So many jackets…

. . . so many forgotten cookies to be found in the pockets. It happened again today. I grab an old rain shell from the closet that I hadn’t worn in a long time. When I put it on, I feel something in the pocket. My hand closes around the Buddy Biscuit. And I remember. I remember everything. And I start to cry. It’s unexpected, like the cookie. It is a grief burst. I take the cookie man out of my pocket, put him on the table, and see that he’s broken. I try to put him back together, cry a little more, and then continue out the door with Teagan. I carry on with my day. But I don’t forget those broken pieces, that smiling cookie, my lost friend.

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2 Comments

Filed under Grief and loss, Memory

2 responses to “So many jackets…

  1. I tried to leave this comment on your post on ALDF’s site about Alec and Teagan but couldn’t get it to work! Hopefully it will here:

    Wow, I found your story after following you here from your Teagan fan page on Facebook, which Janice posted a link too. I am so happy you and Teagan found each other and so and it makes my heart smile knowing that she will have such a wonderful, loving life with you.

    Your story about Alec struck so many chords with me. We lost our baby boy, Billy The Dog (this we jokingly referred to as his full name – when we caught him doing something bad we would say, “Billy The Dog, what are you eating?” just like when I was little my parents called me by my full name when I was getting in trouble) in December 2009 and still haven’t been able to bring ourselves to bring home another.

    Losing him felt similarly unfair although, honestly, we had a lot longer with him. He was almost 15 years old which is tremendous for a Dalmation. Before he died he had been having more and more trouble for months. He had recently contracted (but beaten!) Lyme disease, he had been having mobility problems and we’d been carrying him up and down 2 flights of stairs in our apartment building every time he had to go outside for months. This was no small task as he was large for a Dalmation and weighed about 75 pounds. However, with a mommy’s and daddy’s love we did it.

    Losing him was a particular shock because earlier that very day he had been to the vet and while they had diagnosed him with spinal stenosis (the cause of his lameness) they had otherwise found him in fairly good health, and told us basically he was going to lose more mobility but he wasn’t in any pain and we said OK, we’ll keep carrying him. That’s OK.

    However, for about the previous 2-3 weeks he had seemed depressed. Less interested in food, only eating people food when offered, and only very specific kinds. No interest in his dog food anymore. He was probably just done and ready to go. But we didn’t really see that.

    Sadly, we were actually out of the house when we died. We came home and found him gone, lying on his bed. For me instant hysteria took over. I just remember saying his name over and over and “Why? Why?” The vet just told us he was OK! It felt so unfair. I remember telling him over and over, “Billy I would have carried you every day for ten more years!”

    While the sharp pain of losing him isn’t a daily thing anymore, I still usually tear up just being in the neighborhood we lived in last with him now, and my thoughts always turn to him there, to times when he was more mobile and would run in the park with us.

    I think for me the hardest thing was just the sudden shock of it, and the fact that he was alone. Despite knowing he had a pretty good life, and certainly a long one, I regret all the walks he didn’t get, all the times I snapped at him in annoyance when he pestered for food or did something he wasn’t supposed to, and most of all I regret that he died all alone.

    I work on remembering the good times and knowing that we love him so very much. But it still sucks.

  2. Jenn, I just wanted to say thank you for this comment and for sharing your story about Billy The Dog. It dredged up so many thoughts and emotions in me! I wanted to take some time to ponder before responding (my grief process is slooooow – and people like you are a helpful part of that process), but I just wanted to let you know that I read it and was grateful; your story struck a lot of chords with me too!

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