Five months.

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.

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19 thoughts on “Five months.

  1. Since I met you, although in brief intervals ….I have red your BLOG daily and admired your generosity, thoughtfulness and perseverance.. it makes me look at things in a more positive light and I too realize, maybe I can move on. Remember that you bring JOY to others that yo may not even realize. xoxoxo ps – your funny too!

  2. You would think after 5 months “I” would have moved on…. Yet I still shed a tear for your loss every time I think of you or Melvin.

    PS~I think of you EVERY time I hear that song. Thankfully, I’m usually in my car alone as I tend to get extremely emotional.

  3. Oh my. This was SO beautiful. Melvin touched so many of us, and brought you in to our lives when we likely never would have been otherwise. I’m glad Jake is doing better without Melvin. I’ve thought about you all often. HUGS!

  4. I’m new to your blog so sadly didn’t ‘know’ Melvin…… but reading this post today I so get what you are feeling. My Gracie transitioned 3 years 3 months ago….. I still try each and every day to be the person I was when she was with me….. in so many ways. ♥

  5. I can’t believe it’s been 5 months! Every time I see Melvin’s face on the top of your blog, I have to smile. He was so loved by you, Jake and so many others that never met him. He was so special and I love that you are getting to the point where you can remember him without as many tears.

    p.s. Although I would love to lose 50 pounds, I cannot in good faith say that I want to go on the sadness diet. Also, the sadness diet would probably cause me to gain 50 pounds. 🙂

  6. Tracey. Once again your gift of writing has left me in tears. There is so much meaning and heart in each word. I look at it as one less therapy session (lol) because you have helped me so much more than any therapist has been able to. Loss is a difficult part of this life. I still see my Lacey in the beautiful butterflies that cross my path. I see my mom in that one single bright red robin that somehow shows up when I need her the most. These are my gifts. I only wish that I was given the “sadness” diet that you received. Unfortunately I received that damn “gain weight stress diet”. Oh well we all are walking Gods path. For now I will try to find some of the patience you have grown to learn from your loss of Melvin. Right this very minute I need it!! Purvis and Sunny are barking and yapping loudly at the squirrel in the back yard, and my Annie is licking my new grandsons feet, trying to wake him from his nap. Ohh but I truly love them all. And you! Keep posting!

  7. Oh boy…..this has helped me more than you will ever know. To know I’m not alone in my feelings. I don’t care if I still feel this way 5 months or 5 years from now. My dear sweet Lucy passed two weeks ago. I haven’t moved her bed yet. I know I will eventually but I just can’t. I haven’t put her food bowl away. She was scared of storms and her pill bottle is still sitting on the kitchen counter. I’m afraid if I move anything it would be like I was erasing her. And I can’t do that to her. Like your Melvin, she was so much a part of my life……but sadly, we only had her for one year and four months. She was a rescue, a senior, heart worm positive. We nursed her through treatment. Beat the heart worms but then damn cancer had to invade her sweet body. God I miss her! I just found your blog and I will be reading it from now on! Thank you for sharing your story, your thoughts, your feelings and most of all thank you for sharing Melvin ❤️

    • Oh Jan. When i read the two weeks ago mention my heart stood still for you. You are in the rawest, deepest grief days. I’m so sorry. Just know that I, and this community, understand. And those tasks that feel like you are dishonoring Lucy, well you will face them in time. One day you will just wake up and do one. But know that nothing can erase her and nothing can tame the love. Melvin was diagnosed in March and died in April of this year. Those post and the ones that follow might help you feel empathy, knowing that with true love comes deep grief. Thinking of you and Lucy and your beautiful love.

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