About 4 weeks ago, our doggie suddenly passed away. Cassi had been with me for 9 years and had been Little Man's best buddy from the beginning. Cassi was patient, kind and generally wonderful as Isaiah crawled all over, including on her! He would use her to pull up on and try and walk and she would just sit there patiently letting it happen. He would "exchange" toys with her, because in a babies mind the one the dog is chewing on must be more interesting than my toy :) And she would even help him clean his plate at every meal!
I knew it would be hard when she passed, but I really thought I had a few more years with her. Little Man handled it for the most part amazingly well. He commented that "Jesus took his dog", not in anyway angry about it just kind of matter of fact. While he still occasionally asks for her or where she is mostly he has moved on..during the daytime hours.
What I forgot to anticipate in the midst of my own grief, was what loss was going to trigger for him. It has been 4 weeks and we are mostly back to a normal routine. For the first few nights he was a "popcorn" child....up and down, up and down checking, rechecking and verifying that I was still here, that I had not disappeared. He would only fall asleep if he was touching me, could see me, feel me. His world of safety had been disrupted. Everything he had grown to believe would be there, the things he had trusted would be steady were not anymore. He is too young really to understand death and that life will end. And while he can not verbalize it completely, while he can not truly comprehend it all at 4, his body remembers loss...his brain stored the emotions..the fear..the hurt. And so we take a few steps back in order to move forward. We pause..regroup as a family and re-establish safety. We talk..oh how great it is now to be able to talk to him and have him talk. I love the growth we have experienced and while those weeks were hard I love seeing where we came to on the other side!
We love you Cassi girl and we miss you tons. Waiting to see you again at the rainbow bridge!