Thursday, May 31, 2012

A month of firsts

This past Friday marked one month since our little Max passed away.  I can no longer count his time with us as being “x” number of days ago; from now on he has been gone “x” number of months.

It’s been a hard month of firsts for our family.

First full day without him.

First walk with just Marshall.

First week.  First full weekend.

First solo dog bath, somehow using the same number of towels (no surprise to those of you who know our Marshall).

First day that I felt physically normal again.  This is what I never knew when there is an unexpected death – that your physicality changes.  You don’t feel like yourself; not just internally (emotionally), but externally.  Your skin, your hair, your muscles, your entire body.  You want nothing except to feel like your old self again.  And then one day you realize you do—and then that feels strange; a loss all over again.

First time since we walked into the emergency vet as two and came out as one that I could take Max’s leash out of my purse.  As silly as it sounds, I felt closer to him having his old leash with me when I left the house.

First time I could talk about him without crying.  I still choke up, but at least I’m not a blubbering mess.

First day I accidentally poured two bowls of dog food for dinnertime, instead of just one.  Without thinking; the old routine had never left my subconscious.

First time the UPS man delivered a package and left just one milk bone on the front steps.

First Memorial Day weekend without endlessly throwing a certain red ball on the fresh cut lawn with the smell of hamburgers grilling on the patio.

It’s been a tough month and we’re in for a rough year of firsts—first summer, first family birthday celebrations, first Thanksgiving and Christmas—they will all feel a little emptier without our gentle giant perched behind us on the sofa.  But I’m going to relish each of these sad firsts because I know the real sadness, the true heartache, will be when I can no longer say “this is the first time without Max.” 

When the months have passed and the year is over and we start another one dog short—and I still feel like it all happened yesterday.  He will always be my first in one way though.  He was the first dog I’ve ever lost.

I ordered these note cards just weeks before Max passed.
The "dog" icon looks nothing like a Bichon, but I couldn't resist  - they were so stinkin' cute.
I think every time I use one, I'll smile a little bigger.

Happy Thursday, everyone!

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