“Not great, to be honest,” I said to the cab driver when he asked how I was. He proceeded to tell me about how bad his day was going—flat tire or something—but all London’s beautiful women made it better, he said as he almost ran one over. I grunted and nodded, but even as it was happening it felt like a dream.

Willow was dead when I arrived at the animal hospital. Hit by a car. She looked so … normal lying there, like she was just resting. Except she wasn’t excited to see me, snorting and waving her little white-booted paws in the air. Sometimes when I came home and she did that, I’d try not to react, because books say spoiling them when you arrive home just makes them miss you more when you’re gone. But …  oh God … I wish I spoiled her every time I saw her, which already wasn’t enough … I wish I fully appreciated every single minute I got to spend with her, whether it was relaxing on the couch or cleaning up her puke. And I am going to miss her so much now that she is gone.

In my few hours of sleep that night I dreamed about taking Willow for a walk in this beautiful weather. Just another ordinary day with her.  I was thankful to my subconscious for that. I also dreamed that the shrivelling little plants I keep on my windowsill had grown giant green leaves, reaching their full potential. I think the two dreams were related.

Even when I’m awake, my brain keeps trying to make sense of it. When my thoughts briefly wander from the topic, the grief will snap back to me in some new and horrible way. Sometimes it comes back fuzzy, like it really was a bad dream. A bad dream, or just a flight of dark hypotheticals that I mentally test-drove, as I’m prone to do when an idea for a horror story comes to me. Another minute, my mind acknowledges the reality, but tries to fit it into a puzzle, like this was supposed to happen; some natural endpoint to a series of events that preceded it. Or it’s just a temporary challenge to be overcome if I can fit the pieces together.

It really happened, it can’t be undone, and there is no reason to it. It was random and it was terrible. I guess that sums up life, for those of us still living it.

At least I have memories that will, one day, bring me happiness. I love you so much, Willow.


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48 responses to “”

  1. Diana Shamdai Avatar

    Oh, I am so sorry. Poor Willow 😦

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  2.  Avatar

    Oh, I am so sorry. Poor Willow 😦

    Like

  3. lookitsbray Avatar
    lookitsbray

    Dude I'm sorry for your loss buy I'm new around here I guess. Who's Willow?

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  4.  Avatar
    Anonymous

    Dude I'm sorry for your loss buy I'm new around here I guess. Who's Willow?

    Like

  5. EVILFLU Avatar

    I am so sorry. I feel like I need to give you a great big hug and I am so sure that Willow appreciated every moment you spent with her and I could tell that you loved her very very much.

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  6.  Avatar

    I am so sorry. I feel like I need to give you a great big hug and I am so sure that Willow appreciated every moment you spent with her and I could tell that you loved her very very much.

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  7. Katrina Avatar

    Oh, Phronk, I am so sorry for your loss. Losing a pet is hard — especially when it's so unexpected. We're still feeling pretty sad about Gordon. I think Evilflu's right though, and Willow appreciated the time you had together and she knew that you loved her. If you ever feel like you could use some canine company I'm sure Mosely would be happy to spend some time with you.

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  8.  Avatar

    Oh, Phronk, I am so sorry for your loss. Losing a pet is hard — especially when it's so unexpected. We're still feeling pretty sad about Gordon. I think Evilflu's right though, and Willow appreciated the time you had together and she knew that you loved her. If you ever feel like you could use some canine company I'm sure Mosely would be happy to spend some time with you.

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  9. Hey Lady! Avatar

    Seriously, this is one of my greatest fears. I am so sorry.

    She knew how much you loved her. Dogs are happy just to be near us. You gave her everything and she gave everything right back. This was a beautiful way to honor her and I'm glad you decided to share. I know it was hard.

    I actually made me cry. I feel for you, and I know in time it'll hurt less (isn't that what “they” always say?).

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  10.  Avatar

    Seriously, this is one of my greatest fears. I am so sorry. She knew how much you loved her. Dogs are happy just to be near us. You gave her everything and she gave everything right back. This was a beautiful way to honor her and I'm glad you decided to share. I know it was hard. I actually made me cry. I feel for you, and I know in time it'll hurt less (isn't that what “they” always say?).

    Like

  11. Mark Avatar

    My condolences. Losing a loved one is never easy, and even harder when you're not ready for it.

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  12.  Avatar

    My condolences. Losing a loved one is never easy, and even harder when you're not ready for it.

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  13. Erin Avatar

    Just terrible. I'm so sorry.

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  14.  Avatar

    Just terrible. I'm so sorry.

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  15. Brian Frank Avatar

    I know that feeling…

    Best wishes.

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  16.  Avatar

    I know that feeling…Best wishes.

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  17. Phronk Avatar

    Thank you for the condolences everyone. You're all very sweet.

    I wasn't sure if I should write about this publicly but it was helpful to get it out there and know that you internet friends are updated on my life.

    This happened last Friday and I'm starting to feel a bit more like myself today.

    Oh and BRay, Willow was my dog. OBVIOUSLY. 😛

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  18.  Avatar

    Thank you for the condolences everyone. You're all very sweet. I wasn't sure if I should write about this publicly but it was helpful to get it out there and know that you internet friends are updated on my life.This happened last Friday and I'm starting to feel a bit more like myself today.Oh and BRay, Willow was my dog. OBVIOUSLY. 😛

    Like

  19. Tigerlily Avatar

    Sorry to hear about Willow. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about loosing my Gaia.

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  20.  Avatar

    Sorry to hear about Willow. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about loosing my Gaia.

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  21. Forest City Fashionista Avatar

    I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Pets love us unconditionally, are always in the moment,and are just happy to spend time with us–how wonderful is that? It will get easier, give it time, and meanwhile, know that we are thinking about you!

