Our Zippy is gone.
It is very hard to be without Zippy. I see her everywhere---lying on the hall; sacked out in the bedroom; passing by me in the bathroom as I wash my face; sleeping in the doorways of the apartment, one after the other, during the course of a day. In the afternoon, she would nuzzle my leg in a gentle request to take her for a walk. That didn't happen the last two weeks of her life. She walked, but slowly, pulling back on the leash until she had gone halfway---then eager to get home, picking up a little steam, reluctantly.
Then after a short walk, her legs suddenly quit---her hind legs splayed out, and she could not get up again. Our walks had gotten shorter and shorter, and that particular day I knew that they would be no more. For the first time in months, she did not eat her evening meal, even with the tidbit goodies sprinkled through it. She was telling us something sad.
The next morning we knew. She looked at us with eyes that clearly said, "I can't do this anymore."
We made arrangements. Zippy let us hug her and hold her for a few minutes, then hobbled off with the veterinarian without so much as a murmur of sadness. She was ready. We want only to remember her as she was---zippiness itself, hyperactivity to the fullest, love, total acceptance, companionship, best-friendness.
We never could imagine life without Zippy, but here it is. Tears are good and necessary, and the ache in our hearts---so excruciatingly painful---will somehow subside. In the meanwhile, we will not harden ourselves against the grief. We will let it flow naturally because without grieving, we cannot heal.