The problem of saying goodbye to someone you love is that a gaping hole is left where that one used to reside. Not just in your heart, but in every room in your house, in the car, in the back yard. I've heard that amputees can still feel their missing limb. It's been eight years since my mother passed away and there are still times I feel her presence every bit as real as if she were sitting on the stool across the room from me watching The Price is Right.
Today there was no need to get up and open the back door. No need to mess with the dog food. No one standing at my feet hoping for a morsel of turkey as I clean the bones for soup. No collar rattling. No dog to trip over in the dark hallway. No poo on the rug. (Well, okay, this is probably not something I'm going to miss.)
I don't know much about physics. Who am I kidding? I know nothing about physics. But isn't it some Newtonian law that a space will fill itself up - that a vacuum doesn't like being a vacuum, it would rather be a crystal vase full of sweet smelling roses? I know that in the weeks ahead, the places in my life that feel so hollow now, will fill up with new chores and/or pleasantries. Today, their is void that only an old black dog can fill.
Dad has always had a theory that the way to get over losing one pet is to go right out and get another. That's pretty typical of how he deals with life - don't deal, move on to what's next. At the end of a long day, with a large amount of narcotics in his system he went on and on about what kind of dog we should get next and, how if we didn't want one, he'd get his own, etc. My Sweetie who took Beauty's loss as hard as any of us even though he hadn't been with her from the start, came very close to losing his Sweetness and kabonging Dad over the head with the giant box of Milkbones my sister got us on Saturday. I think the day may come when we're ready for another dog - I've never been dogless for very long in my life. But now is not the time.
Now is I the time to let the emptiness sink in, to be in the moment and feel it, and to be grateful for the 15 years we shared with Beauty. I think by embracing the goodbye as heartily as we did the hello, we will have loved as best we could.
Wishing for you permission to feel everything,