Because you left us so suddenly on December 5, I never had the chance to tell you the place you filled in our lives. This was never taken for granted, and as I hugged your neck or looked into your expressive face over the years, I often paid tribute–knowing we would someday part–to your gentleness, your affable temperament, and your incredibly soft huggable coat, even though so much of it ended up on my navy wool socks.
Ann and I were prepared to part with you, someday, but it came without warning, and when you were in such pain on the stainless steel table at the vets on Monday night, I did not want to see you and remember you that way in my final memories of you. So I did not officially tell you goodbye.
So I hope you understand why I’ve waited a few days to let the loss of your passing become somewhat, but only slightly yet, muted by time to find words to tell you why and how much you were cherished during your eight years with us, and that you will ever be in our memories for the duration of our time here on Goose Creek and this wonderful space we shared too briefly with you.
As I knew it would, this revisiting of your life here, compressing if it were possible the sum total of all the hours you were goofy or noble, tender or playful, aggravating or stubborn–it has brought me to the point where, finally, I have stopped being brave and strong and stoic. In the house this morning, alone unlike I’ve known alone-ness in your absence, I have mourned for you.
There is such a fine line between grief and joy. The memories that make me smile also make me cry. Like a baby, dammit. It is so confusing. So I hope that, in writing this out, some of the confusion will pass, the smiles will become unblemished by pain and tears, and we can move on with our love, to find its next object. That will not be you. Could never be. But will be loved, nevertheless.
That’s all for now. The chickens need let out, firewood brought in, and all the dishes–including the dregs in the cereal bowl in front of the computer screen–need washing. They sure could have stood a good licking first. You are missed.