Dealing with Death (죽음을 받아들이는)

Not a light topic especially during one of the most joyous times of the year I am content with discussing this topic as this past week marks one year since my 12-year-old dog passed away due to kidney failure.

Death is a hard experience to go through no matter if it is a family member or a pet that is loss.  In my family our pet was viewed more as a family member than a pet as he lived for more than decade with us.  Looking back life at home this year has been more quiet, solemn, and a little less brighter.  Some weeks and months after our dog’s passing I came to realize that while the tears stopped falling the pain of unending silence within our home remained.  No more wake-up barks to go outside in the wee hours of the morning, no more grinning snickers when anyone was putting on their shoes to prepare to leave, and no more warm furry welcoming embraces after returning home from a long work day.  No more of any of these things.

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As many close friends and family members gave their regards again and again,  my family learned to live with the memories and tried to find new joys to fill the void our pet had left.   For me, however, dealing with death this year was difficult.  Losing a member of our family that was a daily part my daily life was heartbreaking.  Since my teenage years my dog was my pillar of strength for consoling, my friend for late-night one-on-one talks, and my favorite/most preferred companion on weekends.  Losing all of that left me with many voids to fill.  Unfortunately, the majority of these voids remain unfilled. By choice though.  After making the decision this past summer to move abroad again I also made the decision to leave my voids open and let them fill up on their own.

For many people often times voids(i.e. pet losses) are replaced quickly with new pets. While nothing is wrong with adopting a new pet and welcoming a new family member into ones’ home it was not a decision I wanted to make.  I love my dog and cherish the abundant amount yet short time he lived under the same roof with me. I adore the memories and permanent marks(* wall dents, teeth markings, etc.) that remain.  Due to this I chose continually remember my pet, remember our home, and remember our neighborhood as it is and was when my pet was alive.

Although, my voids remain my family has been blessed with news of an additional member arriving in next spring, which has created so much excitement and joy this fall and winter.  Hearing the news months ago I have come to learn that dealing with death and the voids its creates takes time. But, eventually the voids will fill up on their own. It may take one year or more, but slowly and surely it will fill with new blessings and joys that life brings.







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