This is the first in a series of letters I wrote for Patreon. I haven’t published any others since this, but I plan to bring them back soon.
It’s been two weeks to the day that you’ve been gone, and I can still feel the void you’ve left in my life like a viable presence. Which is crazy because you not being here is actually the opposite of that. Your spot on the bed as been cold for fourteen nights, and still I roll over to put my arm around you only to hit the empty mattress instead. I wonder how long it’ll be until not reaching for your comforting warmth becomes a habit.
I got our favorite takeout tonight. Mr. Lin packaged you an extra box of teriyaki beef, just like you like. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that you’re gone and I’m a vegetarian, so I gave it to a homeless man on my way home. I like to think it’s what you would have wanted. When I got home, I split my spring rolls and called for you to come eat your half, but my words were met by an empty silence.
It was the loudest thing I’ve heard in weeks.
I know I’m only twenty-five, and that I haven’t really had my chance at experiencing life, but losing you is the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. The eight years that we had were my big years, my important years. You came into my life a week before high school graduation, you waited faithfully for me at home while I attempted (and failed) to get a degree, you sat silently as I made bad choices, and praised me when I finally got my life back together and went out into the world as a semi-responsible adult. You’ve been there for everything that mattered so far, and now it feels like no one else will matter enough to be there for the rest.
Going into this, I knew that you wouldn’t be here forever. I knew that someday I would have to say goodbye to you. But my god, Max… I had no idea that it would hurt me so bad to lose you like this. I had no idea that, when I invited people over for the first time after losing you, I would find your favorite blanket under the couch cushion while looking for the remote and absolutely lose my shit in front of four of my closest friends. I had no idea that your smell would still be everywhere, and that I would be afraid to clean too much because it might erase the faint smell of you. I had no idea that finding your hair on my favorite jacket would be the second-worst thing to happen in 2016– the first, losing you.
I know that right now, it hurts. I know that, like life, this pain is only temporary. I know that someday, I will find a way to move on. But right now, it just hurts so damn bad.
You were my best friend. My buddy. You cheered me up when I was down, you kept me in shape because you constantly wanted to run, run, run. You showed me that even the smallest things in life could be wonderful if you just looked at it from the right perspective.
You weren’t just a dog– you were my companion. And I will miss you always.
Your Human, Lani