I'm very big on anniversaries. I don't do it on purpose, I just find myself thinking, It was this time last year...
Often my body knows the anniversary is coming before I'm conscious of it. Years ago, I would start feeling anxious, begin to have sleep disturbances, and it would occur to me that the anniversary of the assault was approaching. (This is very common for trauma survivors.)
But usually it's just once - one year. The anniversary brings an opportunity to remember, to reflect on what's happened since, to check the current path, maybe to mourn or rejoice.
This time last year, it was our last weeks with Buster, although we didn't know it.
Walking Cody in the morning, I've been thinking of B, and starting to cry, almost every day.
Two images keep coming to me.
One, a cold, rainy day in December. I kneel down, open my arms, and - bleeding, hungry, dying - alone, baffled, desperate - he trusts me. He puts his head down, creeps towards me. I put my arms around him and hold him against me.
That's how our six-year odyssey with this special creature began. His many issues and illnesses made him the focus of our lives. We almost lost him right before we moved to Canada, but survived that battle, only to lose him ten weeks later.
The other image that keeps returning is at the vet's office, his final moments. He sits in front of me, strangely calm, probably blind, almost certainly in pain. I put my arms around him, hold him close, ask his forgiveness.
Past experience tells me that once we're past the actual anniversary of Buster's death, I'll feel better. But this is a tough week.
On a happier note, we're ready to adopt another dog! We're just waiting until we're in the new place.