Go away, somewhere all bright and new
I have seen no other
Who compares to you
Tom Petty Wildflowers
An open letter to Breada
Hey, Breada, my dear dog, I know you are in heaven and can understand my words. You’ve been gone now for a month and I want to let you know what you continue to mean to me, good friend. It should be noted that I want to thank my dad, who trusted me to take on the responsibility of caring for you full time.
To start with, do you know, how being there when I’d come home in the afternoon, to an empty house, with my mother gone, cheered me up and made my day less lonely? You made a difficult time in my life bearable, with a wag of your tail, always waiting for your dish with dog food to devour. You lessened the heartache following me. I was always happy to realize I could care for another living being in such a trying time. Yes, you depended on me, but it was you who turned those moments of sadness into happiness. Since you’ve been gone now, I have gained strength, to know that our time together taught an important life lesson. Before and after you left, I learned to cry again, my feelings weren’t dulled to the pain of loss. How those tears after my mother’s death were able to be kept inside, I’ll never know, but I cried a river for my mother before and after you left me. You two are tied together in my heart, forever.
Yes, it was a joy to walk you to Bristol Community College, on those hot sunny summer mornings, passing people on the street, complimenting you, noticing your beauty. You were a special companion, Breada, the only dog in my life, who holds that kind of place in my heart is Molly, a Golden Retriever, the first dog I took care of for my dad. Who, in fact, made me cry like a child with my mother, in the middle of the Moulin Rouge Restaurant, many moons ago, when she finally went on to doggie heaven.
I want to express my gratitude, but the proper and eloquent words escape me. There are so many examples of the good times. Waking up in the middle of the night, petting you in the kitchen, kissing your cold nose and putting your goofy head in a playful headlock, was healing. Although, I’m sad now, things will get better and change with time, but I have a deeper understanding. You don’t know this, but you helped me grieve for my mother, appreciate my dad and start a new bond with my adorable little French bulldog, Rosie. I am stronger because of you, pretty Breada, fifteen years of wonderful memories to hold on to.
The hardest thing was to not be selfish, in the final days, that wouldn’t have been right. I know you are with my mother and Molly, along with many close relatives, who’ve passed on. I will forget the people who say dogs don’t go to heaven because your spirit follows me, as I make my way through the day. Yes, indeed, the process of grieving is always difficult and trying, however; I think I finally got a hang on it, to deal with loss, in a meaningful, healthy and productive manner.
To close, dear, Breada, love and caring, for those who need it, is a thing of beauty. What time took away from you in your outward appearance at the end, God has now replaced. You are jumping on the chair and wagging your tail as well as barking out loud at God’s telephone. Bye, Miss Breada, as you were known to my cousin Karen. I will always love and remember you!