It’s been five months since Melvin died. The grief has settled in, it no longer feels like a foreign body trying to take me down. It’s a part of me, like my hands and my thoughts. It’s still grief, but slowly it becomes bonded with memory. One day it will just be the latter.
I can now go days without crying. Photograph still plays on the radio when I walk in the house. It makes me smile and take pause in the most beautiful way. He may not greet me anymore but when I walk in and hear the song, I’m reminded that he no longer needs to greet me, he travels with me.
Losing Melvin was the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. That is not to say that losing people in my life wasn’t difficult, it just goes to show you that you don’t get to choose what breaks you the most. I will always miss him. But slowly, it becomes less of a void and more of an awareness.
I have been using the ‘on this day’ feature on FB to reconnect with old blog posts and they make me smile. So much.
I think I can safely say that Jake has gotten through his grief of Melvin. I’m so grateful for that. I’m guessing that after five months, there are no longer scents of Melvin in the house. His ears still perk up when I say Melvin’s name in conversation however he no longer looks up or looks around when he hears his brother’s name.
Having Melvin here made me a really good person. I can’t explain it but Melvin’s existence compelled me to be better, giving, compassionate and loving. He made me patient, which is odd since he was anything but. Since losing him, I have to encourage myself to do better, do more, be selfless. It came easier when Melvin was here. With a single glance from him, I always strived to be more. For example, I get a little frustrated in the middle of the night after 6 or 7 bedding changes for Jake. When Melvin was here, he’d sit up each time I got up to change the bedding and I’d see him and his face would say ‘poor little guy, he was sent to us for a reason’ and I’d never get frustrated. I’m working harder on that patience and trying to channel my inner Melvin.
I have donated a lot of his stuff. Stored things that I will probably never be able to part with and set aside things that a future dog might be able to use. It’s funny the things I have not been able to purge. There is a vial of his allergy shot medication in the refrigerator. I am not sure why it remains. I also still have his box of meds that I would pull out every Sunday to do his am/pm pill box for the week. And I still have the plastic covered feeding instructions for him and Jake for the dog walker. Grief is funny.
I have lost fifty pounds since the day I found out Melvin had cancer. I jokingly call it the sadness diet. At first, when he was diagnosed and I thought he’d die at any moment, I just couldn’t eat. After he died, well after he died I just didn’t look at food the same way. Food has always been a source of joy for me. Melvin however was the greatest joy and when that was removed, my love affair with food changed. Other joy sources just didn’t stand a chance. And as far as the food part went, that is a great thing for me. So it’s funny when people ask ‘how did you lose the weight’ and I smile and say the sadness diet! It’s like, why is she smiling and what the hell is a sadness diet!?
Five months. We are surviving. There was never a doubt that we would persevere but there were certainly moments when we didn’t want to. #loveliveson in the most beautiful ways.