Kelso died.


I fed him an enormous steak, bite by bite. I sat silently in the sun and ran my fingers through his black-turned-silver coat. I threw his ball a few times, and his old body fetched it as best he could. My dear friend, his lovely doctor, ended his life while I held him in my arms. An ancient pain shredded through me with such force I thought I’d surely lie down and die right there with him.


Grief is tremendous, but love is bigger. You are grieving because you loved truly. The beauty in that is greater than the bitterness of death. Allowing this into your consciousness will not keep you from your suffering, but it will help you survive the next day.  ~Cheryl Strayed

But I lived. It surprises me still, sometimes, looking back. We are often (in my case, always) awestruck by what we make it through. I still find myself sad that he is gone. I find myself missing his particular fur on my face, his special woof during playtime, and the long healing walks we used to take, just he and I. I still sometimes think about his medication, and remember I don’t need to get more. I can talk about him now, most days, without crying.


That’s the thing about pain. It demands to be felt. ~John Green, The Fault In Our Stars

I am no expert and I don’t want to be. But I know this much, a year later. Losing someone you love hurts. It hurts deeply, and it hurts for a long time; probably forever. But if I could tell Kelso something now, I’d tell him it was worth it. I’d tell him I’d do it all again.