It’s been almost 365 days as I write this. I’m sitting here on the couch, a box of pizza next to me, just started The Devil Wears Prada. It’s Saturday night. This morning I woke up, took some orders to the post office (yeah, I added more to my full plate), then went to the barn. Got a good ride in with Miakoda, her hormone treatment has helped tremendously; I finally have my horse back. Did some ‘desensitization’ with Tuna (he was mostly there for moral support for Jesko), and then went to pick up some feed. I stopped off at your grandpa’s house to change my oil, and he was getting ready to leave to pick up the new donkey to keep Nelson company. He named him Willie…Willie and Nelson. Of course he did.
I wish you could have met the horses. I know you know them, but still. I wish you were sleeping in your bed, just in front of me while I wind down for the night. It hasn’t moved, you know. Not much of yours has. We had to give your crate to Ophelia, but I don’t think you’d mind. Your bed in the living room here and the bone you left in it have been untouched. Your bed upstairs, all the blankets and pillows are exactly where you left them aside from the addition of the blanket I wrapped you in that morning when you rode in the car for the last time.
I’ve done so many tarot readings with you. Had so much art commissioned. Watched so many (all?) of the videos that I have of you, and I know I’ve seen every photo possible. You visit my dreams sometimes, and it’s nice because when I wake up and I realize, I can’t stop the massive smile that takes over. Getting to kiss you, hold your lil head, go get coffee with you, annoy you…anything I can get. I’ve worn you around my neck and I will for the rest of my life, in this sweet golden crescent moon. It’s the phase we were both born under you know – waning crescent. Makes sense since our birth charts literally said we are soulmates…but I knew that long before I knew what a birth chart was.
There are so many things I miss. We didn’t do a single hike this year in the mountains; it just didn’t feel like something that made sense without you there leading the way. How many times I get in my car and turn around or check the rearview, looking for you. Your bed is still in there, too. I had to wash it after that day…but the backseat didn’t look right without it there so there it returned. All your toys are still in the banana bed, even the ones you didn’t play with (a few of those went to Ophelia too, but they were the ‘dog toys’ you of course wouldn’t play with, because you weren’t a dog).
I know this blog is for business, but it feels appropriate to come back here and talk to you this way again. It’s incredibly disturbing to think about how many mornings now that I have woken up and not seen your face, but more-so to think of all the ones to come. For a while there, my time with you totaled over half my life. Now that balance is going to be recalculated and I hate it. I hate that all I have are memories of you. The photos, and the videos, and the beds and blankets, none of it is enough. If I want to hold you I have to hold an urn, and it’s so small. How did you get that small? I wish they could have gotten your microchip. I’m saying the wrong things and backspacing. All this time and I still don’t know how to do this right.
A year. A year without your nails clicking on the floor, your ears flapping when you walk, your sweet brown eyes looking at me. I swear there has not been one single day that has passed that I haven’t thought about you. Sometimes I just cry out of nowhere, but you see that. I don’t know what I believe in, but I believe you’re with me and I don’t know how. It’s like you remained a part of me, just instead of living outside of me now you’re really with me always.
I have this poster sized photo of you in the living room directly across from the couch. It’s my favorite piece of art that I have. Anything of you is my favorite. I wore a scraggly shirt today and when I was getting in the car I saw the tattoo of your pawprint reflected in the window. I remember getting that, I remember painting your feet with that nontoxic black paint and making you stand on those index cards and how mad you were. Did I shave your feet? I must have since the pawprint is clear. I remember taking pictures with you, out in the yard, in that black bikini so you could see the tattoo. I put it on my left side under my arm, so be close to my heart and always protected. It will always be there, and so will you. I guess I don’t have to protect you anymore though…I like to think I did a pretty good job.
I could say so many other things, but I’m not sure what good it would be here. You’ve heard everything. The sobs, the screams, the apologies, the laughs, the appreciation, the anger, the desperation…I just hope if you are waiting for me somewhere, that you have other stuff to do. See Coco, your sisters, all the other sweet babies we have lost through the years. If you find Nox and Parmy, be nice to them. They just don’t understand you. Tell Ozzy and Osbourne dad did the name thing again. I bet they’d laugh.
I miss you with every fiber of my being. Every stupid molecule. I know it looks like life’s moved on, and maybe sometimes that we have more fun, but I swear to you I’d give anything to have you back with me. The emptiness is indescribable. After almost 16 years together, how couldn’t it be? My soul is broken without you.
Maybe I’ll post this, maybe I won’t. I just wanted to write to you tonight while I felt I could let my mind take the time to do it. I love you eternally, my darling girl. Thank you for loving me.
It’s Sunday night. I woke up early this morning, went to the barn alone, worked with Tuna. Saw your grandpa, went out to get my nails done for the first time in a few years and got totally butchered. Made pulled pork in the crock pot.
I was sitting here and I felt like posting one of those comics with the grim reaper and the animals. Found them, and then I found my tears. Tears for you, for the unloved and abused animals, for the forgotten animals, for the wild animals losing their homes and health. Tears for so many things. Silent sobs, but they’re still so loud. You hear the blood roaring in your head because you’re stifling the noises trying to escape your mouth.
It all feels weird and fake and I hate it. It’s like some weird massive existence of distractions so I don’t completely unravel. I love all the animals we have and the things that I do, but I have to have it all so that I don’t get sucked back into the grief. It’s enveloping me, even after all these days. The days that make it seem like so long ago, but also just yesterday that I held you when I lost you. I think you chose to leave in the best way that you could.
All I have left are the memories. I will cherish them until my dying breath, but they will never be enough. I will die broken.
I know you had to leave, I just wish there was more time. There would have never been enough time. I just hope there is an after, and I hope the first thing I see is you running at me. I’ll never let you leave my side.
This is grief, one year later.