|A day in the life|
- I automatically reach toward the end of our bed every time I walk past, half-expecting that he'll be there.
- I watch the clock every evening, wondering when we'll have to grab the leash and head out for our meandering walk through the neighborhood. He was, as it turns out, a very precise timekeeper.
- I open and close the cupboard below the kitchen sink - the one where we keep the garbage bin - and find it so empty without the baby lock on it. We had to babyproof the house because he was such a freaking garbage-picker. Now, it's an annoyance I strangely miss.
- When I leave the house, I look back down the hall because that's where he would stand and stare at us as we prepared to leave. I'd often get out of the house late because I found it endlessly fun to try to talk him into walking over to me for one last hug before I left. He was pretty good at the staring thing, and I always wondered what he was thinking.
- I look for his face in the front window when I arrive home, and wait for him to come charging down the front walk, body quivering as if he hasn't seem me in years.
I also share these moments not because I'm now immersed in some sort of endless, hopeless period of mourning, but because I feel I need to put this loss into some kind of broader perspective. I've seen folks who've lost pets prattle on endlessly, mostly in Facebook, about the ruins their lives have become now that Fido the dog (or Skittles the cat, or even Nemo the fish or Sparkles the rabbit) is gone (note to self: In 2017, spend less time reading my Facebook news feed.) I'm not going to tear my clothes to shreds and build a makeshift shrine of 242 candles in a room festooned with dog-eared prints of every picture we ever took of him. With apologies to other folks who've owned and lost pets: I lost my dad and my wife lost her mom. They're not in the same league.
But at the same time, we're still sad. We still find ourselves looking for him, listening for him, feeling for him in a dark room, only to realize he isn't there anymore. We still find the silence in the house somewhat jarring to the soul. We still look inwards with just a little self-doubt, hoping that everything we did for him was, in the end, enough. I'd like to think it was, and that if given another chance, we wouldn't change a thing.
Thanks for the indulgence.