Saying Goodbye

July 28: My beloved Aly passed away in my arms…As he parked the vehicle outside of the Emergency Veterinarian Office, she took her last breath. Her scared eyes looked into mine and she knew that I loved her. She knew that she was in my arms and whatever happened next, wherever she was going, whatever she felt… Aly knew that she was safe in my arms. So, she looked into my eyes and I let her go.


Tyler had disappeared through the glass doors to retrieve a vet assistant even though he had heard me whisper, “She’s gone, Tyler” before he left.  I was covered in puke and the smell was awful – so I opened the car door. The brunette woman walked slowly towards me and my beloved pet as I lowered her body to the pavement.  

I had wrapped Aly in my bed-sheets when I took her into my arms and called for Tyler to hurry and find his keys.  When he realized what was happening, he became frantic and he had not yet regained control of his emotions.

I allowed this woman that I did not know to press her stethoscope against my best friend’s chest. I knew the words that were coming. I had already said them. I did not need her to tell me that my sweet Aly-girl was gone, but she did anyway.

“I’m sorry. She’s gone,” she said.

I nodded and replied, “I know.” I ran my fingers down her forehead and across her nose. I scratched her ears like I always had. I looked at her limp body and felt it growing cold against my skin. My sweet girl. I finally looked up to find Tyler. I saw him in the distance, sitting on a curb. He was shaking with every sob. I wondered why I had not cried yet. When would the tears start flowing? I called for him, “Tyler, can we go home?” and he stood slowly and made his way back to us; his two girls.

I said that I wondered when the tears would come. Well, I have never cried so much in my life. We buried her with my teddy bear…  her teddy bear. I took the turquoise collar from her neck before we lowered her into the grave that Tyler dug. There are no leash laws in heaven, I smiled … and told her goodbye.

I cried for hours. I could not stop. For an entire week I cried every second I was alone. I would wake up to the sounds of her retching, though she was not there. I dreamed that some evil person ripped her out of the grave. I woke up that night screaming to the image of her covered in brown earth at the foot of my bed.  I could not walk through my front door without bursting into cascades because she was not there to greet me. I could not get into my car without salty droplets rolling down my cheeks because I was never strong enough to make her stay at home. I could not sleep. I barely ate. I cannot remember showering. But I cried. Yes, the tears finally came and they did not stop.

So begun August

It’s October now.  Its been sixty-eight days since I promised her that “everything would be okay”. And even though I’m still not, I know she is.

Thank you, six year old, for sharing a deeper understanding of a beloved pet's passing with the rest of us.

My Girl

My Girl