I killed my best friend today.
I don’t want to soften it by saying, I put her down.
That term is reserved for when both parties understand what’s about to happen.
You felt you were coming home to me again.
And I betrayed you.
I am shame.
My eyes swell with the sting of my tears.
My forehead feels like it’s being crushed.
My chest is weak, like my heart is missing from within.
I am grief.
I keep looking behind and around me hoping to see her.
I want to call her name.
The house is so quiet.
It feels less of a home.
She was home.
When I came in, she pranced with jubilant longing,
“You’re home! Yes! You’re home!”
Always, ALWAYS by my side.
But she’s no longer beside me.
And I feel alone.
I am loss.
They say Akita’s are renowned for their loyalty and devotion to one person.
I think my beloved was an exemplary demonstration of those noble virtues.
She breaks the myth that a dog is loyal to whoever feeds her.
I haven’t been able to personally feed her for seven years.
I haven’t been able to personally walk her for five.
I haven’t experienced the bliss of touching and playing with her for what feels like an eternity.
ALS and this fucking paralysis made sure of that.
I am rage.
And yet, even though we were separated by my confinement to an electric wheelchair; even though I could no longer maintain physical contact, she remained always and ever by my side.
For fifteen years, she insisted and remained by my side.
In human terms, that’s equivalent to 105 years.
She loved me unquestioningly and wholeheartedly for 105 years.
My beloved’s wagging tail spoke more than the empty noise that is speech.
Her tender and consoling licks of my face and hands soothed me.
The soft patter of your paws coming down the hallway reassured me, I would never be alone.
I am longing.
I want to call your name.
But I don’t dare because I know you won’t hear me.
You won’t come.
You can’t come.
I fought and fought for you to be with me longer.
I wish I could get out of my chair and hold you.
I longed to massage your pain away.
I wish I could hold and nurse you.
I am impotence.
I could no longer bear to see you in pain.
Weak, blind, deaf, rotting away; struggling to stay by my side.
Hurting yourself continuously to stay by my side.
Yet…I’m thankful you couldn’t see my tears.
I’m thankful you couldn’t hear my sobs.
I’m thankful you couldn’t sense my despair.
I don’t think you’re in a better place, nor do I think you’re in a worse place either.
You are no more.
But you’ll not be forgotten.
In memory, in thought, you’ll remain alive in my dreams.
Alive in my solace when I remember you.
When I pretend you’re still here but out of sight.
I’ll feel the rip of your absence and the saddened joy of your memory.
But I’ll never, ever forget…My life was better because you were here.