“Parting Words” Fiction. Based on a True Loss.

“Teary eyed, but still working through the pain and the loss…and the empty loneliness.” – David Shark

“Parting Words”

Fiction. Based on a True Loss.

by The Lily Maiden

This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.

Trigger Warning: our program often motivates people to discuss their trauma. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, please, take a step back to address emotional flashbacks and trauma before continuing to push yourself. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or the National Suicide Hotline at (1-800) 273-8255.

The times with you I’ll always remember:

  • When you were first brought to our door as a puppy, and all eight of us crowded around you, entranced by softness and wet kisses
  • Walking with you in the snow, watching you try to catch snowballs, the joy you exuded as you frolicked and rolled in the slush, you chasing after us as we sled down the hills on flimsy plastic, and greeting us at the bottom in a shower of flurries with crystals on your tongue
  • That time at the track when you peed on some soccer player’s gym bag, and we all ran up into the college to hide from the consequences, praying no one noticed–Mom said we should maybe offer to replace the gym bag, but Zach said no, that bag was probably a family heirloom that’d been passed through generations! We laughed so hard it hurt to breathe
  • Playing monopoly on the floor, munching fireplace-popped popcorn, and sipping hot chocolate with you sleeping between us all
  • You escaping from your babysitter and running all the way across town to be with us on Christmas night
  • You waiting for me outside my 5th grade classroom to comfort me after my crush called me ugly
  • Being convinced you were really a handsome prince trapped in a dog’s body, soon to transform and profess unto me your undying love
  • Crying into your fur on multiple occasions
  • Crawling next to you on your bed at 4am and covering us both with a blanket, because nightmares wouldn’t dare touch me with you standing guard
  • How when demons began to crawl inside me, you saw before anyone else suspected–you even once thought that barking at them would make them go away. It didn’t, but it helped. A lot.
  • The evenings you’d followed me as I paced back and forth through the house, over and over, to keep me safe
  • That letter dad sent me when I was in the hospital to have the demons exorcised, filled with pictures of you, and captions that read “I miss you and I love you.”
  • Scratches, tummy rubs, and messy tongue kisses
  • The evening that stupid fucking bird wouldn’t stop teasing you, and you chased after it in circles for HOURS, until your tongue lolled out and you could barely breathe, and all of us lay in the grass on our backs, watching you with blurry eyes, laughing so hard I bruised my ribs
  • Our trip to the river, when you were afraid we’d all float away from each other, and tried to herd us all onto the island, our ever-vigilant shepherd
  • Countless hikes and beach trips
  • Back when I thought I was mature and rational enough to make my own decisions, and I brought home that boyfriend who was hurting me– and you refused to play with him, even when he taunted you with a Frisbee on his hands and knees
  • You forcing mom’s hand up with your nose to remind her that having the flu is no excuse to stop petting you
  • Batting at our thighs with your paw because it’d been a few milliseconds since we’d given you attention
  • Holding your front two paws and dancing with you through the kitchen
  • That time you tried SO HARD to speak English, and we tried SO HARD to understand you
  • The way your ears would perk up and you’d slow your gate and crouch down when you were hunting, but you never could kill anything
  • That day you met Venus and she tricked you into thinking she wanted to play, only to hiss at you and scurry off, leaving you all hurt and confused, and the house in hysterics
  • Taking you with me when it was dark and I needed to go somewhere alone
  • The night you ate a whole plate of chocolate chip cookies that were perched on the counter in a position that shouldn’t have been physically possible for you to reach
  • You being unleashed in my bedroom on the mornings impending unpleasant events, to jump on the bed and lick me awake
  • You being my best friend, my bodyguard, my first familiar, my inspiration, my family, for 68.2% of my life
  • That I love you
  • And I’ll never stop missing you

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