Letting Go + Healing Your Soul (A Personal Story)

I sometimes think letting go is the hardest part of what we do as actors.

Letting go of an audition when you know you did your best and you hear nothing.
Letting go of a callback when you made them laugh but you don’t book the job.
Letting go of how you think the scene should go, so you can be present in the moment.
Letting go of how you think your career should go, so you can be open to what’s meant for you.

Then, there’s letting go in life.
This past week we had to let go of our beautiful pit-bull corgi mix Jack, who my husband, Josh, rescued in 2004.

I always tell people that Josh rescued Jack before he rescued me, because that’s the honest truth (for both of us).

People would stop us wherever we go and try to guess his mix.  A beautiful pit-bull body and head on cute little corgi legs. He was one-of-a kind.

He was strong on the outside and sweet, loving and mellow on the inside. I always felt he was Josh, in dog form.

This was the dog who had been with us for the past 13 years of our journey together.
The dog who let you in his master’s house (and life) and bonded with you as you carved a pumpkin, fell in love and got married.
The dog who would curl up on the couch next to your newborn son the day he came home from the hospital.
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The dog you would lean on when you could barely sit up on your own.
The dog who needed a life vest on houseboat trips because he wasn’t a great swimmer.
The dog who would be your son’s main playmate before a younger brother would come along.
The dog who would be there for everything, as you raised two children, moved into a new home, renovated a backyard + even posed for holiday pictures.
The dog who would understand when you had a tough day and needed to cuddle on the couch.
The dog who would wait patiently when you were enjoying a poolside snack.
The dog who would teach you the importance of rest, relaxation and sleeping in on a Monday.
The dog who would age gracefully and silently thank you for saving his life.
The dog who was the living example of ease, flow and letting go (even during the holidays).
The dog who would bring tears to your eyes when you learned it was time to say goodbye.
The dog who you didn’t want to let go of because he’d been there your whole life and gave you so much joy, love + happiness
The dog who saved your soul and watched you become a husband, a father and the amazing man you are today.
We lost this dog last week. He was 16 years old (112 in dog years), had a beautiful life and he was ready to go.
Letting go of this cherished family member has not been easy.

It has been in the smallest of moments that we are remind us of his absence.

Not hearing the sound of his paws on the hardwood floor.
Not feeling him at our feet under the dinner table when we eat.
Not seeing him asleep in his dog bed or hearing the sounds as he dreams.

Letting go feels empty and sad.
Letting go reminds me of the loss of my late parents and recently, my mother-in-law.
Letting go knocks you back when you thought you were moving forward.
Letting go hits you hard when you least expect it.

But, I do know that letting out how you feel helps heal it all.

So thank you for allowing me to share this sacred space in your inbox, as the tears stream down my face (and I do the ugly cry) while typing this out.

I know Jack served his dog’s purpose, and sharing my story with you in this way, helps me to know that I am serving mine.

If there’s something you’re having trouble letting go of today or a recent loss that’s got you feeling down, share it in the comments below.

Letting it out might help inspire someone else to do the same and it might help you feel a little better too.

Here’s to letting out how you feel and healing yourself in the process.

Love + Gratitude,
– Wendy

P.S. If you need help easing anxiety + improving well-being, download this free audio.



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19 thoughts on “Letting Go + Healing Your Soul (A Personal Story)”

  1. Thank you for this Wendy. My dog became a cardiac patient in May – she’s the light of my life. I’m forwarding this to my friend Tara who just lost her Pom. I think your beautiful words will help her heal a bit too.

  2. I have never read your posts before. I signed up for them and always pass by then with the intention to read but get too busy. Today I read your post about your sweet dog and was touched in my soul. What s beautiful and bittersweet message. Thank you for being brave abdshsrung your pain . What a beautiful animal and part of your family.Im so sorry for your loss.. Thank you for touching me this morning. I pray for comfort for your kids, your husband and you!

  3. I have never read your posts before. I signed up for them and always pass by them with the intention to read but get too busy. Today I read your post about your sweet dog and was touched in my soul. What s beautiful and bittersweet message. Thank you for being brave and sharing your pain . What a beautiful animal and family member. Im so sorry for your loss.. Thank you for touching me this morning. I pray for comfort for your kids, your husband and you!

  4. Letting Go of Jack is a healing process for you and your family. Letting Go makes room for the good that’s to come to honor Jack. Letting Go Lets Jack Go. Letting Go lets you come to a sense of accomplishment of Jack’s Life. Letting Go allows your family to bond in the memory of Jack’s emergence into pure consciousness. Letting Go Lets you go into your next phase of grieving which is Healing. May you and your family be healed and blessed.

  5. Oh my…I’m still crying….what great memories of a wonderful family member. I lost my 14 year old pointer, and like your family, he shared in all of life’s precious moments…so grateful for that. Thanks for sharing such a personal moment, and great advice for moving forward, as hard as that sometimes seems.

