It’s been almost 3 months since we laid Mia to rest, and although I don’t normally like to ‘bring down’ this blog with negative comments and heavy feelings, I can’t shake the feeling of incredible loss. In fall, this particularly nostalgic time of year, it just seems to be such a keen sense of missing something. School has started back up, and I still expect a happy face to greet me at the door every time I come home after a hard, long day. Yesterday, no one was home when I arrived in after work, and it struck me, hard, that Mia wasn’t here.
Having rarely dealt with grief before, this is a new experience for me. I can say with complete honesty that the days after losing Mia were absolutely the worst in my life. This may seem over dramatic to some – who gets so worked up over a pet? – but I’d rather not be acquainted with people who think like that. I think most of you who have loved a pet realize they are on the same plane as that of a family member.
These past few weeks for some reason have been particularly difficult. Taking out a winter coat, I found a doggie poop bag in the pocket. Something so small and silly just set me off – wasn’t it this time last year that we’d be taking her out for a walk? Wasn’t she laughing at us as we raked the leaves, playing games as we threw them around her in the air?
I miss that no one is there to lie beside me in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep and have traipsed downstairs to tough it out in the couch. I miss seeing the excitement of asking her if she’d like to accompany me on the 3-minute walk to get the mail. I miss coming home after a particularly trying day and burying my face in her shaggy, smelly, full coat and instantly feeling better. I miss the slow race of dropping something on the floor and picking it up before she reached it. I miss seeing her dog dishes, matted balls of fur strewn about the house, and checking under the dinner table before moving the chair. I’m dreading upcoming family functions where her presence will be missed – especially around her most favourite of things, the Christmas Day unwrapping of presents.
It’s just not the same, and that’s ok. It’s not supposed to be. But, damn it, why couldn’t it just be made so that dogs and people live at the same time? I would’ve been perfectly happy chatting with her through to our old age and then peacefully passing away together.
To quote Will Rogers: “If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.”