talked to me when I got out the shower and when I leaned down, she would jump up on her hind legs for a kiss. She loved the afternoon naps I took most days and at night, she snuggled at my chest all night. I do miss her terribly and the house doesn’t feel the same without her.


The experience of grief has shifted my focus. I feel like I have gained perspective, and I realise that love is the only real thing in the world. Being with the ones we love, appreciating them and being present becomes paramount. The shared loss seems to have bound us together as a family. And all those niggly irritations fade into the distance.

I was frustrated with myself for not giving my best at my last Toastmasters speech. I was disappointed that I’m stagnating and that I am not applying the cumulative lessons from each speech. I became complacent and I didn’t push myself. It’s hard trying to balance self-care with progress and I don’t always get it right. Sometimes I push too hard and other times I’m not applying enough challenge. Being in flow means that challenge and skill are matched, and I’ve noticed I’m letting my skill fall behind.

In the wake of losing our special pet, that all seems irrelevant. I took a few days to just be with my family and to remember our special little cat. For such a small being, she had a great impact. Many people such as family, friends and house sitters, have all shared our grief and all commented on what a lovely cat she was.

It made me think about how we often feel insignificant – that no one cares about us. Imagine how much someone would miss you if so many people notice the loss of a little cat? We have a greater impact than we realise. We can probably make a bigger difference than we think we can. It’s worthwhile realising how much we mean to those we love, and to relish our relationships while loved ones are still here.

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I am a champion for living your passion. Writing is my passion, my destiny and my calling. I am a mother of two beautiful daughters and a wife and live in Johannesburg, South Africa.


  1. Kathy, this blog highlights for me the fact the the causes of burnout – the need to progress, improve, excel, achieve, impress are like a drug that you maybe never outgrow !
    The insiduous pressure at Toastmasters is difficult to master and maybe, like a feral cat, you never actually do master it, you simply cover its raw energy with layers of intellectualism.
    Great post !

    1. Thanks Ian. Thanks for reading and the positive feedback. Your comment is something I grapple with regularly. Do we accept ourselves as being competitive achievers and do our best to focus on rest, or do we try to ‘fix’ this as a dysfunction?

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