A friend of mine is grieving the loss of a very precious family member and she wrote about it here. I understand, as many pet owners do, what that “can’t breathe, kicked in the gut, heart-breaking” grief feels like. Boy, do I understand.
I wish I could tell her that my heart is breaking for her. I want to tell her I’m so very sorry for her loss, but that sounds like a platitude, and I’m sure a gazillion people have said that already. I wish I could say I understand and still feel that way, and it’s been over a year since I lost Shasta. I want to tell her that she’ll be able to breathe, but not today and not tomorrow. One day, she’ll notice that her lungs are finally full again and the tears will come less often.
I want to tell her that the quietness of the house will always be there, with a whisper beyond reach that her beloved Penny Lane is still there. I want to tell her that sometimes she will think she just saw or heard her. There will be days when she will start to call Penny Lane’s name, and then remember, and the tears and the heart-break will come…yet again.
I want to tell her that there will be a million reminders of her precious Penny Lane and that’s ok. Remember those moments, cherish them.
I want to tell her that all dogs do go to heaven and now Penny Lane is healthy and pain-free. I want her to believe that, as I do. Because not believing that is just too painful to bear.
Finally, I want to tell her that we were blessed to receive a love that was unconditional and we gave that love right back. I wish I could tell her Penny Lane forgives her for not being there at “that” moment, because dogs are funny like that. They forgive everything because they love us.
Unconditional love…that’s why our hearts break. Because we were loved by a beautiful creature with four-legs, a fur coat, and a wet nose.