This week marks 5 months since we lost our sweet, sweet pony-boy Jasper. It's for really-reals that the missing-him is such pain. I cry less frequently, but I'm still not bothering about mascara -- the torrent is always right there, ready to go. It's an unusual day if I don't weep at least once.
Today was kind of a break-through for me in my long grief: I went for our usual walk around the neighborhood, maybe a mile and a half, the walk that we always referred to as "neighbies." I tried this walk in the first few weeks after FurPants's passing, but I made it about two blocks before the tears forced me home.
Today, though, I got all the way through it, got to pet two labrador retrievers bouncing along off-leash with their people, got to pet one collar-less black cat who came trotting straight up to me, eyes locked on mine, when I called it. And I got to check in on our neighborhood, a place I was so much more familiar with when I walked it regularly with Jasper, always knowing who was moving, watching people's renovations, the progress of their vegetables.
Periodically this morning, I'd say aloud, "oh, sweet pony," remembering the sight and sound of Jasper trotting alongside me, seeing him everywhere I looked really, delightful constant companion. I got through it without crying, even though, naturally, I'm crying now.
What gets easier about grief is that you learn to walk more easily with ghosts. He is still with me and yet, of course, he's not. Navigating that presence/absence -- the ghost -- is what gets more comfortable. Not easy, just easier.
I know some people who are recent arrivals in this land of woe, having lost their old and beloved dogs this week. To them I say, Welcome. And yeah, this is super-, super-hard, most definitely the biggest heartbreak that certainly I've ever felt. I feel for you, I really, really do. Keep the tissues close, take time off, feel your feelings, and ride it out.
Mr. Cuteness, I miss you so much. But I'm also so grateful that in a way, now, I'll never be without you. I'm walking along over here with your ghost by my side always.
Five months down, a lifetime to go. A lifetime of gratitude for the almost-fourteen years we had together, Jasper Bacon Trelaun, sweet furry boy.