Depression, Help, hope, Love, mental health, Strength, Suicide, suicide prevention

VETTING LOVE

How many losses have you suffered over your lifetime? A handful, more? What if you endured numerous losses in a single week? 

Losing a loved one is hard. Strike that, it’s suffocating. It’s devastating. It’s traumatizing. It’s confusing. It’s unfair. It’s beyond the capacity of being defined by so simple a word as hard. Losing a loved one is losing a piece of your journey, your memories, your laughter, and your love to an intangible enemy. 

We can all agree, losing a loved one is painful in ways words can’t often express adequately. 

But what constitutes a loved one? 

Any person we have loved throughout our life? 

Is love an emotion that can only be shared between people? 

Any person who has ever shared space with a pet wouldn’t hesitate to express the enormity of their love and how valid a feeling it is for both them and their companion. This love, this shared expression of life is as meaningful as any other. 

Love has been categorized as being unconditional, affectionate, familiar, enduring, and playful. It is a connection shared beyond words. A bond made in quiet moments. A joy created when two souls play and dance together in happiness. Agape, Philia, Storge, Pragma, Ludus, LOVE a word so strong the Greeks bestowed it with 8 categories to try and contain its exponential meanings. The love of a pet could fall under many or even all of these categories. 

But where does the love of another’s pet fall? 

The love that is built when we first held you in our arms as a puppy. When we comforted the scared and confused kitten after their life-saving procedure. When we shared giddy moments as you danced about our space hoping for a treat. Softer hearts don’t often fare well against those literal puppy dog eyes and you definitely have the cutest. We are here because of our immense love of animals. We are here to serve you in your big times and small. We are here, loving your animals as though they were our own. After all they’ve been ours in immeasurable ways across countless dog or cat years. 

Life and love are larger and more evasive than we can imagine. In a single day, we can see both halt over and over and over. In a single day, we can come face to face with death until our hearts can’t bear anymore. In a single day we can experience some of the lowest lows known by man’s best friend. Yours, and our best friends. We’ve formed memories, moments, and meaning that can only ever be revisited. We grieve for you, in our way. We also grieve for them, for those souls who never spoke anything but the language of love. The hardest part is our love and our roles don’t end when their lives do, not for them and not for you. 

We push forward with hope. We cling to joy. And we pray you never forget how grateful we are to you for entrusting your precious lives and loves in our humbled hands. 


If you haven’t recently, thank your vet, your techs, and your clinic staff. It means more to them than you may realize. 

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Acceptance, Beauty, Depression, Dreams, Fear, Help, hope, Love, mental health, public speaker, Relationships, Strength, susie reece, Susie Reynolds, susie reynolds reece, Thoughts, Writing

I’m Sorry.

I’m sorry.

I struggle with these words to this day.

Not because I can’t say them when they are merited. Not because they can’t be felt deeply in every cavernous crevice of my spirit. But because they were my cage for so long.

I remember being clumsily coerced to apologize to those who ridiculed and hated me. I was compelled to apologize to those who had false impressions of who I was because they never took the time to get to know me. I recall being commanded that I needed to accommodate the feelings of everyone else and continually disregard my own for their sake. Because they mattered.

I’m sorry was my apology for existing. I’m sorry was how I begged to be overlooked so as not to intimidate or unintentionally make anyone feel less than me. I’m sorry was my forced anonymity in a world that erases those who don’t stand up for themselves.

You thought I looked at you harshly. You felt I was judging you.

You felt intimidated by my being a person, no matter how small a person I was.

Why should I be sorry for any of those?

Don’t be a person. Don’t be me. Don’t be. Be sorry. Be less. Be invisible. Because you are sorry and nothing more. You sorry little nothing.

These words choked me into the fetal position and urged me to be unconceived. Because this habit wound its way into my vernacular and decided it belonged. It slipped seamlessly from my tongue time after time. Often still, I say those words before I realize they have been said. To this day, I find myself apologizing for my existence. I find myself asking for forgiveness for my being. For who I am. Allowing others to lessen me so they aren’t forced to grow against their will.

