On May 14th we let go of our first fur baby girl Mia (aka Mia-Weeya, Mia Louise). Thirteen years ago, Mia came to us from a small town on the panhandle of Florida. She had nothing short of a glamorous ride on a four seater private plane with her daddy and her Uncle Ritchie to get to us. She has been the sweetest, most vivacious, beautiful Weimaraner ever. She played hard and loved harder. She will be missed by all that knew her.
As I reflect on her passing I unfortunately think of only the last few years. The ones where we weren’t our best and brightest. In the final months she taught me not to turn away from something/someone when you are scared or hurting because they are scared or hurting. Turn towards them. In the end I didn’t do that for Mia. I gave her all I had until I had my children and then she only got pieces of me. Whatever was left over after sleepless nights and running errands. Now I feel it has erased the years before the kids. The years when she was my best friend, my baby. The years we did everything together and I put her needs above my own. When I showed her nothing but unconditional love not knowing that there was a condition: she wasn’t allowed to be weak when I had noting left to give.
Now I am riddled with guilt but I know I can’t be. It’s not the answer. What I know as a therapist is that grief is a process. One that is unique for each individual. It can take days or years to get to acceptance. In order to get to acceptance I must forgive myself. Forgive myself and do better. To think of her chasing iguanas by the water. Spending hours in the Florida sun, tongue hanging.
Saying goodbye was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Knowing I’ll never see her perky face, touch her soft ears, or smell her fur. My son will never know her and she’ll be just a faint memory to my daughter. But for my husband and I and the people who knew her she will be remembered. She was special. She was loved.
And now my husband gently reminds me of a pain he knows all too well. That this is only a microcosm of what it feels to lose a parent, a sister, a brother, a child. Putting into perspective that the guilt I feel will only take away time I have with those I love. And Mia wouldn’t want that.