Yesterday one of my best friends said goodbye to one of her best friends.
Six years ago, when I was learning the ins and outs of raising littermate puppies, I never would have thought that I would see a day when…
- I was truly happy for more than a few days at a time.
- I would believe that kibble was dangerous and make my own dog food.
- I would rarely visit Petco or PetSmart.
- 99.9% of my friends were dog lovers (or loved me enough to love dogs).
- One of my best friends lived on the opposite side of the country.
These Are Sad Tears
This has been a rough weekend.
My mother blocked me and will no longer speak with me. This isn’t the first time I’ve been disowned; but this time, I think it’ll take. I didn’t have a relationship with my father growing up and then he died and it was too late. Something was said (she won’t tell me w hat) to destroy one relationship I did have with a father figure. When I asked my mother why my stepfather won’t speak with me, she blocked me.
My mother has a borderline personality disorder. She doesn’t have a bunch of personas trying to fight for supremacy, instead, my mother struggles to form real relationships that aren’t tainted with drama and conflict.
“Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental disorder marked by a pattern of ongoing instability in moods, behavior, self-image, and functioning. These experiences often result in impulsive actions and unstable relationships.” Source: National Institute for Mental Health
I can fill this post with all of the horrible experiences I’ve had with my mother, but that’s in the past and I don’t want to revisit that time anymore. I knew this day was coming, the day when I would finally have to say goodbye to a relationship that wasn’t serving me, only hurting me.
I’m sad because I feel like I should be more sad, more hurt. Or maybe it’s coming. I’m crying because I’m so resigned to the situation. I spent the past 24 hours feeling hollow and then I saw the news that my friend’s dog had passed and the tears starting flowing.
Everyone who has loved a dog intimately knows the heartache of saying ‘goodbye’ to their best friend. Whether they know the day is fast approaching or it’s unexpected, the pain of losing our dogs is shocking and it rips your heart out daily.
The pain never goes away, it just dulls over time. For me, bringing home Blue helped ease the pain of losing Riley. Bringing home Scout and Zoey helped ease the pain of losing Blue. But I still cried for a year – A YEAR – here and there. It took nearly three years for me to be able to watch videos of Blue and look at pictures and feel happiness.
These are Happy Tears
I’m happy because it’s finally over. I no longer have to walk on eggshells wondering if she’ll love me today or if I’ll be a huge disappointment again. I don’t have to take that deep breath before I make the call, praying that we’ll have a fun conversation and she won’t be combative. I don’t have to deal with the phone calls where I’m told that everyone hates me. And I no longer have to wonder what she said that made this house of cards finally tumble down.
These are happy tears because thanks to my mom, I’m a strong, independent woman. Whether she planned this or not, she prepared me for this day. And thanks to my mom, I’m the type of person who can cry tears when a friend’s dog dies. My heart breaks along with my friend because at some point in time, I made my own family – my friends became my family.
These are the people who know me inside and out, these are the people I can share anything with and have no fear of judgment or recrimination, these are the people I turn to when I’m doing a fist bump in the air or crying in a corner. These are the people who inspire me ever single day to be a better person. This is what family is, right?
So I’m sitting here, crying as I type, because through this horrible heartbreak my friend is experiencing right now, I’ve come to realize just how much I love and respect her. She’s honest, straightforward, protective, loyal, intelligent, independent, and she loves her dogs.
No More Tears
It’s time to get this day started.
I’m remembering the first day I came home from work and Blue wasn’t there to greet me. It was a Friday. Now, three years later, I know that Blue came into my life to teach me something magical. Everyone who has known me for four years or more saw the transformation – saw me grow from a damaged person into someone with empathy, patience; into someone who is happy, not just fakes being happy.
I know that Tina will see what Chance brought to her life a lot sooner because she’s a lot more on the ball than I am; more in touch with herself and her dogs. I pray that the gift Chance gave her gives her some solace during this time. And I know that her dogs (and her daughter) will give her support while she’s recovering from her world being tipped on its axis.
Loving a dog changes you.