Today, I'd like to share something personal. It is August 2nd, 2020...
Which means it's been three years since my beloved cat, Buddy, passed away. He died around 8 p.m. after a terrible, four-month long battle with illness. He died at home, surrounded by people who loved him.
I hate August 2nd. If I had my way, we would go from August 1st to August 3rd. But since I don't have that power, I've dubbed August 2nd 'Sorrow Day'. It really is a bad day for me every year when my depression is heightened.
Although it's been three years, I still love and miss him very much. He was my childhood pet -- I adopted him when I was five, and he passed when I was eighteen. In a way, when he died, my childhood did, too -- as well as a part of me.
He was there for me growing up -- when I was getting bullied at school, when my parents were fighting and going through a separation, when my depression and anxiety became worse, whenever I wrote, whenever I was sick or feeling down, when my family was struggling financially and we lived in a tiny, cockroach-infested apartment, and my first heartbreak at seventeen.
He never judged, he only loved. The world would be a much better place if we all took that approach. He was curious, kind, gentle, and highly intelligent, and I will never have another like him. He was unique and irreplaceable.
He was my everything. I pray that he is at peace now with the Lord and looking down on me and my family (especially during these crazy times we live in.)
It's hard to explain pet loss to someone who has never experienced a strong bond with an animal before. Some people would say "it's just a pet." (Or, as my grandfather once cruelly said, "just go get another".) But you can't replace a living soul. I have two other cats now -- both of whom I adore -- but they are not Buddy, and Buddy was not them.
Rest assured, pet loss feels just as painful as losing a best friend or family member, especially when you've had them for more than a decade.
They become an important part of your life and your favorite part of the day. I used to love coming home from school to see him, especially after a rough day. He just knew how to make everything better -- it was instinctual.
I wish Buddy could be here today. I'd give anything for that to be possible. I wish he could've been here when we bought our own house, when I had my books published, or when I got my literary agent. I just wish he could see all the good things that he's missed.
I've seen him in many dreams (some call them 'visitation dreams'.) I had one dream where he was bathing in this bright, white light. I had another where I was petting him and telling him he was my favorite pet. Those dreams are beautiful, and I hope I have more. They bring me great peace.
I love you, Buddy. May I see you again at the Rainbow Bridge when it is my time to die.
If you have pets, cherish them while they're still in your life. Give them a big hug and kiss from me today.