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Paws and presents, the perfect blend of family and pet birthdays

Do you want to know something funny, or is it just weird? I’ve always had pets born on the same day as members of my family. January 11th is my dad’s birthday, and it’s also Kahlua’s birthday. Dad would have been 95 years old, whereas Kahlua is 7 years old. Sharing a birthday with my dad brings back a bittersweet mix of emotions. While it’s a happy occasion celebrating Kahlua, it’s also a poignant reminder of my dad’s absence and the enduring grief of losing him too soon.

My dad died way too soon from lung cancer. He was only 60 when he died and before that he had 2 long years of suffering. Before he was diagnosed with cancer, he was a strong man weighing 85 kilos (184 pounds) when he died, he weighed a fragile 30 kilos (66 pounds). That’s quite a loss, especially when you don’t want to loss it.

Watching Dad Die, Little by Little: A Heartbreaking Journey of Grief

It was difficult to watch Dad waste away because he was always there for me.

My Dad

He was an artist, an opera singer, fantastic cook, spoke Japanese and went to Japan for 3 months when I was 14 years old, a brilliant philosopher, well read, well-spoken and challenged our thinking all the time. Most of all he was the best dad anyone could have.

My dad was gentle, caring, loving, nurturing and I only found out that I wasn’t his favourite child after he died. I overheard one of my siblings telling someone that they were Dad’s favourite child. There were quite a few people at this party, when our extended family gets together it’s loud. As if from no-where we all heard one saying they were his favourite and we all appeared. We were all huddled in the centre of this huge hall arguing that each of us were his favourite.

Looking back on it, it was a precious memory because none of us felt less than the others. He was a pretty special and miss him every day.

Kahlua: A Joyful Spirit Amidst Grief

Kahlua, on the other hand is a hundred miles an hour dog. He loves everyone and always has a smile on his face, he’s elated to see everyone. He also had a run in with cancer, that was really tough waiting for results and getting the results. He had a melanoma taken from the lower part of his eye and he’s been clear ever since, thank goodness. We’re vigilant about checking his skin monthly, just like we are with ourselves.

He’s bubbly, crazy, empathic, loving, fun, caring, happy and absolutely loves others company; dogs, cats, people, children, even birds. He loves doing zoomies around the house with Ruby Rose (our cat). I wouldn’t be without him.

Do any of your pets share family birthdays? I’d love to hear about them.

Sharing a birthday with my dad brings back a bittersweet mix of emotions. While it’s a happy occasion celebrating Kahlua, it’s also a poignant reminder of my dad’s absence and the enduring grief of losing him too soon. If you’re navigating the complexities of grief, you may find solace and support in resources like The Grief Recovery Method

If you would like to explore more blog posts, you can find them here.

And for meaningful tools like journals and family cards, visit my online store here. Discover resources to support healing and connection in your journey.

Grief Dogs

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