“Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.” –Vicki Harrison
I woke up this morning feeling sad. I had a tear streaming down my face before I got out of bed. The busy-ness of my birthday week is over and so are the distractions from my sadness. My heart feels heavy. It’s hard to breathe. I miss him so much it aches — especially in the morning, when I have to remind myself not to look over to where his dog bed used to be, to see if he’s awake.
Since Namo’s passing a month ago, I’ve received enormous support, messages, and heartfelt letters but there’s still a Grand Canyon size hole in my heart. Nothing seems to fill it.
Grief take us to the depths of our being and wakes us up to our capacity to feel.
Sometimes the enormity of grief hits me like a tidal wave, and I buckle over in the shower because I’m sobbing so hard. Other times, it’s a sharp bittersweet memory of our final months together, when I see a slow-walking, aging dog in the park.
Namo (short for Namaste) was the poster dog for unconditional love. He was my go-to comforting confidant for every breakup, business failure, and fear I have faced the past 12 years. He never judged me, just purely loved me with his big brown eyes.
When he passed away, I lost my best friend and my constant support system. The world feels scarier without him. It’s harder to reach out to people for support. With Namo, I just had to reach out a hand, or wrap my arms around his neck — much easier than picking up the phone to call someone.
Namo was always there for me, literally by my side.
I haven’t found someone or something to replace him, and intuitively I know that finding a replacement is not the answer.
There is no answer, nothing to fix. I’m allowing myself to grieve and take its natural course. In doing so, I’m reminded of why we’re here: to deeply love and be loved.
I know isolation is not good for me and that Namo taught me to share more of myself. He still tells me, now from the other side, that he loves me, and that I’m going to be okay.
Namo, I love you and miss you with all my heart, buddy.
Have you ever lost a beloved friend? There’s no way around the raw pain of grief — only through it. If this resonates for you, please share in the comments below. It’d mean a lot to me to hear from you.