I lost my best friend today.  He had cancer, and I held his dear fuzzy face as he died this morning.

About half the people that hear about this will say –or perhaps just think without voicing it: oh, it’s just a dog, get another one.  The other half will be very sympathetic, because they have been there, too.  But still there is a particular loneliness to grieving for a lost pet.

The sad loneliness about this circumstance is that there is nobody to truly share your loss and grief with.  Your pet probably didn’t have friends.  Just you, the family.  Nobody else actually misses your pet but you.  Yet the loss can be profound.  Nobody else truly knew him and loved him, but you.  It puts one in a lonely position of great sorrow.

I certainly don’t mean to diminish the grief of losing a family member or friend.  Yes, that is terrible and awful.  Today, as my husband and I work through our own grief, I want to cry out, but it is hard to find someone to SHARE the real sense of loss and sadness.

I was once given a book by an old friend of mine:  Father Jack Wintz.  Several years ago he wrote a book called Will I See My Dog in Heaven.  It is a great comfort to me.


About reinkat

I am an iconographer, and have been studying Russian/Greek icons since 1995. I'm married with 3 children. I love hiking, camping, animals, my family and church--and icons.
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16 Responses to Loss

  1. I can’t like this, it’s too sad. Loss is always hard. I found you because you liked a comment of mine, and I wondered who you are.

  2. njacacia says:

    Lost a wonderful loving dog that my son originally adopted from Petsmart. He left her with us during his college years and we became her home although she always knew and loved it when my son came home. This past winter, she suddenly became ill and the vet diagnosed her with kidney failure . Because she was in no discomfort, he sent her home with us to die a natural death. It was terribly hard on us, but …

    A Sweet Girl Who Loved Her Boy

    you are not of this world
    staring at me
    as if I am the specter
    that does not belong.

    The poisons in your blood close down your bodily tasks
    and open a portal into your next life.
    Eyes connect with another dimension.
    The physical wanes,
    transition deliberate and even as if
    even in your dying
    you accommodate the living
    one. final. time.

    Granting us a chance to say goodbye
    and give last pieces of our hearts
    to take
    so that you do not forget us.

    All this time we had it wrong.
    Slow deaths are blessings for the living
    yielding moments
    to softly ease our parting.

    perhaps it will help you to hold a memorial service for your dog. Yes, Christian memorial services. There are many you can choose from on the internet and change to suit you. I wrote a homily. We buried our dog in our back yard under a beautiful butterfly bush and have some flowers to mark her grave. I often look out the window to see her grave or say hello to her when I am outside. She is a part of me as your dog is a part of you. Dogs have so much of a human “consciousness”…don’t you think your dog could understand your emotions and feel them with you or even understand what you were saying? Even Pope Francis, when asked said he thought we would see them in heaven. They are so much a part of us, how could we not? God made them for us. So, I share in your grief. I’m glad you wrote about it. I was wondering what happened to you. My heart goes out to you.

    • reinkat says:

      Thank you, njacacia, for the beautiful poem. It really hit home. Your poem and words are so grief stricken, and yet so beautiful What a wonderful tribute to your dog. I love thinking that we were able to give Ivan the “last pieces of our heart to take” with him on his journey.
      Yes, my husband and I do plan a service. We will pick up Ivan’s ashes in 2 weeks. We plan to go out to the wetlands where he loved to run and roam and dig for field mice. He was so happy out there. We will bury his remains out in the tall grass and sunshine. We will never forget him, as you will never forget your beloved dog. I am sorry for your loss, too, and wish you peace and all good.

  3. SR says:

    We will “see” them all dear friend. We will “see” them all, I promise you. I hang onto that more than anything. Know your grief, as I still have mine. Yes, it is true they belonged/belong to only us. I think that is what makes our grief over our pets so hard. It is the loss of that “love bond” which only we shared with them. Not even our family members shared that “love” with us. They are our friends, our comforters, they bring joy to our lives and smiles to our faces, they love us unconditionally, and all they ask in return is that same “love.” They are our most “faithful friends.” Praying for your grief, and know I love you. God Bless, SR

    • reinkat says:

      Thank you SR, for your kind words and support. They bring me hope–I believe we will see them again, too. After all, why would God put such loving beings into creation only to obliterate them? His love, mercy and compassion for all of His creation is endless.
      My husband and I are overwhelmed with the kindness, sympathy, and love we have received–through emails, phone calls, hugs, and replies to this post. It has meant so much to us.
      I think losing Ivan has hit harder than any other of our dogs (we have had 8 in our lifetimes, Larry is still with us) because we no longer have children at home. He and his “brother” Larry were our family. Now we are three. We will head out to the forest today, and sit by the river, and reflect, and pray. Gosh, we miss that Ivan. God bless you, and thank you again.

  4. Rosemary says:

    I’m sorry for your loss. I still miss all the wonderful pets we’ve had through the years. They are in our family albums and sometimes talked about in our rememberings. They help shape and enrich our lives. Always loving, always present for us. Demanding very little in return but giving so much more. Yes, I believe in a heaven for all.

    • reinkat says:

      Thank you, Rosemary, for taking the time to read and respond. I am so grateful for the sympathy and support this post has brought. Losing Ivan has left an empty hole in our lives, but your encouragement helps to make it bearable.
      That Ivan was one of a kind, irreplaceable and unforgettable. Thank you.

  5. Oh Reinkat my heart goes out to you. I believe that you certainly will see him again. Prayers for you and your husband in your time of grief.

  6. I am so sorry to hear about your loss. These “fur people,” really are family.

  7. Stephanie Forbes says:

    I am so sorry you lost your baby. When I lost Molly it hurt so deeply I put her collar(wrapped twice) around my wrist. It helped emminsly. That was four years ago and it is still on my wrist today. God blessed me greatly with that beautiful dog. I am glad that you were also greatly blessed with your fur child. That is what makes it so hard when they pass on sooner than we do. We will see them again eventually. Much love to you,

  8. SR says:

    Just letting you know am thinking and praying for you today. Love you and God Bless, SR

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