The Ways I remember Her
Stella never got old, not in dog or human years. I pictured her well into her eighteenth year, grey and crotchety – eating only human food and hogging more of the bed than she regularly did. What I never pictured was Stella gone or that I would have to make the decision for at home pet euthanasia for my girl.
Why Pet Loss is so Unique
When it comes to our animals, a terminal diagnosis is always plural. The version of you which you have become with them is going to die and nobody talks about that. This is one of the reasons pet loss is so unique and challenging, because I had to say goodbye to not only Stella but also myself and I had to make one of the hardest decisions ever – when? On a good day, she went on a good day after the dog park, multiple treats, so much love and a dose of her CBD. She literally snored her way into the afterlife.
Pet Memorial Items
When I got the pet memorial items I wanted for Stella after her aquamation, each one kept me connected to her. It was like a conveyer belt of memories. I received one after the other, arriving at exactly the right time. I got artsy and crafty with pieces of her and dotted them around the house, and each time I walked past them, a mild electrocution of grief would stir me back to the truth – she was here once and now she is gone.
Honoring the Loss & Memorialization
As the months progressed, Stella’s memory got cellotaped into my collective memory of the many layers of animal loss. With one piled on top of the other, like a living grief cake, I grew into the newest version of myself, constructed through the delicate and precise vibrational symphony and fabric of living. The effects of pet loss can go undiagnosed and unrecorded if we get back into life too soon. I was grateful I took time to feel her loss and be around friends who understood the depth of my sadness and supported the ways in which I wanted to memorialize her. I mean her skull in a lovely container might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is so perfect for Stella. That jaw was responsible for so much destruction during her time on this planet. It was so fitting that I would get to keep it forever.
I think of Stella when I smell the ocean and when I turn on the garden hose. She was an otter trapped inside a dog’s body. I remember the first day I saw her and the last one, and her final breath upon my face as I whispered, “I will find you again.”
I’ve chatted to her since then many times, including through my friend Lisa, our animal communicator. Stella is still pure love, acknowledging our life together and the efforts I made at every bend and curve to keep us together. She affirmed my decision to let her go as the correct one. I was grateful to hear that.
There’s a salt lamp in the house that flickers upon occasion. I talk to it as though I am talking to Stella. I will continue to talk to her always. This is a conversation without words, along a journey without distance, to a destination that has never changed. Home, Stella has gone home and I am most assured I will find her again.
“Softly I must go now pad pad as I remember your face, the sun against my blustering sky, bye bye”