Last week, I dealt with one of the hardest losses I've ever had to experience, the loss of my family dog. If you've ever had a dog or any other type of pet, I'm sure you understand what I mean when I say that your pet is your best friend, and pretty much the love of your life. It sounds dramatic, I know, but it's just one of those things you have to experience to understand. It's a type of connection that makes these kind of deaths so hard to deal with.
Last Sunday, I went home and had the chance to say goodbye to my puppy, but it's weird, because how do you say goodbye to an animal? When I hugged and kissed him for the last time, it was just like any normal day for him (I've constantly hugged and kissed him, throughout his an entire life). And for me, it was anything but a normal day. No matter what my last words to him were, he looked at me like I was crazy, because he obviously couldn't understand. This is one of the reasons why this goodbye was so hard: it didn't feel final.
On my five hour bus ride home afterwards, I was thinking about all the things I should have said to him, and how I didn't hug or kiss him long enough. But even with all the possible ways to say goodbye to my puppy, nothing would have felt complete. What I've realized is that no matter how many ways I could have spent my last moments with my puppy, there's no “best" way to have spent that time. No matter what, a goodbye will never feel final or complete enough because, as cheesy as it sounds, they're always going to be in our hearts. You never completely let go of someone you love.
The problem with being at college when something like this happens, is that it doesn't feel real. The day my puppy passed away, I was back at school. Of course I cried for about seven hours straight, but it just still wasn't my reality. I'm so far away from home that I don't feel the emptiness I probably would have felt, and I wasn't surrounded by my grieving family. It's just not a reality that I have to face yet, which makes grieving so hard, because sometimes I can't help but think that my puppy is still at home.When I move back home in about two weeks, I know it's going to be hard. It will be the first time in 11 years that I'll be coming home to a house without my furry friend. But this time, I'll have family around me who understands, and I think that's something that any college student going through this, has to realize. Here at school, we're surrounded by friends who more than likely haven't gone through this yet, so they have no idea what to do or say. It makes this situation a little lonely, but we have to realize that we aren't alone. When we go home, we'll be surrounded by open arms and people who understand. So, for now, we have to always keep that thought in the back of our minds, and surge through these last few weeks. If I'm strong enough to do it, you are, too.