Thank you to everyone who texted, dropped by, called, and left comments on yesterday’s post about Blue.
Yesterday was a hard day for all of us but the first day is always the worst. The true gift of age is having been through hard times before and knowing that this, too, shall pass. I feel like when it comes to grief, the only thing to do is to surrender to it with the knowledge that it won’t hurt forever, just for now.
I was up yesterday at 3:30AM, I couldn’t sleep so I blogged about Blue’s passing. I think one of the hardest things about a tragedy is letting people know.
I’ve always been afraid of displays of other people’s emotions, like they would pull me down. Yesterday’s barrage of sympathy and love did the opposite, it lifted me up and showed me how much Blue was loved, and not just by me.
Even Marion and Steven posted tributes to him on their pages.
I immersed myself in my work. Construction wrapped on the 2nd floor so I was able to move all the crap out of Itchy’s room and put everything back. He needed the comfort of his own space and it was a relief to have my home look normal again.
Stitch and Boobzilla helped me tackle the task of moving furniture, cleaning, and hauling trash. Every few minutes my phone would alert me that someone left a comment on my blog and I would stop to answer it and feel the love.
A volunteer from Big Dogs Huge Paws picked up the Blue’s old bedding and elevated dishes.
Blue’s favorite bed was a tempurpedic mattress topper the boys dragged out of the alley one day. I folded it in half and made a denim cover for it; it was the most comfortable bed in the house. He also had feather beds to go on top of his regular beds, he never lacked for comfort.
But still he circled several times before settling down. Loony said he was checking for snakes, it was one of his endearing habits.
I reflected yesterday that my folks were here the first weekend I had Blue and the last weekend I had him. It’s funny how things come full circle.
Others sent pictures …
Who knew that so many people would care about someone else’s dog, and a really strange one at that. He was the sweetest dog but he was also nervous, twitchy, fiercely protective, and often difficult to read. I’ll admit that I was a little scared of him at first.
What yesterday showed me was that Blue not only had the love of his family, he had the love of a community.
I’m saving these texts so all this kindness will stay on the record. I also got lovely messages from Lemony and Shaina Cruea but since they are on Android, their texts are harder to save and edit.
Mo wrote a haiku …
Sideboob Facetimed me from Norway and we had a good cry together. She had the good sense to have it be audio rather than video because while I can’t speak for her, I was a bloated mess.
I felt so loved and embraced by my community, it got me through the day.
The boys ended up going to school. Scratchy got there on time but I let Itchy sleep in. I’m glad they powered through the day because they seemed better by the time they got home. Uncle Al showed up shortly after and played baseball in the alley with them for hours; it was just the distraction they needed.
Loony worked with me on the house and we took breaks to boohoo together. He, too, received an outpouring of love on Facebook. Even our mailman gave him a hug. He’s the best, he carried “Scooby Snacks” in his bag and Blue always got excited when we encountered him walking.
I was sure I would pass out after dinner but Chris showed up with two bottles of wine and a bottle of champagne and the next thing you know we had a proper Irish wake.
I wrote down a bunch of funny shit as it happened but really, you had to have been there.
Today I feel pretty good (minus the slight hangover) and the boys seem to be doing fine although I know that sadness and grief comes in waves, but we are over the worst of it. Yes, the house seems quiet and bigger without him but it’s okay.
I feel like Scheissehund knows. I mean, of course he knows Blue is gone, but he seemed a little sad, too.
He was mopey all day, Blue was his buddy. But it didn’t stop him from his usual crotch aggression.
Now my house is mostly put back together, Blue’s things have been given a good home but I kept his collar and favorite blanket because it smells like him, I cleaned up all the drool spots on the floors and walls, and I feel peaceful.
I’m ready to let go of the sadness and embrace the beauty that was Blue’s life. That dog taught me so much about unconditional love.
He showed me that you don’t have to be perfect to be loved. Sometimes you can’t help have baggage but you carry on and do your best. Those who truly love you will look beyond your quirks and maybe even love you more because of them.
I am so grateful I volunteered to dog-sit him five years ago. Who knows what our lives would have been without him.