Love Them Anyway

I am still doing it.

Yesterday marked one week.

And still, I’m catching glimpses of her leash and thinking briefly, “The weather is so nice for our walk tonight.”

I walk into my room, on a break from work, and think “I need to be quiet so I don’t disturb her.”

Sometimes I hear her coming in or going out the doggy door before my brain quickly reminds itself that’s not possible.

The other night when I picked up my daughter, I opened my mouth to ask, “Do you want to take Peach to the park when we get home?”, but i quickly shut it before any sound escaped my throat.

The day after we said goodbye to her, my daughters and I sat on my bed, previously always crowded, but now heartbreakingly spacious, her body noticeably absent, and we showed each other pictures of her we have on our phones. And there are so many. Most of them displaying her almost constant expression of concern that often evoked an “Aw, Peach, what’s wrong?” from us, though it was a doggy equivalent of “resting bitch face.” That was just her face!

Honestly, I could fill pages upon pages about what that damn dog meant to me, what she went through with me, and I with her. But anyone who has loved and lost a pet knows that feeling all too well. All the feelings. The shock, the grief, the hard to forget sounds and rituals, the painful reminders, the bittersweet memories and flashbacks, the Gotcha Day anniversaries, we’ve all been through it, and every one of us unanimously agrees; it never gets easier.

So I’ll save the pages of words that could never adequately express my tenderness for that sweet soul who entered my life six and half years ago and just leave you with this:

You know how this is going to end. Love them fiercely anyway.

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