“You’re sadder about your dog dying than you are about your grandpa dying. It’s a little messed up.”
My friend said this to me as we walked across campus, on our way home from Political Thought and Theory.
It was winter. A wet grey day. His words echoed in my head, but all I said was “well…”
When my parents got my dog for me, I was 9 and she died when I was 22.
Seizures, loss of motor function, dead before my final midterm that semester.
My grandpa also died when I was 22, a few months after my dog died.
Cancer, very advanced, dead before the end of that weekend.
It was a hard year.
It is a crime of nature that dogs do not live as long as we do, and when they die the loss is so immediate, so exquisite.
The loss of a person, though…in a way, it’s harder to conceive, and accept.
A whole other person, and a person no longer. A whole other universe of possibilities gone, snuffed out.
When my grandpa died, it was hard enough to try to come up from under the loss and stay ahead of it somehow.
We talked, but not often. I would have liked to get the chance to know him better.
But even that…no more!
Wrap your brain around that.
It was when my friend’s girlfriend’s parents’ dog died, a few years after my dog died, a few years after my grandpa died, that I got to watch the unexpected tears well up in his eyes, the sudden bursts of sorrow, the excuses he made to leave the group and grieve in private as he tried in the weeks and months that followed her death to cope.
He loved that dog.
I loved my dog…and I loved my grandpa.
And there were so many moments during his mourning period that I almost said something to my friend, who today probably doesn’t even remember what he said to me on that grey and useless day.
Maybe now, I almost said, you know.
How easy it is to grieve for dogs.