Well it’s been a week now since I lost the Shelbster, and I’m slowly adjusting to her not being there. I don’t think you truly realize how much a part of your life your pet is until they’re not there anymore. I find myself still talking to her like I used to do and I still expect to see her sitting in her favorite spots around the house when I turn around or enter a room. I haven’t collected up her stuff and packed it away yet (toys, bowls, leash, etc.) since I’m not quite ready to remove her completely from the place. Like everything else the time for that will come when it comes, and I’m not in a hurry for it to happen yet.
The biggest adjustment so far has been going to sleep at night. She always slept in the bed, so suddenly not having her there after 10 years has caused a bit of insomnia. Plus she always had to be touching me if she could, even if it was barely making contact at my feet. It comforted her and let her sleep better, and apparently it did the same for me too since I’ve found that I have problems going to sleep without it. I’ve co-opted a pillow from the couch to give me a physical “presence” in the bed, and it’s helped a lot, but I have a feeling it’s going to be a while before I really get used to an empty bed again.
My family and friends have been very supportive through it all since they know how big a part of me she was, and that’s helped quite a bit. I even got a nice card (hand-signed with well wishes) from the vet’s office early this week and it’s helped a lot as well.
This may sound odd as I’ve experienced the loss of loved ones before, but losing Shelbe has really made me realize how permanent death is and how quickly it happens. It’s not that I didn’t know that before now or that I’m saying her death was somehow more meaningful or important than anyone else’s. I think the difference for me now is that I’ve seen it happen. I held her head and watched as she was there one second, and the next she was gone forever. It wasn’t some big cosmic event with dramatic music playing or anything, it was simply a tiny instant in time when everything from her perspective and everything she was a part of simply ended. And that realization is having a rather profound effect on me.