I missed you today, and I cried. I knew that our time was coming to an end and I wasn’t ready; I was sure that you weren’t ready either. I cried for both of us. Illness has a way of sneaking up on us, and yours was a ninja. It was completely silent, neither one of us noticing at first but as it grew it became less quiet. You were always defiant and stubborn, and that didn’t change as you faced down your illness. It turns out that it was more defiant and more stubborn than you were, and I could see you were getting tired. I tried to tell my eyes they were wrong and my heart screamed it, but my brain knew better. Goodbye was upon us and I missed you, so I cried.
I missed you today and I cried. I tried to fight the tears, maintain some composure as we stepped into the vet clinic. Then I made eye contact with them, the women who sat at the front desk. The ones who greeted us so cheerily every time we came in. In their eyes, I saw my sadness mirrored back at me. They were about to say goodbye too. We got comfortable on the floor, you and I, and I told you all the things that I wanted you to remember. You were such a good boy and I loved you very much. Thank you for the laughter, joy, and love you gave us. You laid your head on my lap, then you were gone. And I missed you, so I cried.
I missed you today and I cried. As I emptied the vacuum and saw your fur I wondered if this was the last of it. As much as I hated it before, I found myself hoping I would find a bit more. Your food bowl was exactly where you left it, still full with the meal you hadn’t eaten. I dumped out the food and put the bowl in the dishwasher, unable to be the one who washed you away. It felt wrong to be removing you from the house but at the same time, it was helping. The finality of it. I said goodbye to you again today, and I missed you, so I cried.
I missed you today and I cried. I was looking for an old picture and I found you; a version of you that I had forgotten. The one that was young and vibrant, not gray, sick, and tired. You were on your back on the floor, caught forever in a moment of pure silliness. When I saw that picture, the memory played out like a home movie in my head. I could hear the sounds of your play growl and my laughter. The thud of your tail as it hit the floor when you used it to balance yourself. Almost immediately, another home video started. One memory fed into another and then I came to a realization. Today, I remembered you, and I smiled while I cried.
-Chantel, RVT and forever mom to Winston (2009-2023)
If you, or someone you know, are struggling after the loss of a pet, please talk to someone. If you are unable to find a like-minded person who will listen without judgment, we are but a phone call or email away. Alternatively, you could look into pet loss support groups. Click here to learn more about one offered in Saskatoon, SK.
Other pet loss resources can be found here.