Today is September 30, tomorrow will be October 1… it sounds so simple, and yet it is anything but. You see, July 31 was a day I will never forget. On that day I made a really dumb mistake that changed my life forever: I wasn’t careful enough when opening the front door to take out the trash, and Terri –one of my dogs– slipped past me and ran across the street just as one of my neighbors was driving by, much faster than he should have been. He was killed instantly right before my eyes, though the sounds of that accident haunt me almost as much as the sight. He was seven years old, and not a door-dasher. Maybe that’s why I got a little overconfident, that and the fact that I live in a ridiculously quiet neighborhood with virtually no traffic. Yes, the fact that there was an accident at all was my fault, and I will have to live with that till the day I die, but the consequences were determined by the speed at which my neighbor, who was late getting his kids to school, was going. If he hadn’t been speeding chances are that my best friend would have been left nursing a broken leg at worst.
Still, that is not the point.
The point is that today is September 30, and tomorrow will be October 1… so when do I mark the two month anniversary of the accident? How do I honor his memory on a day that doesn’t even exist? I don’t know, all I know is that there is a hole in my life, that there is only one leash in my hands when I go for a walk on the beach, that we suddenly fit in the couch, and that all seems so wrong, as does the fact that people keep telling me to get over it, that he was ‘just a dog’… that we were so lucky it was a dog and not a child. Yes, I get it, and I’m definitely NOT wishing it had been a child, but he was my best friend, as far as I’m concerned the shape of his body had nothing to do with the value of his soul, and to have his death dismissed so callously cuts, and it cuts deep.
Oh, I am healing. It is one of those things we humans tend to do –whether we want to or not– and that too is part of the problem. I may not be a masochist, but to let go of the pain at times feels almost like a betrayal. I don’t want to forget, and even though I no longer feel like I’m drowning, at the end of the day I am here, and he is not. He is rotting in a hole in the ground… or rather what was once his body is, because at the end of the day I refuse to believe that this is it.
In one way or another he is still with me, he will always be, so I’m not saying goodbye. Not now, not ever.
He was always by my side… and even though I can no longer see him, I’m not sure that has changed.
Today is September 30, tomorrow will be October 1, and I am missing something, something that cuts a lot deeper than a mere hole in the calendar could ever hope to explain.