Losing a pet is nearly always a painful thing. They were a member of our family who is no longer with us. This death of a pet leaves a void, an emptiness that will leave us forever changed. I’ve heard those who say they will never have another pet. That it is too much pain to go through again. Or that they could never replace their beloved with another. Of course they can’t. That’s not the point.
I don’t understand these people. That’s ok, they probably don’t need for me to understand them. I try to reframe the loss of death in a different perspective. The void that death leaves is a gift in a way. We were blessed to have a presence in our life that was so great and so valued that it was capable of leaving such a void. Over time the pain lessens. It becomes less sharp and eventually becomes more of an emptiness. But this emptiness one day begins to fill with wonderful memories. These memories will be with us forever.
I feel that it is a tribute to our lost one to some day have another pet. Of course they do not replace the one who has gone before. They are a new being that offers their own gifts. I feel that it would be selfish of me to never have another. Love should be shared with the living who can benefit. The love that I shared with previous pets, like my beloved Duncan pictured above, was such a wonderful thing that I want to have something similar with another. Even when Duncan was still alive I called him the greatest love of my life. Our bond was so meaningful and strong that I recognized it even then.
I’ve heard people say “I can’t get over the loss of (insert name).” I’m not sure that I want to get over such a loss. Pain does indeed lessen but pain also shows the importance of what was lost. If I didn’t have a great love, I wouldn’t suffer a great loss. Needing to recover from this pain and fill a void makes the loved one become a part of you forever. And with each memory that is melded into my heart, it mends. With each addition my heart grows. Until one day I hope my heart will be big enough to be filled with nothing but love . This is the legacy and tribute that I want to leave to the ones who have gone before.