My dog died and I am very sad. I can’t stop feeling sad. It feels wrong to say my dog died. Dog seems like such a gross underestimation. Best friend, partner, daughter, wife- these descriptive nouns seem more appropriate than dog. Whenever someone had told me that their dog had died I would say “sorry” but really not feel anything. I would be slightly perturbed by how upset they seemed. “Get over it. It was just a dog,” I would think. Now my dog has died. I have never been this sad over the death of anyone. Not my grandparents. Not anyone. So I was wrong. It was not just a dog. My dog was my closest friend if what we mean by friend is someone who is always there with you and provides you with unconditional acceptance. Not to mention how pretty she was to look at. A German Shepherd of the most beautiful kind. I know people say these sorts of platitudes after someone they love has died. “He was such a great man.” “He was so wonderful.” “She had such a pure heart.” But we all know how death tends to erase negative attributes and enhance the attributes that are barly noticeable when the person is alive. But she was really beautiful. People would tell me how pretty she was. Noble and refined. The most beautiful female German Shepherd in town. And she knew it. You could tell in her hesitation to interact with other dogs and humans. But once she liked you you were in. She would give you endless amounts of what people call love. I don’t really know what love is so I hesitate to apply such globally accepted clichés. What I think she gave was her presence, her tenderness, her loyalty, her beauty. She had a way of connecting with a person that made a person feel less alone. If that is love, then so be it. I just don’t know what love is so it is hard to comment. If love is this heavy sadness that sits in my chest, then ok. If love is this heavy sorrow that feels all-pervasive, then ok. If love is sobbing all the time, even as I urinate in the toilet, ok. This must mean I really loved her. But how could I love a dog so much? How could I almost feel like not carrying on without her? It makes little sense to me. All I know is that this morning when I was standing by her grave I was hoping that maybe she would dig her way out and come back. She would be dirty and I would take her and give her a really god bath. I would make her look beautiful again, smell good and then I would keep her right by my side. But I knew that she was rotting in the ground. I think I could even smell the decaying process beginning. It makes no sense to me how something so beautiful and sweet is now rotting in the earth. It makes me not want to participate in this thing called life anymore. What is the point? But I am happy that she is in my backyard. That she is just out there. But it is also a painful reminder that she is just out there, rotting in the earth. I cry everytime I look towards her grave. I know. Toughen up man. Get it together. Be stronger. It was just a dog. A fucking dog. But I am overwhelmed with grief. I loved her very much. Everyday her presence was a consolation to me. It is strange how you can be completely unaware of just how important someone’s presence is in your life. I knew I loved her. I knew that I was happy every time I made eye contact with her. I felt fortunate each time I made eye contact with her. It was a brief pause in my difficult life. There was a reflection in her eyes I always appreciated seeing. Now that she is gone the absence that she has left is almost too much to bear. It was just a dog! She was more than this. She must have been more than this if my wife and I have been incapacitated by grief the past several days. There is a weight around our hearts and throats that at times threatens to suffocate. I don’t really know what to do. I am just going to try and keep busy. Keep writing. Keep drawing. Keep reading. Keep listening to music. And maybe I will survive. I walk out to her grave in my backyard a few times a day and tell her, Julikha, how much I miss her. How much I love her. And how grateful I am to have had her in my life. I know this all sounds silly. So cliché. I would have been disgusted by all of this before the death of my dog. Common. Get over it man. It was just a dog. But I see that this does not matter. She was my friend. I spent more time with her in my presence than I did with anyone else in my life. Ever. She was a family member. She was so much more than a dog and the vast empty feeling of her absence is proof of this. I wish everyone would stop talking to me. I wish everyone would leave me alone. I just want to cry and be in complete sorrow. I miss her very much.
Zev Bauhaus 4 Minutes
Published by Zev Bauhaus