I suddenly lost my beloved french bulldog Charlie last Saturday, and it’s been a very tough week.
He lived a full life and within the range of how long frenchies live, but it doesn’t make his passing any easier.
My family and friends sprung to action and scooped me up from my home in Manhattan to help take care of me. I needed nature and fresh air, and I’ve spent the past week surrounded by love (and baked goods).
I’m touched by the outpouring of support – I’ve heard from so many people over the past few days, and it’s nice to know Charlie touched so many people. I am so lucky to have such a great support network and amazing friends.
My best friend said to me that she doesn’t remember life without Charlie and that we’ve always been a unit. It’s hard for me to deal with being without him as he was the one constant in my life. He supported and comforted me through many tough situations such as losing my mom and navigating the end of a very unhealthy relationship where he and I had to suddenly move multiple times last year.
I have been reading a lot about grief and coping with the loss of a pet, and I came across this article from psychology today that was very helpful to me. I wanted to share it in case it’s also helpful to others.
This part of the article really resonated with me, “remember that grief is a moment-to-moment process. It can be too hard to ask for even a day at a time, as a day can seem endless when we are in the midst of our grief.
Remember that in this moment and with every emotion our body is processing through its grief. It can be very hard to take care of ourselves during our experience in pet loss, even painful, but it’s important to try.”
Last night, my family and friends joined me virtually for a memorial service to honor Charlie’s life. I can’t believe how many people attended.
One of my friends lit fireworks to commemorate the occasion and two other friends sang a rendition of Wind Beneath my Wings, which was both touching and funny – like I said I have the best friends.
We recounted stories about Charlie and our favorite memories of him, including all the silly things he did. One of my dear friends, Julie, noted how I threw more parties for my dog than she threw for her own children. Another friend recounted how when she dog sat for him, he followed her into every room and waited for her to get out of the shower. He was truly a people person. I think it’s because I don’t have kids of my own yet that Charlie became such a big part of my life, and there is just nothing like the unconditional love of a pet.
Last night gave me the closure I need to move on.
It won’t be easy, but this past year has shown me that I can make it through anything. Life has such great highs and lows, and our ability to be resilient and to take it all with stride will push us forward.
Charlie will always hold a special place in my heart. I think he hung on as long as he did to make sure that I was OK after going through a tough year.
If you have a pet, cherish every minute you have with them. They are pure love and joy, and can brighten up any day.
And stay tuned for an exciting announcement from this dog lover.