  6. What a beautiful tribute. What I’m working to let go of is my idea of how everything *should* be in my career and life. There is so much beauty all around and I sometimes can’t see it because I’m pushing for a certain result and the lack of that blinds me to everything else. Letting go is absolutely the hardest thing in the world for me, but I’m taking baby steps, along with allowing myself to feel gratitude for everything that is wonderful right now. Thank you for your heartfelt and inspiring words.

  7. Beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing. Letting go is definitely one of the hardest parts of acting and in life as well. You’re family was so blessed to have Jack and I’m sure Jack in return was so blessed to have you all. I think sharing our pain especially with grief is so important to healing, I wish people felt more open to sharing stories like these. Praying for your family during this time. May the memories with him live on forever❤

  8. Vanessa Greyshock

    Oh, Sweet Wendy…I’m so very sorry for your family’s loss. Thank you for sharing all of those beautiful photos and for reminding us all, through your letting go, to hold on a little tighter (to our babies, our fur babies, our parents and friends) while we still can. You have honored your adorable buddy by sharing your heart with all of us. He was the luckiest pup to be in your home for so long. I know the goodbyes are so painful, but the love never leaves. I hope that soon your memories of him, once again, bring a smile to your faces instead of tears. Big hugs, my friend. ?

  9. Wow I saw your message in my inbox and I thought “I better read this before I read any more news” because your emails bring wisdom and light (I just recently subscribed to your newsletter). And now I am crying. What a wonderful story and sorrowful loss. The photo of your boys (aka his boys) looking sad with your sweet puppy before his passing pushed me over the edge. Animals do rescue us. Thanks for starting my Monday with heart. I wish you and your family comfort and peace in your grief. You paid such beautiful homage to your four legged family member. So dear. Thank you for sharing it. Letting go has been a constant lesson in my life. ❤️

  10. I’m having trouble letting go of regret. I just feel like now I’m confident about what I have to offer as an actor after abandoning it for nearly twenty years. So I lost a lot of time studying and learning my craft. I feel I could be so much a better actor now had I stuck with it. I cannot seem to appreciate where I am now.

  11. SO Beautiful and thank you so very much for sharing your beautiful, vulnerable self and family with us, Wendy. You are a gem and an exquisite reminder of how it’s possible to act, not only in business, but more importantly in this world. Much love to you and yours…

  12. The love we feel for our pets is exquisite and pure. We have a red-nosed pit rescue named Trudy who is the light of our lives. Even tho she’s had some aggression issues that surfaced after we took her in and we’ve had to spend several thousand dollars on training her, we wouldn’t give her up for anything. Dogs are the greatest!

    Hopefully, before u know it you’ll be ready to get another snoochie and can pass the love u have for Jack onto a new four-legged family member. Truly moved by your journey with Jack and appreciative of the blessing he’s been for your family. Hold him close in your hearts, always!

  13. Christine DiTillio

    My heart goes out to you. It’s never easy to say goodbye, especially to one who loved you so unconditionally. He was lucky to have someone who loved him back equally. Lucky to have someone who will mourn and miss him. So sorry for your loss.

  14. Oh my sweet Wendy, there is nothing like the loss of your canine kid. My big older boys both lived to be 15 and passed away three and 3 1/2 years ago. I kid you not I went into bereavement counseling and I am still not the same
    every time another loss comes up I think of them. Today at rehearsal? My necklace broke that has both of their initial pendants and I just freaked out and wept in the bathroom. You are not alone in this kind of grief because it is deep and profound. Something a good friend says to me and I say it to everyone reading this and to you sweet Wendy… Let me share in your burden tonight let me share in your grief. Do not walk through it or have it alone. I am sharing yours tonight. And thank you for reminding us of what is important and the love from an animal is like none other. What I’m trying to let go of? The stories I tell myself that grief is not OK that loneliness is not OK that Fear is not OK because when I push them all away ? They creep back up and out on or at people, those emotions turn against me. I must let things go, surrender, feel my feelings and just take the next indicated action and know that everything works out the way it supposed to. Not necessarily the way always want them to but… Sending you big hugs to your sweet boys as he crosses over the rainbow bridge. ALL my love XOXO

  15. What a beautiful pup. I’m so sorry for your loss. Love to you and your family. Thank you for opening up, always.

  16. Beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing this tribute. Letting go…always tough, but necessary in order to grow. Thanks again.

  17. Thank you for sharing this, Wendy. You were all blessed to have each other in your lives and, certainly, all the better for it.
    Know that Jack still lives on over the Rainbow bridge and is happily bounding about with new friends, including my two fur babies, who I’m sure, welcomed him with open paws.

  18. I’m so sorry for your loss. The love we receive from our animals is so precious and so difficult to let go of. I’m sending good energy and prayers your way as you and your family heal. Thank you for sharing.

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