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  22.  Avatar

    I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Pets love us unconditionally, are always in the moment,and are just happy to spend time with us–how wonderful is that? It will get easier, give it time, and meanwhile, know that we are thinking about you!

    Like

  23. lori Avatar

    I'm really sorry for your loss. ❤

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  24.  Avatar

    I'm really sorry for your loss. ❤

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  25. Von Avatar

    I'm sooooo sorry to hear about Willow. She was an amazing puppy, and the sole reason I met you. Remember?

    Jesse and I used to walk Casey, the abused black lab we adopted, and we often would find either you or Vanessa walking Willow. The dogs would get along, and play a little, and I asked what her name was and you guys replied that she was named after Willow in Buffy (which is super apt, because she's flighty, and playful and like a little princess – like when she stamped her paw on the ground for attention). Then we proceeded to tout the joys of Buffy and proposed a Buffy marathon.

    I'm so sorry to hear about Willow. I adored her, and this post makes me cry. I hurt to know you're hurt, and I hurt because Willow made an impression on me, and I loved playing with her.

    I hope you feel better soon.

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  26.  Avatar

    I'm sooooo sorry to hear about Willow. She was an amazing puppy, and the sole reason I met you. Remember?Jesse and I used to walk Casey, the abused black lab we adopted, and we often would find either you or Vanessa walking Willow. The dogs would get along, and play a little, and I asked what her name was and you guys replied that she was named after Willow in Buffy (which is super apt, because she's flighty, and playful and like a little princess – like when she stamped her paw on the ground for attention). Then we proceeded to tout the joys of Buffy and proposed a Buffy marathon.I'm so sorry to hear about Willow. I adored her, and this post makes me cry. I hurt to know you're hurt, and I hurt because Willow made an impression on me, and I loved playing with her. I hope you feel better soon.

    Like

  27. Candice Avatar

    Sorry for your loss, Phronk! Sounds like Willow had one love-filled life, though. I hope there's some comfort in that.

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  28.  Avatar

    Sorry for your loss, Phronk! Sounds like Willow had one love-filled life, though. I hope there's some comfort in that.

    Like

  29. aimee adler Avatar

    Deepest sympathies. It gets easier.
    Eventually.

    Take care of yourself.

    Like

  30.  Avatar

    Deepest sympathies. It gets easier. Eventually. Take care of yourself.

    Like

  31. Jen Avatar

    I'm so sorry to hear about Willow! I hope that you're doing well, and starting to move into the happy memories stage.

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  32.  Avatar

    I'm so sorry to hear about Willow! I hope that you're doing well, and starting to move into the happy memories stage.

    Like

  33. knitty_kat Avatar

    My head is spinning and my heart pounding. Random? I'm so sorry for your loss.

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  34.  Avatar

    My head is spinning and my heart pounding. Random? I'm so sorry for your loss.

    Like

  35. tornwordo Avatar

    So sorry for your loss. It hurts so bad, I know. I hope she visits you some more in your dreams.

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  36.  Avatar

    So sorry for your loss. It hurts so bad, I know. I hope she visits you some more in your dreams.

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  37. Tatiana Avatar

    Hey a couple of thing – first off my deepest condolences. I know the pain and it takes a while. Took me six months to get over the unexpected death of my cat. Secondly one of the worst feelings when grieving is waking up fuzzy and happy and then the memory hits you like a ton of bricks. Thirdly, I have in my possession one of the most beautiful things I've ever read on losing pets and death in general. It hit me like an anvil with it's beauty and truth. I will send you a copy but it's not mine to share with the world. Hang in there!

    Like

  38.  Avatar

    Hey a couple of thing – first off my deepest condolences. I know the pain and it takes a while. Took me six months to get over the unexpected death of my cat. Secondly one of the worst feelings when grieving is waking up fuzzy and happy and then the memory hits you like a ton of bricks. Thirdly, I have in my possession one of the most beautiful things I've ever read on losing pets and death in general. It hit me like an anvil with it's beauty and truth. I will send you a copy but it's not mine to share with the world. Hang in there!

    Like

  39. vodka and ground beef Avatar

    Your post made me really sad. Willow was lucky to have you, and it's the most difficult thing to lose a pet. I hope you find some peace by thinking about all your good times.

    Like

  40.  Avatar

    Your post made me really sad. Willow was lucky to have you, and it's the most difficult thing to lose a pet. I hope you find some peace by thinking about all your good times.

    Like

  41. Dan Avatar
    Dan

    This post actually made me cry a little. You're talent as a writer and your value as a friend to me has forced me to, for once, not make light of a situation. All I can say is that I'm sorry, she was a wonderful dog that deserved much more time with you. She couldn't have possibly had a better person than you looking out for her and caring for her while she was here however, and for that, she was lucky.

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  42.  Avatar
    Anonymous

    This post actually made me cry a little. You're talent as a writer and your value as a friend to me has forced me to, for once, not make light of a situation. All I can say is that I'm sorry, she was a wonderful dog that deserved much more time with you. She couldn't have possibly had a better person than you looking out for her and caring for her while she was here however, and for that, she was lucky.

    Like

  43. katrocket Avatar

    I'm so sorry that you've lost a close friend recently. Sending you my sympathies and a hug.

    Like

  44.  Avatar

    I'm so sorry that you've lost a close friend recently. Sending you my sympathies and a hug.

    Like

  45. Phronk Avatar

    Thank you all so much for your kind words. I've been coming back here to send you all individual responses but then I get all teary-eyed and have to stop. So just know that your words mean so much to me, whether you're internet friends or real-life friends.

    Like

  46.  Avatar

    Thank you all so much for your kind words. I've been coming back here to send you all individual responses but then I get all teary-eyed and have to stop. So just know that your words mean so much to me, whether you're internet friends or real-life friends.

    Like