Death is this mysterious concept that we know but somehow is harder to understand when a death occurs to someone in our close circle.
As the year anniversary of the passing of my little brother, Coffee, is coming, I have unsettling feelings about his passing.
I loved and still love him so.
He was there when I needed someone near me.
He was there when I needed a distraction.
He was there when I was happy, too.
He was always there.
When I came home, I'd be greeted with a crazy, dancing tail.
When I came home, I'd be greeted with slobbery kisses.
The day I came from helping out at my high school alma mater, I kept thinking about how happy I was about going to see Coffee.
And when I walked in the door, there was pure silence.
My family huddled in to cuddle a new member of the family. I was questioning where baby Coffee was.
My father's tear-filled eyes met mine.
And the words of Coffee not being with us anymore made my heart drop.
I've had family members die.
I've had friends die.
But there was something that just made me think that I couldn't go on with life without Coffee.
There was something that felt like a piece of me died.
In fact, a piece of me did die.
My heart went into holding Coffee, playing with him and his pink ball, and just admiring his liveliness.
He made me believe that being human wasn't such a bad thing. Especially if I got to live my life loving him and him loving me.
The next few weeks (months, even), I'd cry to sleep because I was angry at the world. A careless driver was the reason why Coffee's time was shortened. I was sad at the world for not keeping an extra eye on Coffee. I was upset at the world for not letting me see him one last time. My heart was empty. I walked to classes feeling like there was no purpose to it.
For all of you who have lost a furry friend before, I understand your pain.
There is something about this pain that seems like we won't ever get over their death -- and you know what?
Maybe we will.
Maybe we won't.
But that doesn't mean we should continue to stay grieving. While we should take time to properly grieve (whatever that means to you), our fur babies wouldn't have wanted for us to stay sulking our whole lives. Our babies would want us to continue loving and spreading that love to other fur babies and others, in general (of course, only when and IF you are ever ready to adopt another fur baby).
We should understand the privilege we had of caring for and loving these fur babies.
And while our babies are not physically with us, they still are a part of our hearts.
Coffee, I miss your barks. I miss your eyes. I miss your kisses and nibbles. I thank you for the many skills you have given me. I thank you for giving me the ability to love as if I've never been hurt before. I thank you for showing me that I should care for myself before others (even though you've never really told me, but rather showed me).
I love you.
Forever and always.
If you have ever lost a furry friend and need some advice/help, check out: Center for Pet Loss.