Tuesday, March 25, 2014

No One Tells You

No one tells you the grief you that you will feel when your pet passes away.  People try to console you with hugs and thoughts and words like "it gets better with time."  It doesn't really help.  Everyone means well, but it doesn't change anything.  What could it possibly change?

It's been two months since Brandy~puppy the Super Dog went to Puppy Dog Heaven.  To say I miss her,
doesn't really tell you the story.  I know she was sick.  I know she was dying from the lymphoma.  I know she couldn't have lived much longer.  My heart still breaks thinking about it.  She was my best friend and making the decision to end her suffering is a decision I never want to make ever again.

The grief isn't about just crying and mourning her life.  It's small things.  It's not having to lock up the garbage.  It's no one to try to steal your blanket.  It's no one begging for the last bite of your sandwich.  It all becomes so routine that you don't realize it until you are about to toss the sandwich in the air that you realize she's not there to get it.  It's that moment that grabs you and clinches your heart.

With time it gets easier.  I don't think it's because you don't feel the grief.  I think it's because you just learn how to deal with the grief.  At first, people wanted to hug me.  A hug would bring on uncontrollable sobbing for a half hour so I refused hugs.  After a week, everyone assumed I'd be me again....be normal again.  But there is this big gaping hole that nothing else fills. 

When a person dies there are cards and flowers and people bring you food.  You know what happens when a beloved pet dies?  Nothing.  Sure people say things to you.  But nothing happens.  They make cards for these occasions....I know they do....I've seen them.  I didn't receive any.  I think that really hurts too.  Brandy was an amazing dog who never believed she was a dog.  Anyone who knew her would know that.  I certainly expected more from family and especially those who've lost pets before.  The family who did really care lived too far away to help us.  I don't know how a single person could go through this.

Gradually, Brandy's belongings have been cleaned and packed.  Some things got thrown out because they were wrecked or dirty.  I've filled her Groovy Dog dish with little red heart stones and put it on the shelf near where she used to eat.  Other belongings are waiting for me to assemble a shadow box when I have the time to do it.  We sold her kennel aka house a few weeks back.  It was sold to a woman who needed to train her dog.  Yesterday, I gave two dog dishes and a bandana to a student of mine who just adopted a cockapoo male puppy.

Even though we've been making these strides....she's still gone and we still miss her.  I mentioned to our contractor how our walls are covered with dog slobber.  He called that 'memories'.  We sure do have tons of those.  It's spring and the snow is just good for trying to scale the mountain of snow in the back yard or for traipsing through the mud and tracking it into the house.  Except there's no one to do it anymore.

And that's what no one tells you....is that your heart still breaks.

1 comment:

  1. Aw. Being a dog and all, I can't presume to understand how you humans feel when one of us goes. Cleo has been gone for three years now. Even though I was with her when she went and knew the truth, I had a hard time adjusting. It just didn't seem right to go for a walk without her. For the first month, I tugged at my leash to go back home to get her. Eventually, I realized that she lived her life well, and it was my job to do the same. I think your comment about cards is right on. My sidekick delivers them with a copy of the Rainbow Bridge enclosed. Yes, it makes everyone cry, but maybe it helps a little. When Cleo passed away, l'il Pup ('manda McD) borrowed one of Cleo's pictures and wrote a beautiful blog on Multiply. In Cleo's memory, 'manda volunteered some time at a local animal shelter. Multiply is gone now too, but the blog is still displayed on the refrigerator door and has inspired a few 'aws' from people who visit my house. Every dog is irreplaceable in its family's heart and memory, but my sixth sense tells me that a time will come when another four-legged friend will worm his/her way into your heart and claim the last bite of your sandwiches.