I can’t believe that a year has passed since Jasper left this world.
I saw a friend post a message today saying her four-year old dog had passed away from cancer, and all the emotions came flooding back. My heart really goes out to her and her family tonight.
I still think of Jasper quite a bit since there are reminders everywhere I go – seeing his purple toy in the basement, driving by the Minnehaha dog park, finding one of his old blankets tucked away in a drawer…
It all seems so strange still.
So, one year on, what am I surprised by? This is going to sound strange, but I’m surprised (and happy) I survived.
Jasper’s death came at the end of a really rough three years where I lost my mom and both my remaining grandparents.
If anything, I learned I can take the full frontal blow of adversity and come out standing on the other side. Sure, I have my days, but don’t we all?
I’ve also learned to really enjoy the little moments in life like taking Zooey for a walk in the woods, playing board games with my nephews or sitting quietly reading at night.
Jasper taught me so many things in the nine years he was with us. As I wrote before, for most of my life I was terrified of dogs. Jasper erased that fear and taught me to love all animals more than I thought was possible. He also taught me that sometimes best friends have four legs, a tail and a wet nose.
Over the past few months I’ve tried to go back and read a few of the entries here, but I’m not quite ready for that yet. I’m a little embarrassed by how raw the writing was, but more than that the rush of emotions and memories is still so strong.
I want to close what will probably be the last entry on this blog by saying a few things.
To V and Zooey – thank you. We went through this together, V, so you know just how tough this was. Zooey, you were always, and still are, the light of our life.
To everyone who read and commented on this blog – thank you, too! If you’re going through a similar situation now or in the future, trust that you will survive. And the memories do get happier with time.
To Jasper – I love you, buddy, and I still think of you every day. You were my best friend and the best dog any family could ever hope for. You had such a gentle soul. I loved every moment we spent together (even when you were a puppy trying your hardest to destroy the house). If there’s a heaven, then mine is a place where you and I can skip rocks and play in the water all day long.
Good-bye, dear J.