I’m the first to admit that I’m a total stranger to grief. At 33 years old, I still have both my parents as well as all four of my grandparents. I’ve never even lost an aunt, uncle, or cousin. As a result, the grief I’ve experienced this week, after having put down my beloved dog, Kyle, on Tuesday, has been nearly unbearable. Today is the first day that I’ve felt even close to “normal” and even then, I’ll go from completely fine to sobbing in absolutely no time. My chest and stomach ache most of the time, like I’m worrying a hole right through both of them. I don’t feel well, I don’t know how to relax, and nothing seems to keep me occupied for longer than a few minutes.
I’m just… sad. I miss my companion and friend. I miss his bossy barking when he wanted outside or when he was hungry for a treat. I miss the insistent way he’d bump his hand against my palm when he wanted petted. I miss his inquisitive stare and his happy bounce. And most glaring of all is that his presence is missing. From where I’m sitting, I can see the wooden urn holding his ashes. That’s all that’s left of him, except for my memories.
The house feels so empty without him. Roxie, our younger dog, has spent her week getting her bearings now that she’s no longer submissive to the alpha dog. She’s testing her limits and testing my patience. There’s no back and forth banter barking now because she has no one to “talk” to. All is quiet. Well, all except my heart, that is. It’s a rough, choppy mess that feels like it’s been sliced into a million little slivers. Everyone tells me that I’ll feel whole again someday. Right now, I would prefer to not feel anything at all because this grieving thing? Pure hell.