It’s hard to admit. And I’ve only come to this conclusion the last two days. Many of my problems, anxieties and self loathing lately come from losing my dog Digby Pancake almost two years ago. December 1 will mark two whole years since I last held him in my arms.
I knew that one day I would have to say goodbye. I’ve had dogs in my life since I was a girl. But Digby was my constant companion and travel buddy. The experiences we shared made for a unique relationship. A deep connection.
Maybe you’ve had that kind of connection with a person or an animal. If you have, how fortunate you are.
The last few weeks of Digby’s life were hard emotionally and physically. When the day came that his little body couldn’t fight any longer, I was devastated. I had nothing left in me to give. I was doing what I had to do to breathe. But it was if I just let go. I let go of any hope. I let go of myself. I started to fade. And for almost two years now, I have continued to fade. It wasn’t until a few days ago when someone asked me if I took vitamins that I realized how far removed from reality I was. I take care of everyone. But I don’t value myself enough to even take vitamins. Because I am consumed with guilt in how I should have taken care of Digby better. Or how I let him down.
Guilt has eaten me alive. I have let myself go physically. I have let myself go mentally. And it’s really hard to get back on track. But I need to do this. And I’m writing this to start.
I need to somehow get my hair done. I need to somehow wash my hair every day. I need to somehow realize I have lost myself but that I can come back.
If you’ve went thru losing someone, you know the pain is worse than any pain. Ever. And it doesn’t end with a day of loss. It accumulates on top of us. Until we don’t recognize ourselves. Until we realize that if we don’t start living, someone else will be mourning us.
I let myself go the day Digby died. I’ve spiraled now to the bottom. It’s scary down here. I don’t know how I’m going to get better. But I can. If I remember how Digby lived, he will help me. He would want me to take my vitamins, eat well, exercise and take care of Brickle and Fruitycake.
He would tell me I need to get better to make this move to Italy happen. He would tell me that it’s ok to start living again. It’s been too long.
If you’ve lost your dog, I see you. I feel your pain. I wish I could take away your pain. Every relationship is unique. And how we deal with the loss of that relationship is unique. But if you’ve let yourself go in the ways that I have, or in your own way, maybe we can encourage each other. Maybe we can normalize the horrible loss that comes with losing a dog…the dog.
Rachael (Girl Person)
2 Traveling Dogs