I'm Sad Today
I'm sad today. And that's okay.
Grief is such a strange emotional process. One minute I'm okay and the next, I'm not. Losing Yahtzee has been a very similar feeling as when I lost our first two pregnancies. Because she was so young, I find I'm grieving for the life she didn't get to experience, I'm grieving for who she was supposed to become. Those big, clumsy paws stomping down the hall that I won't get to hear, that heavy body she would just plop in my lap that I won't get to feel, and that sweet face with a bright blue eye and wonky ears that I won't get to just stare at in awe - all of the things I will miss.
I've never had to make the decision to euthanize a dog and it was agonizing. I'm so thankful that long ago Jeffrey and I made a promise to only ever make these decisions in the best interest of the dog - that we wouldn't make one hold on longer than needed out of our own selfishness. Granted, we never even considered having to do this with a 6 month old puppy and putting that into action was more difficult than I could have imagined. I keep seeing that one last big sigh she took and feeling the final shudder that her body let out after she passed. I can be in the middle of doing the dishes or just laying in bed, my mind wanders to the "compassion room" that we were in at the vet's office and the tears just start flowing. I'm not one to cry. I've cried more in the last week than I probably have in my life. Who knew that such a big personality in a little body could grab hold of your heart and then rip it out?
Since Yahtzee's passing, I find it hard to focus. Sally's birthday is in a few days and I mentioned to Jeffrey that I didn't know if I wanted to have a party for her. I know that she deserves one but my heart breaks knowing that Yahtzee should be here too. Jeffrey told me that the show must go on. It seems harsh, but it's the truth. Our lives here can't stop as we wait for something that will never happen. I'm trying to carry that with me in the day-to-day little moments. When I'm overwhelmed with sadness, I have to remember the show must go on. After a weekend trip with my sister and mom to sunny Florida, I came home to cold snow. The time away was good and we laughed to the point of tears so many times that I felt like a maniac - going back and forth from sad tears to happy tears. Over the weekend, I tried many times to work on videos of Yahtzee but I just couldn't bring myself to see her on film. When I see her, my heart physically aches. I woke up in my own bed this morning, surrounded by puppies, but instantly I felt sad. I got up, had coffee and still felt sad. I sat on the couch, curled up, nice and close with my sadness for a few hours. And then I remembered, the show must go on.
I should be packing Crooks & Coffee and Dogs & Other Unsolicited Advice store orders, but instead I searched for my snow boots and my winter coat. The puppies sensed something was happening and got excited as I got out their toboggans and a spoon full of peanut butter. It's amazing the magic that lies in peanut butter. I put on their gear and let them out the back door. Immediately they ran into the yard, full on zoomies, almost crashing into each other, just trying to take off their hats. The pom poms on the end proved too enticing and they began playing with them as toys. At first I got frustrated because I just wanted to get a quick photo. And then I remembered...they are dogs, this is what dogs do. And slowly a smile cracked on my face as I watched them run from one side of the yard to the other trying to get each other's hats off. Of course, in true Kilo fashion, she was letting me know that she wanted to wait inside while the shenanigans took place. This is where I am my best version of myself - with my dogs. After I tricked everyone back onto the deck with that magical spoon of Poochie Butter, we got down to business. While not seeing Yahtzee in this photo hurts just as much as seeing her in old photos, I know she's here in spirit.
I would love to tell you that I feel better and the smile helped me turn my mood around, and while it certainly helped in the moment, I've definitely shed some more tears since. What a reminder to try to stay in the moment. If I'm enjoying what's going on right in front of my face, it's hard to dwell on things outside of my control. I'm discombobulated and it's as if my insides are just a jumble of a mess, but as I sit here writing this, desperately trying to get some feelings out of my body and onto the screen, Sally, Jack, and Kilo are snoozing close by, Lotto and Kain do what they do best - play and wrestle and enjoy life. While they all certainly have felt the magnitude of Yahtzee's loss, they know, the show must go on. Like most things, dogs do it best. More tears will fall. More snuggles will be had. More laughs will echo. More memories shared. But know, the show must go on.
It's bittersweet. I haven't lost sight of her purpose and knowing that she was called home once she fulfilled it by giving us the peace and comfort we needed to conceive Baby H, it doesn't make it any easier. But it does give me the confidence to continue to strive to fulfill my own purpose, to live out loud, and even in the hard times, to share hope and love and joy with anyone that wants to listen. I pray that during her short stay on Earth, she lived the absolute best life she could have. I pray that being in our home and in our pack, she felt unconditional love. I pray that the impact we made on her was only half as big as the impact she made on us, and if it was, that would be enough.