I have never experienced real grief before. Isn't that amazing? A 32 year old woman whose heart has been guarded from such loss all this time. It seems silly that my first grieving experience has been for a dog but then again maybe not. Bentley was a part of our family. Our daily life. His absence is deafening. I wonder how long it will be before I don't look at the calendar on the 25th day and calculate how long it has been.
I haven't cried since that day we said goodbye and yet I am in this surreal place of believing he is really gone. I think that stage is called denial. I had my first dream about him two nights ago. He was walking out of the woods toward our house and I just kept yelling for My Love to come see. That he wasn't gone after all but had only be missing in the woods all this time.
But it was only a dream.
I vacillate through the anger stage too. Almost every time I see someone walking their dog in our neighborhood--especially another golden--I cringe. Do they even realize how good they have it? I wish I could walk our dog. We used to take a Family Walk most days. Those walks have a whole different feel now and don't happen as often as they used to out of necessity.
Brother started showing signs of missing his Wuppy Brother. He found an old framed 4x6 of Bentley that we had up in his old bedroom before we moved to this house. I found it in his bed one morning and watched him as he carried it around the house and stared at it for a day or too. "This is our dog. He died though, " I heard him say to his visiting Auntie. Very matter of fact but also a hint of sadness for missing him starting to come through in his own way.
We were eating dinner at a friend's house when she unknowingly complained about the dog hair around their place. "You'll miss it someday," My Love said under his breath. He's right. I had expected to see more lingering evidence of his previous presence in our home but it is just gone. All that remains is this lingering heartache.
For the most part, life is business as usual around here. But our hearts are still aching and I don't expect that to dim any time soon.