It has been seven days since I lost my beloved Fynn, “my lovely darling” as I used to call him. This time last week he was alive and we were at the vet.
I was trying to find a way through, to avoid the end of our 15-year relationship — and it was a relationship in every sense of the word. We did everything together. The mundane of our lives together was the joy. At night we breathed together, snored together; in the morning we strolled together, we ate together, we hung out together, grieved together when we lost his mate, Harper, 18 months ago.
After that loss we were even closer. He trusted me and I took his life in the name of kindness and to avoid him ending up in pain. Taking life is abhorrent and distressing to me, even with this type of so-called mercy.
I felt I betrayed his trust. It crushed me, those last moments as I held him, weeping as I nodded to the vet. He didn’t want to go, which made it all the more difficult, his final whimpering to me as I told him: “I’ve got you, I’m here, I’ve loved you your whole life.” His big beautiful heart as it stopped beating.
I regret nothing about the life we shared together. Now the grief is all-consuming. He was my friend, my companion, as WH Auden said in his poem Stop all the clocks: He was my North, my South, my East and West, My working week and my Sunday rest, My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song; I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.
When no one else was there and my world fell apart after my brother’s suicide, my redundancy, my heart blockage, he was the constant, my purpose to keep going. Now the house is empty and cold. I cannot move any of his things; his stuff is everywhere, his lovely smell. I walk our walk each day and can’t stop crying.
Only those who have been lucky enough to experience this kind of close bond will truly understand. And why in our society are we not allowed to grieve? Where is the understanding, dignity and respect of letting someone grieve?
It has been only a week and I’m supposed to get over it and, yes, I’ve been told to “pull yourself together”.
I’ve heard all sorts of justifications and platitudes from well-meaning people who don’t realise the impact on me of losing Fynn. People telling me what to do, what to feel and, astonishingly, asking “are you going to replace him?” as if he were some kind of handbag.
I keep repeating one thing to those people. I loved him, I … just … loved … him.
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