There are moments that I don’t understand why Jake isn’t here. Sort of like a child learning about death for the first time. I know he’s gone, but I’m still waiting for him to come back.
I cried when Melvin got cancer and died. I cried myself to sleep for months while grieving him. There was a window where I didn’t cry as much. Then I started crying every night after Jake was diagnosed with cancer. I still cry most nights. I don’t cry all night. I don’t hyperventilate-cry anymore, but each night when my head hits the pillow and the house is quiet and I realize I’ve gone one more day without Jake, my heart aches.
I know I won’t cry forever.
This is how grief goes. I know there are some issues, like how young he was and how much he struggled that make his loss harder for me. I know that the year we had, where it was just him and I, anchored us together in ways I had not realized. I was so busy taking care of him, I didn’t realize how much I’d come to rely on him. I also know that Doug reminds me so much of Melvin and makes me feel so much closer to Melvin and that in turn, it makes me miss Jake even more.
For a little dog, the void Jake left is infinite. I miss my bug.
There is of course still joy. I see Jake’s face in photos on my watch all throughout the day and there are smiles to be reminded of all those happy memories with him. I still recall our daily routine and everyday I’m less sad about not having it and more proud that we perfected our beautiful dance.
I am coming to terms with the fact that my work was done with Jake, even though I was planning on us having many more years together. It’s easy to say we didn’t have enough time, but Jake likely didn’t know a lot of love his first five years and then he knew great love. More time or not, we still won.
I’m fine with all of it. I will pay any bill grief sends me to have had every single moment I had with Jake.
In the meantime, Doug keeps me busy, he makes me remember that life is here and now. He grounds me, even though he is constantly in motion. For all of you worried about getting a dog too soon, that you don’t want to ‘replace’ your lost pet, that you want to do due diligence in the grief process – I can tell you with absolute certainty that a new dog can feel new and your lost love stays put in the center of your heart. In some ways it feels like living two lives, but eventually they will start to merge.
Memories are a beautiful thing. Making new memories is lovely too.