“Hello, good morning, how you been?
Yesterday left my head kicked in
I never, never thought that
I would fall like that
Never knew that I could hurt this bad
I’m learning to breathe
I’m learning to crawl
I’m finding that You and You alone can break my fall
I’m living again, awake and alive
I’m dying to breathe in these abundant skies”
A little over a week ago, we lost our Pomeranian, Chloe, who had been a member of our family for over 14 years. For most of her life, she had never been completely well, having to deal with multiple bouts of chronic pancreatitis, but she was always happy. Her last week was a little less so, and her last two days were an excruciating experience I would never wish on anyone. The physical emptiness that followed her loss was awful: When we walked out of the vet’s office after we put her down, I felt the air punch me in the chest, right where she would have been, had I been carrying her as I had for much of the past 24 hours.
This is the last photo taken of Chloe and me together:
I didn’t know how I was supposed to go on without a dog: We hadn’t not had one in 14 years. I knew, though, that I didn’t want to feel that physical punch of emptiness again when I got home from work on Monday. So when the family left the decision up to me (nice, huh), I picked out a puppy a couple of days later. This is our new 9-week-old Yorkie, Mochi:
Yes, she is adorable and rambunctious and impossible not to love. So I am learning to love her, and I am most appreciative to have her there, happy to see me at the end of the day. But I worry that people are judging, thinking that we are just replacing Chloe. Rest assured, she has not been replaced. I think about her and miss her immensely every day. I cried for days over her loss — even after the void of not having a dog had been filled.
Anyone who has been in my presence when I’m writing (admittedly, this could be no one but the voices in my head) knows that I won’t start writing anything unless I know exactly how I want it to open and how I want it to end. But I really have no idea how to end this blog entry because I’m still figuring things out. I’m getting better in the sense that I finally took her “riding towel” off the passenger seat of my car the other day. I’ve stopped sobbing loudly. But, I’m still wrestling with the feeling that I could have done more — or no, that I should have put an end to the craziness sooner. When the day grows long, I find myself waiting for Chloe to come back: I know she won’t, but I can’t stop myself from waiting for it to happen. Every day when I wake up, I have to steel myself for the fact that she won’t be in the next room. I know it’s only been a week, but in a sense, I can’t imagine what the next seven days will be like without her.
But we have a new life in the house now, and she needs me to pull it together and get her to the vet — yes, the same one — for her checkups and shots. And so I go on. And thus, every day, despite the pain, I am learning to breathe . . .