A Year and Then Some

Over a year later and I have no clever words of wisdom.

I just reread all of my entries and found not much has changed: I remain heart-broken. I still get seized by a desperate sense of panic and pain when I realize the full magnitude of my loss.  The road ahead is still one I can’t contemplate too much because it’s a long and lonely one without Atlas’s presence.  My sweet boy will never return and will never be replaced.

The only shift I’ve noticed is that at about the year mark I think I finally started to truly understand he’s gone forever.  I don’t know why I’ve struggled so hard with this fact – I tried so hard to repeat and repeat it to myself, but there was a stubborn emotional reaction that just kept not quite “getting it.”

I finally made it to Dog Mountain.  I went the day before Thanksgiving, which even though wasn’t on the 26th of Nov. is the day I will always consider the anniversary of Atlas’s death. And even though it wasn’t quite as magical as I hoped – also it was too cold inside for me to stay long-I did still get some comfort out of the experience.

I enjoyed preparing a tribute of Atlas to hang, the drive through the mountains of NH and VT was lovely and peaceful, and I was touched by the tributes of others who clearly loved and deeply missed their dogs.  I gained a small relief through the sense of communion with others who also have suffered a profound loss, but in the end it is but a temporary reprieve and I’m left with a reality I hate: a life without Atlas.

Currently I’m still searching for handholds.  I’m still trying to embrace life. Atlas was a great example of joie de vivre. Here’s hoping that one day I’ll learn to live life with even half as much gusto as he had.




One thought on “A Year and Then Some

  1. Just read your blog from start to finish. You are an amazing writer. Your grieving process mirrored my own after I lost my first Bernese Mountain Dog, my best friend in the world.

    Atlas was so lucky to have shared his life with you. While the pain of his absence will always sting, may the tincture of time be healing your heart. Your boy’s spirit will live on there, always.


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