You know, I really don't want to be that person. You know the one. The one who won't stop talking about her dog, how great she was, how much you miss her and how you should have done more.
But, I am.
I went to an art show this past weekend, and it was a good one. I currently use a camper in my travels, small but efficient, with a shower and a place to sleep. And Pearl was with me. I worried that the trip was too much jostling, too much here and there for her frail health. But, being away from her in her passing would have filled me with so much angst that I had to take her. She was comfortable in a little rolling cart, on her favorite pillow, and at 2:30 on Sunday afternoon, she passed.
I knew it somehow - that it would happen that weekend. She drank some water dutifully, tried to walk and pee, then stretched her neck over the top of the cart and gasped a few times...then, peacefully passed. I was holding her, touching her heart and calling her name. I had to keep my head and heart in check for three hours during the show, then another two hours while packing up the tent...but the minute I was in the car heading home, I was lost. Lost to grief, lost to infinite sadness.
I really don't believe in the afterlife, honestly. I believe that we return to energy, as we are born of energy and live as energy. I buried her body that night, and haven't been able to visit the grave yet. I am grieving and think of her every hour of every day since she died. She has left a wound in my heart. I miss her.
I'm not quite all right yet. I'm in a bit of a fog. I'm adulting. But what I really want to do is push the grief to a crescendo so that I can get over it. I want to look at all her photos, I want to relive all my best moments and remember all the goodness that was that little dog. I helped her with all her puppies, and nursed her through her worst times and would have gladly taken care of her for years to come, even if it meant constant attention. She gave me unconditional love, even when I was impatient with her, or complained of how I had to walk her or groom and bathe her. She was a loyal companion.
When we leave the earth, we are gone, and all that remains are memories. When I die, she will die with me.
She deserved so much more.