Fare you well, my honey


Oh this is a tough one to write, a heartbreaking situation, but I can’t let it go unmentioned. The sweet boy in the photo above, Archie, was hit by a car a couple of days ago and is no longer with us. He was my parents’ dog – and absolutely devoted to my mum. With her through so much over the past several years. Strange and beautiful and sensitive and full of life. He was a wonderful addition to the family and I’m grateful that she enjoyed these years with him. 

If you happen to know my immediate family, please don’t bring this up; it’s too difficult to process at the moment and there’s guilt and shock involved. Then again, if you happen to know my immediate family I probably don’t need to have told you that. I am the grief filter among the four of us, and I’ve had to learn to understand that I process things differently than they do. I’ve dealt with a decent amount of untimely death over the past many years, and it’s been very difficult. As such, I’ve become better at working with others when they are in mourning. I feel things very deeply and am an excellent weeper, but I’m learning how and when to put my grief aside and let others’ take precedence. It’s such a tricky process, grief – the five stages are very real, and they don’t always come in order. Grief is unwieldy, unpredictable, and deeply personal. I’ve found, more often than not, that the bereaved don’t want to tiptoe around the name of the person (or animal) they’ve lost, but this is certainly not the case for everyone. 

It’s hard for people who’ve not had pets to understand how profound the love we have for our dogs can be. When I was going through one of my black holes of depression and Louie was an outspoken and impossible-to-please two year old, I had a very hard time raising him. I gave serious thought to giving him to friends upstate. It was an agonizing decision at a time when paper or plastic was an agonizing decision. A well-meaning friend, one of the “But you have so much going on! Don’t be depressed!” folks, said, “He won’t care – he’s a dog!” I took no offense at this and didn’t try to convince her otherwise, but as anyone who’s read about or experienced the incredible attachment and unspoken communication that can exist between dogs and humans knows, this is not the case. 

Obviously I did not give Louie away, and as the weekend of his eleventh birthday draws near I can say, unequivocally, that I am truly grateful for that. 

But alas. Frolic with the angels, my sweet Archie. I love you very much — we all do — and we miss you more than words can say. We will meet again some day. 

Good boy. 


4 thoughts on “Fare you well, my honey

  1. Tears in my eyes as a read this because I can only imagine how hard it is to lose a dog. I had to put my cat down about 9 years ago and I still can’t even talk about it without getting choked up and tears spilling out–and that was a cat. The people who don’t understand, can’t… and i’m sort of jealous of them for that bliss. Then again, they don’t know how great it can be for a little critter to come to the door when you get home every day, look up to you, and unconditionally want to do nothing more than sit on your lap and have you pet them. That’s one of the best ways to spend an evening!!!

  2. Lost my little lad before i came to New York. Had to put him down. More painful that human loss I’ve experienced. Hugs.

  3. Losing a pet is so hard because they are, I think, the only true example of absolute, complete and unconditional love we will ever experience. They don’t judge under any circumstances and only exist to love you. Losing a pet is losing a small piece of your soul. But luckily for us, their unconditional, full acceptance of us is actually what allows us to heal and recover from their loss. Otherwise we might be crippled for life after they leave. No matter what happens they always will be looking at us and wagging their tails, laughing and saying, “I love you!I love you! I love you! I love you! It’s okay to live your life as you always have!” Their good like that.

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