“You were my favorite hello and my hardest goodbye. ~anonymous
Grief is a strange thing. It affects all of us very differently. Truthfully, we all process our losses in our own times and our own way. Some of us cry until we can’t breathe while others seem distant. Losing a pet is much the same. For many of us when our fur-babies cross over the Rainbow Bridge we experience the same grief as if losing a child. Something I didn’t fully understand until recently. Our pets become part of us, members of our families. We care for them, love them, nurture them and grieve for them in the same way we do our own children. So when the time comes to let them go, it’s excruciating.
Our sweet little fur-baby Oscar left us unexpectedly for the Rainbow Bridge on October 3, 2016. Even as I try and type this now, I can barely hold back my tears. I honestly find myself still falling apart out of nowhere. Sometimes I even think I hear him prancing into the room, his little ears flapping the way they used to. I miss him so much it hurts actually. I just can’t believe he’s no longer running around in circles as I say, “Run like the wind bull’s-eye” Or sitting up on his back legs, looking at me from beside the bed, scratching, wanting up, running to the door to greet us or burrowing under the covers to sleep with us. I’m not even sure I can accurately express how much I miss him, I just miss our boy. It’s taken me over a month to sit down and write about his precious little life mostly because the loss of our fur-baby is still so very raw for me. Our beautiful handsome doxie passed away from a heart attack just 9 years after prancing his little paws into our home and into our lives.
Life is unpredictable most of the time and our doxie’s death is no different. I feel Oscar’s loss so deeply, it’s crazy. We’d just gotten back from Disney 4 days earlier and we were looking forward to Johnny’s birthday the next day. We had no clue how our lives were about to change. We’d realized something was wrong around 3 am and took him in immediately to an emergency vet. By 4: 30 am we were back home with a clean bill of health. Unfortunately, less than an half an hour after coming home our baby passed away with his head next to mine, on my pillow. I can’t forget that, the image of him lying next to me like that. As hard as it has been there is comfort in knowing he was with us, next to his mommy and daddy, so loved by his humans. I can’t tell you how my heart broke and in many ways I think a part of my spirit did too that morning. But just as life goes on, we must as well. Still none of that takes away the pain of his loss or the happiness Oscar brought into our lives. The truth is I thank God for the gift of Oscar, even in his loss. I wouldn’t exchange my grief for anything. The loss I feel, the pain and the heartbreak only means Oscar was a part of us, and he impacted my life in precious ways I can’t explain. He was here, with us, beloved and priceless.
Oscar came to us at one of the most unlikely times in our lives. The truth is we had no plans for a dog. Life had been so crazy during my breast cancer treatment and yet, Oscar touched our hearts in a way no other puppy had. He came home with us that very day. It was the day after Thanksgiving 2006 to be exact. I was just finishing up chemo. Now I don’t normally suggest making an in the moment kind of decision when bringing a pet home, but for us it was absolutely the right one that day. Oscar was our every once in while kind of pet. He completely changed our lives, and how we saw the world following breast cancer. He changed everything to be really honest. Oscar, and for those of you who got to know him, understand all too well when I say this, Oscar, “you have no idea the amount of happiness you brought into my life.”
Oscar, he certainly breathed new life into our home, bringing so much joy especially during a time of such uncertainty. He was a happy boy, full of energy and love that’s for sure. Oscar was and will always be a part of our family. He brought us out of cancer’s black hole with a light all of his own, and now his has sadly gone out. To be honest I am still trying to figure out how I get over losing our baby. I don’t think it ever really happens though. We move on, let go and remember I guess and so we will do the same with our Oscar. He was a special pup and he’s given us so much to remember. Oscar brought us hope when we were facing the unknown. His love will stay with us, follow us and I have no doubt I’ll carry part of him in my heart forever. All my tears and the loss won’t ever go unheard or unfelt by my Father. He created each and every life, big and small. He’s aware of Oscar’s life; just as He knows when even a sparrow falls from the sky. Matthew 10:29 tells us this very thing, “Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s permission.” I know in my heart He was waiting for our Oscar when he crossed the bridge.
Life lesson #93 ~ I’ll meet you at the Bridge. Yes we will buddy, one day anyway. For now we’ll grieve, feel the sadness, remember the joy you brought us and let you go to run like the wind our little bulls-eye. After all to live is an awfully big adventure isn’t it? You certainly lived a full life in your short years didn’t you boy? Lord knows we certainly weren’t ready to say goodbye, not yet, not ever really. You’re passing came unexpectedly; we had no time to say goodbye. But bringing you home, finally and knowing you’re at rest here in your own home, with your family brings me peace. Mama, your sweet beautiful companion misses you too. She still burrows under the covers just like you taught her a few months ago. And she’s taken to comforting daddy, lying in his lap as if she’s a tiny dog. Oscar, baby boy oh how we all love and miss you terribly. I know you’re running around, wagging that cute tail of yours, begging for treats and rolling around in the grass, happy, frisky and free. We won’t forget you baby, never.
“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” ~Winnie the Pooh
Love, You’re Mommy,