My new year started off pretty grand with dancing and fun, but then when I woke up I learned that I had to say goodbye to one of my best friends that happens to have fur. I’ve been through this before, 4 times to be exact, but it never gets easier. I sort of knew that he was near his end. When you’re that close with your dog, you just know. Their personality starts to change, they don’t enjoy things (like car rides) like they used to. I’ve always had an intuition for this sort of thing.
Here is my baby, Mr. Darcy, aka Squish.
I rarely pray, but for the last couple weeks I found myself praying that he wouldn’t suffer, even before he started acting differently. He didn’t suffer from what I could tell, so that’s something to be thankful for. Because of that, I really can’t be angry. He was almost 11, which is super old for an English Bulldog. I know he had a wonderful life with my family and I.
I would consider myself spiritual, and I have felt his presence all day today. It was comforting, even though I’ve just been moping and in a kind of daze. It’s hard to explain the deep connection I’ve had with animals, my pets and otherwise. Animals are honest, forgiving, and expressive … if you just know how to look.
I know it’s hard, but if your pet is on his or her way out, please go with them if they need to be put down. I worked at an animal hospital, and I can tell you, that they always look for you. They want to see familiar faces. And even though I am a loving person, it is not the same type of comfort that “their human” can provide. Try to stay until they are sedated. I know it’s hard, but at least do that… because you are all that they know. You become their whole life. And I’ve made it a point to be there until the very end– as best as I can, for people and other beings alike.
I always think about him. He ran the house and many things revolved around him. It’ll be an adjustment without him around. Believe me, if you’ve lost an animal that you’re attached to, I know the pain. But, I also know you will see them again at some point, so that is helpful.
Grieving looks different for everyone. For me, I may be a wreck for a day and that is usually it. I prefer to be alone, except for maybe a couple trusted people in my life. Everyone’s process is different, and allowing them to have that space to grieve in their own unique way is important. That might mean lying in bed all day for a day, like I did today. However, if that turns into a week— you may want to express some concern, and that is ok. Losing someone is not something that you “get over,” you just learn to deal with it. I miss all of my animals, all the time, as well as the people that I’ve lost. You have to get used to a new normal without the person or animal that was part of your daily routine. It takes a while, but it’s helpful for me to think about how I know Squish would want me to be happy. And I truly believe there is no death, only different worlds.