One of the first things I ever read about grief was that you should never try and replace the loss. It made no sense to me. As if I was going to go out and replace my husband? I couldn’t even imagine.
But with the loss of Millie, I am seeing things differently, and I’m starting to see how people could conceivably try and replace a loss. I feel guilt that I am already looking at puppies, just two weeks since tragedy struck. I know I am still in deep grief because I continue to break down in tears. Some of those tears have to do with the trauma of having witnessed the accident, but a lot have to do with simply missing that little girl sitting on my lap all day, or crawling under the covers at night to sleep between my legs. I picture her lying on the deck in the sun, and my kitchen floor is covered in crumbs that should be hers.
After Harley died, we had a two year, dog-free hiatus. I was content to be dogless. I had no desire to run out and get another dog. Harley’s last years had been hard on us both and I had come to think of dog ownership as just another burden that I didn’t want to take on. But then Millie came along and changed all that. She was easy. And fun. And I fell madly in love with her.
So why the heck do I want to replace her so badly? And so quickly? Logic tells me no, but my heart has been scouring the Internet for puppies. I even found a full grown Boston Terrier who looks like Millie. And so I hesitate. I cannot replace Millie. She is irreplaceable. But I am willing to meet a dog who looks just like her. Will I be disappointed when this dog is not like her? Will I know right away if it’s right or not? Will a new dog come into our lives with the inescapable feeling of being unable to live up to herÂ predecessor,Â or will I fall in love with this new dog for its own sake, just like I did with Millie?
I like to think it will be the last option.