Today I woke up and missed my dog…
But it’s not just her that I miss.
I miss not having to use an alarm clock to wake up in the morning.
I miss being treated like a celebrity just for walking in the door.
I miss being able to share all of my frustrations and problems without having to listen to a lecture or advice.
I miss never being cold at night because there is always someone warm to snuggle with.
I miss not having to ask for a shoulder to cry on because it was always right there.
I miss being with someone who doesn’t care about my past and who doesn’t worry about the future.
I miss having a rhythm to my day that was built around caring for someone else.
I miss having someone’s unconditional trust.
I miss being needed.
I miss having someone in my life who always has my back.
I miss being loved for exactly who I am — flaws and all.
I miss feeling like a superhero for being able to drive a car, open jars and reach the countertops.
I miss always being first choice for who to spend time with.
I miss being accountable to someone to get up and exercise every day.
I miss being able to apologize for a mistake and know that I’ve been truly forgiven.
I miss never having to feel alone.
I miss not feeling self-conscious about how I look or act.
I miss laughing every day and playing in the backyard like I was a kid again.
I miss having an automatic ice breaker when I meet new people.
I miss being appreciated just for being around.
I miss having an excuse for not being able to work late every night.
I miss being able to spend a Saturday morning cuddling or playing and feeling like I’ve accomplished something important.
I miss finding joy in something as simple as sharing my ice cream cone.
I miss having someone in my life who will never spill my secrets or talk behind my back.
I miss never having to worry about sweeping up crumbs from the kitchen floor.
I miss having a friend who never hesitates to defend and protect me.
I miss quiet moments of togetherness where I can truly be myself.
I miss seeing the world through the eyes of someone who is unfailingly curious and optimistic.
I miss having a relationship without any expectations, agendas or resentments.
I miss feeling completely understood and unconditionally loved.
So when you see my tears or tell me that it’s time to ‘get over it’, please remember that I’m not just mourning the loss of my best friend, my constant companion and my family member. I am certainly not missing ‘just a dog’. I am also missing the life that I knew and the person that I was before. Eventually, my heart will begin to heal and I will adjust to this new life in front of me. But for now, let me grieve without judgment and give me the time that I need to find my way through this and to mourn the loss of my dog, my identity, and so much more.