I thought I was doing well. I walked into the laundry room and didn’t have a meltdown. I drove past the vet’s office, instead of choosing intentional detours.
No more suffering. No more meds. No more middle of the night trips to the animal hospital. I felt a sense of peace when we said goodbye to Rocky in August.
Then Thursday night barreled over me. A sudden sorrow that triggered a trail of tears. What the actual fill in the expletive! My husband and I snuggled on the couch, watching “The Morning Show.” I don’t even think there’s a dog, heck, any animal in it.
To my right sat our two fluffy fur babies. Two. Not three. And I ran my fingers through Izzy’s white fur. Our mini-poodle, our rescue, who spent much of his life curled next to Rocky’s side. I got quiet. I let myself feel the pain, which is not always easy for me. And dropped my head into my outstretched arms.
It’s something I’ve been working on more and more lately. I guess I’m used to focusing on the positive and, quite honestly, perhaps that’s how I’ve coped with much of my life? I view the world and all of what happens to and around us through an uplifting lens. I believe in silver linings. I wonder sometimes if that’s how I am wired. But I also know it’s been a survival mechanism that has propelled me through tough times since childhood.
So back to my sweet Rocky. When I allowed the waves of sadness to wash over me, I held Izzy’s perplexed gaze. He stared back at me with his little, licorice-colored eyes.
And then I felt him. I felt a presence–it was fleeting but palpable. Rocky. I think Izzy felt him, too. Our puppy, Auggie, continued to toss her favorite tennis ball in the air. Izzy and I shared this sacred moment. And as the sorrow dissipated, gratitude replaced it.
Have you ever lost a loved one–human or animal–and sensed his or her presence?