It was two years ago today I lost you.
When I woke that morning, I had no idea that in just a few short hours my whole world would be turned upside down. That morning, I woke with you curled in between my legs; belly up - the way you always slept once you crossed over from light to deep sleep. It was my day off so we layed in bed for some time before I got up to get your food ready. Your warm body still buried under the covers, I sang you the stupid made-up song I sang to you every morning before I made you get out of bed. I kissed your belly and took you outside for your morning bathroom trip.
I left to meet friends for lunch and coffee. You followed me to the door and I tossed out a nonchalant, "See you later, baby girl," before I locked the door behind me. I went about my day, laughing with my friends and chain smoking cigarettes without a care in the world until I came back to our apartment a few hours later. I still can't bring myself to write out the details of how the back end of the day unravelled. I know this because I choked back a sob at the thought of it just now.
It took me months to stop crying throughout the day. I dreaded the mornings because I would wake up and remember, and I hated the nights because the hole you left in my heart hurt so badly at times I thought I, too, would die. I thought about you and what happened all the time, wondering if I could have done something differently to change things; to have you with me again. I obsessed about what you went through or what you felt in between the time I left you at the apartment and the time I came home. I was angry at the unfairness of it all, and hated the people I saw on the streets with their dogs. I never thought I would get used to a life without you. I never thought my broken heart would heal.
Losing you changed me. I am a different person. The death of someone close changes a person - the books I read around this subject and the words of people close to me who have experienced loss told me this would be the case. I will never be the same person I was back then. Little by little, though, I was able to acknowledge beauty around me again. Many beautiful things transpired both inside and around me that probably never would have happened had I not lost you. It took me almost a year to say that out loud; I thought that by saying it I was somehow saying that it was OK you were no longer with me or that it was better without you. But admitting this is simply acknowledging that what He promised us is true - He brings about good through every hard situation. He really does.
I still miss you desperately sometimes. On a given day, something I see or hear will hit me just right and I cry. I still cry. You and I were best friends. We were always together. I loved you more than anything else on earth. But I hid behind you - I hid behind you often. Because I did not trust people, I poured all that love into you, believing you were the one thing I could love and be loved back without fear. Once that was gone; once YOU were gone, I fell apart.
I whispered a prayer out loud that Jesus would give you special attention today. I asked that He give you a big hug and kiss and tell you that your mom misses you and loves you...that she will never forget you...that no other dog will ever have the place in my heart that you did...and you know what? I felt like you were just happy I was OK. And you know what, baby girl? I am. I really am.
I will love you always.