Wednesday, August 24, 2011
It has been a year since Pebbles died. At times I miss her as though it was yesterday. The pain is gone – or nearly so – but the space she left hasn’t filled yet.
Perhaps it never will.
I’m okay with that.
She was my best friend and we knew each other without limitations on love. There were no expectations, no conditions – every time we were together there was only play, tenderness and deep familiarity; an irreplaceable bond.
I remember holding her those last days. She was so tiny and fragile. She seemed confused much of the time. Embracing her close to my heart was like holding a tiny bird. I knew it was time for her to go. The knowing crept up on me like a soft shadow; I felt it coming long before it enveloped me. The last time I took her to the beach she didn’t struggle to be released from my arms, from the blanket I wrapped her in. She just cuddled close to me and stared out at the water, breathing deeply the salt air.
She knew it was time to go.
The day she died I spent seeing clients; one after the other while she rested in the house. The Vet came to check in on her and when she saw her, stumbling as she walked, she told me it was time. Strangely I was in a small way relieved, both Pebbles and I having been released from enduring a long goodbye, one where I would hold on more fiercely than she.
She lay in my arms while the sedative was given. Her sleep came fast and deepened as I lay her on her pillows. I stroked her and whispered to her words that only she and I will ever know.
Then she was gone; her mighty life on this earth over, her tasks here complete. I placed a wren’s wing between her tiny paws and kissed her a final time.
I cried softly as I stroked her, reluctant to allow the Vet to wrap her and take her away.
I cried more loudly when she did.
I still sense Pebbles’ presence at times. She romps through grass too tall for her to see over; running to me, ears perked and eye’s bright. She always fades away before she reaches me.
My heart always aches a little at these times.
I’m okay with that.