Why should I apologize for my existence? Why should I cower down so you can feel bloated beside me? Because you are not empowered in this. You are not triumphant in this. You are falsely made to feel as though you have won some battle against me. Yet, I was never fighting you in the first place. I was never out to usurp your imaginary power.

I was simply living. Tasting the moments I was blessed to know. Relishing this harsh reality in any infinitesimal way I was allowed because none of us will be here forever and far too many of us are gone far too soon. Far too many memories are never made because we forget the cruelty of time. We forget we are all small in the scheme of things.

Today I tell you all, I love who I am.

I don’t love every regrettable decision I make. I’m not fond of every misstep I muck my way through. I don’t always cherish the experiences that ensnare my world and leave me feeling helpless.

But I love me.

The child who cowered and prayed to be unseen for far too long. The human who waged wars unlike anyone else ever could on myself in the hopes of defeating my existence. The woman who clawed her way through her own skin until I wore it, truly fucking wore it. This woman. This Fearlessly flawed creature who knows I will only ever be this me Today. I will only ever be this young and naive in this moment. I will only ever know this feeling for as long as I hold my breath around it. I will only ever have this chance to do something worth remembering now.

I’m sorry may slip through my lips from time to time. It will land exactly how I intend it to when I have done wrong. But it will never again be used to make me feel less so another can momentarily feel like more than me.

I am not sorry for this Susie. Never again will she be less than everything she has fought to become.

#sorrynotsorry #SFA #stellar #fierce #astonishing #SouthernFriedAsian

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Acceptance, Beauty, Blog, Depression, Dreams, Fear, Love, Relationships, Strength, Suicide, suicide prevention, Thoughts, Writing

Why Do We Stop?

For emotion. 

Because of emotion. 

Without emotion.

We stop to feel. Perhaps we find ourselves lost in a moment, like when the butterfly happens magically across our path. Its dance sparking calm within us. It speaks to our soul and we bask in its serenity. Sometimes we listen to understand. We have thrown question after question into the void and now we wait for it to answer. There are times we pause in the hopes of shutting out the world and all its deafening noise. Because we see them, the beautifully broken, surrounding us and it shreds our ever feeling hearts to pulp. We ache to close our eyes and hearts so we can stumble through our world with some semblance of sanity left in tact. 

We stop because our emotions command us. They give us no choice. We are lost to their tumultuous waves and fall timidly into their powerful force. They steal our breath and focus our minds on our absence of control. Capturing us against our will. We fall prey to their hunger to consume our breath. And no matter how we flail against their waves, we find ourselves floating willingly as they drown every ounce of who we are. 

We stop because we have lost ourselves without the ability to feel. Perhaps we ignored what living should be in the hopes of finding what it might be in a future that never came true. We held our breath for so long that we forgot the necessity of air to our lungs. We’ve lost hope to what life would never be. For too long, we’ve overlooked the small glimmers. We forgot to steal back our simple joys. We failed to create gratitude in an all too ungrateful universe. 

Some of us failed to recognize our own worth. We expected too little of ourselves to allow us the chance to grow and flourish. Time slunk up around us and ticked away the life we deserved to savor while we starved ourselves on wishes we failed to reach for. 

We stop because we keep going until we cannot go any longer. We have pushed ourselves beyond our breaking and foolishly felt we were beyond a reasonable point to be fixed. We stop because we do not lean on others for fear. We fear their judgment, we fear their gaze. We fear being vulnerable and broken open to criticism and callousness. Our pain and pride give us this sense of necessary isolation that slowly eats at our will and destroys the image of who we should be. The image of who we think others feel we should be. We stop in spite of life all around us because we no longer see the world in vivid color. Our lack of hope has greyed our ability to dream or even recall the taste of possibility. 

We stop to be built or unbuilt. You see it’s in the lulls, the quiet moments we settle into, when our hearts are broken open to fully feel. That’s when we happen. That is when we are built and strengthened and fortified. That is when we break apart. We find ourselves on pause so when we begin again, hopefully, we are vigorously renewed. 

Life is chaos. It is simple, complicated, dark, and delightful. Each moment around us builds upon the moments we’ve intertwined with before. And that is when we become ourselves. 

We stop to be. 

We stop to become. 

We. 

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