I know this isn’t the black and white truth of life. I’d like to believe that we are all brought her to help each other grow and learn, to teach and receive valuable lessons, and to move on when we have given all that we could give to this world. I’d like to think that all death has meaning, to contribute to the greater understanding of the universe. It’s hard to believe that, yet lose something you love and not take it personally. I don’t want to be a victim of the universe’s whims, but ultimately, I know that is what connects me to others.
On the way home from the vet without her, Jeff said to me, “You know what we would have done if this had happened 3 years ago?” I responded, “We would have gotten drunk.” And he was right. I would have spent this entire week, numbing my emotions, forgetting about the other two precious animals that we do have at our house, and I would have drank until I couldn’t feel the pain anymore. I would have used this as an excuse to medicate myself. But it would have come back, and it would have been worse. Today, I can feel these feelings, unfiltered, and I can accept them. I can acknowledge they are normal parts of the grieving process, and that I will, at some point, move on with only happy memories of Beaker in my heart, rather than the regret and guilt I feel it their immediacy right now.
I know it will get easier with time. That is also difficult for me to comprehend. Parts of me feel like when the hurt goes away, I have forgotten her. That by moving on, I am dishonoring her memory. I don’t want to let go of the pain, because I don’t want to let go of her. This is perhaps the hardest challenge right now. I don’t want to wallow, but I don’t want to forget. I can’t wash the clothes I wore and last held her in, I see her hair everywhere and feel anguish thinking about cleaning it up and throwing it away, like I am getting rid of the last living part of her. I picked up her ashes today and hugged her tightly into my arms, a box that housed a once living, breathing being who meant the entire world to me. Jeff told me that she will never really be gone, that I will carry her with me, always. I know it will get easier. Just not today.