The Missing Piece of My Heart

I haven’t written a blog post since “Bonnie is in Puppy Heaven“. I have been dealing with losing her along with all of the other things that are necessary to maintain a family and home.

I have a few things that I am working on and I will write posts about those, but some things have been bothering me since we lost Bonnie and essentially, these things are giving me writers block.

I want to bring something to light, that I have the feeling most people feel but they won’t discuss. Some people might take this post the wrong way and be offended by it. But I know that some folks will appreciate me speaking my true feelings.

My dog died. Seems simple enough. Its “just a dog”, right?

The day after Bonnie died, I spent the day crying uncontrollably. Its only to be expected. I didn’t get much done that day. I wrote “Bonnie is in puppy Heaven”  and I took my daughters to the skating rink to try to get their minds off of it. All I could do was cry. I was in public crying. Driving and crying. Doing the dishes and crying. Showering and Crying. Lying in bed Crying. I could see it on my kids faces. The deep sadness sitting just below the surface. We all tried to keep it together but inevitably, we cried.

Things “got better” as the days went on. Basically, I got used to my dog not being there. But things never really “got better”. The heavy sadness still sits on my heart. I still see and feel my fingers gliding over her fur and tracing her wrinkles as I said good bye to her for the last time. In an instant things are not “better”.

At first it felt like she just wasn’t home at the moment. I kept expecting her to come back home. Like she was on some vacation or at the vet or visiting grandma….I don’t know, just “not home”. Then my brain would tell me “no, shes over there, rotting in the ground”. Yes, I know that’s terrible, but that’s what my brain told me. And it made me mad. Did I bury her properly? Did she deserve something better? Should I have cremated her? How could I just let her rot like that? These were the thoughts that went through my head.

I was almost ashamed that we buried her. But then I realized something. She was not her body.  And her body was becoming a part of our property. It made me love my property more because I knew that her body was a part of it.

I have always heard that when you lose someone you love they never really leave you. You’ve heard it too, I’m sure. All those emotional sappy romantic ideas of someones love staying in your heart and you’ll always feel them in your heart because once you love someone they become a part of you..blah blah blah. Yada yada yada..WHATEVER! When you lose someone you love, they are gone physically and all of that “always in your heart” idea is bullshit. They are gone, and no romantic idea can take away the hurt you feel when you can’t find that missing part of your life.

As the days went on, I began to feel foolish. She was “just a dog”. I began to feel like people were thinking the same thing “why haven’t you gotten over this yet, it was just a dog”.

The truth is, she was not just a dog. She was my partner. EVERY DAY. FOR ELEVEN YEARS. She relied on me, and I relied on her. She was my responsibility and I was hers. I had to feed her and care for her, every day. And she had to show me how much she loved me and follow me around to make sure I was safe, every day. I have spent more time with her than I have with my own children and my husband. She was always there. ALWAYS. I’m not speaking metaphorically. She was literally ALWAYS there. Even if I wasn’t physically with her, she was at home thinking of me and wondering when I would come back to her so she could watch over me again, and wag her tail and show me she loved me. ALWAYS.

I realized that even after death she was still with me. In my mind. In my memories. Those memories will never leave me. Even if I wanted them to. She would always be there, just like when she was alive. I know, I’m contradicting what I said. But not really. Her memory is in my head and it makes my heart ache for that piece it lost when she died. Does that make sense? I don’t carry her in my heart. I carry her in my head and my heart hurts for her. There is no romance in that.

It has been exactly one month since Bonnie died. I still cry, pretty much daily. But now its a sudden bust of sadness that comes unexpectedly. From nowhere a moan will come from me and I will weep, for no reason at all. And it leaves as quickly as it came. I don’t know why. Nothing triggers it,  but everything triggers it. The memory of her intertwines with whatever it is I’m doing at the moment and reminds me of my aching heart.

I know that Bonnie was “just a dog”. An animal. My brain knows that. But my brain is the one that keeps reminding my heart of its loss. Logic is causing my sadness. So, I stopped feeling foolish for my sadness. And I don’t care if people think I should “be over it”. And she was not “just a dog”.

I know that one day I won’t cry from the hurt of the missing piece of my heart. My heart will learn to function without that part. But I will never view Bonnie as “just a dog” and my loss is real. Please don’t ever think any less of it. Please don’t ever think that there is a loss that is worse than mine that I could compare it to. I know there are terrible tragedies that would hurt far more than losing a dog, but non the less, losing any size piece of your heart is an important loss and it is painful.

She will be waiting for me in the meadow, along with the other pieces of my heart that are missing. And I will be whole again. I know this is true because both my heart and my brain tell me it is.

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4 thoughts on “The Missing Piece of My Heart

  1. I lost my dog three days ago, thank you for posting this. It helps me even though I’m crying. I feel like a piece of me is missing, I wish I could of hugged him one last time. My family isn’t the hugging kind, but i hugged my mom as we sobbed together while my dad buried him, it’s too painful to do this over again.

    • Hi Lisa,
      I’m sorry about your loss. I truly understand. I told my husband that I don’t to have anymore dogs after the ones we have leave us. It is too painful to do over again. You are right.
      You take as long as you need to grieve . it’s been over a year and a half for me and I still break down occasionally. Although, it’s not nearly as often as it used to be.
      I’m glad my post has helped you. I hope you take comfort in knowing that there are plenty of people, like me, who understand your pain and it is perfectly reasonable to feel such pain from the loss of your dog. You’ll be in my thoughts. Xoxo

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