Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Broken

55 Comments

I’ve written posts of celebration for other dogs. Friends’ dogs, dogs I loved, some I’d met, some I only knew online. Those posts flowed from my heart through my finger tips, past my tears and onto the screen as if by magic.

But this is my girl.

And the pain, so deep, is creating a fortress wall high and wide, filled with hidden devises ready to ignite without warning as memories explode and fade in my mind like 4th of July fireworks.

The words in my heart, aching to be set free by my finger tips, are trapped.

This is the time to celebrate Katie, to sit and remember all fifteen years, five months and twenty-three days of her extraordinary life. To relive the adventures, the funny head tilts, the squirrel alerts, the soft tummy tickles.

And I will do that, am trying to do that.

Just not quite yet.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

55 thoughts on “Broken

  1. Oh, such loss. I’m sorry.

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  2. Don’t rush it; grieving is a process. Agonizingly long the more a loved one meant to us. Skip a step and you’ll have to come back to it later. There was such a void in my life when my dog of a lifetime passed away that I filled it with 9 other dogs. Wouldn’t trade any of them for the world, but not a grieving path I would recommend.

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  3. She was so special 💔

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  4. I know you guys had some extraordinary adventures. Savor those times. RIP Katie Girl

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  5. Take your time and feel your way through as best you can. I often think that grief piles on. A new grief brings up the pain of the old griefs, and yet it doesn’t take away from the rawness of the new one (not sure that statement makes sense but can’t think of a better way to phrase it). Hugs and love.

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    • Yes, when dad was killed all the grief we’d already experienced with my best friend and my mom and Bruce’s dad and my aunt all came rushing back. It was overwhelming. This grief is very singular, very specific. It’s as if I didn’t understand, when I made the appointment, that she was going to go away and never come back. It was almost like making a vet appointment, which I’ve made many…and it was a procedure….like others…but then the vet took her with him and I don’t think I was ready for that. Even though I knew that was what was going to happen, and I knew she was tired and sad. Still…the reality that she won’t just be back in a day or two…that’s so hard.

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  6. There is no time line. There is you and your feelings and life and memories. Let it all be. Don’t try to be where you are not. Be like Katie lived: in this moment of time. Breathe and lean into the things that feel like love.

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    • Thanks. This moment is very hard…but I know it will get easier. I’m going to go on a little trip over to the west side of the state for a couple days (Milky Way is up!) and that will help. It’s hard to be here without her.

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  7. There is no set time to grieve, my friend. As Beth said, breathe in and lean into the love…

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  8. I picture Katie sitting here reading this and thinking, “Of course, this takes time. I am a Princess, you know!”

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  9. Broken. The title of your post says it all. Grief is personal. Take all the time you need, or don’t share it at all. No expectations here. Peace and hugs!

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    • When dad was killed I shared a lot and it took some of the grief from me and spread it among my friends and family. That helped. This grief feels different and I am not sure, yet, what to do with it.

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  10. It takes so much time, and even these 10 years later the sight of a cocker spaniel can unleash the grief again. Broken is apt. My heart goes out to you ❤

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  11. Yes, your heart is broken. I’m with Michelle. Take all the time you need. Hugs from Maine.

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  12. I was thinking about you this morning when I was working on my Tuesday’s Tune post and have been since last week. Our pets come into our lives and leave us better people. Be comforted by the memories of the times you shared the earthly bond. Peace.

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  13. You need time to just be and to grieve, there is no perfect way to do it, you must just stumble along and do what you can do. You loved Katie and that means you must grieve for her, it isn’t any thing you can just put behind you or get over. Sometimes a photo of Chance will make me sad…and he has been gone a long time. Sending you a hug:)

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    • Sometimes a photo of Chance, on your blog, makes even ME sad and I never met him! He seemed like such a great dog. Yes, I have memories almost every day that pop up in Facebook of her. I realized about 6 months ago that I was going to get a memory of her every day for forever. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it…but so far I’ve been glad to see her little face pop up on my laptop every day.

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  14. Dawn, how well I remember those early days right after Dallas got his wings. The incessant crying, the reading posts about other owners who’d lost their dogs. I obsessed big time, but it was totally necessary. We all grieve in different ways for different lengths of time. Let NO ONE tell you it’s time to move on — it’s time only when YOU are ready. In the meanwhile, just know the right words will come (probably when Katie sends them your way!) And trust me, this too shall pass and all your memories will be happy ones. I know, when people told that to me, I didn’t believe them either, but time has a way of healing us. You had 15+ years with your girl — you can’t expect to gloss over that. I’m sorry the loss is still so raw, but know there are many of us who are grieving right with you. Hugs from HOT Central Illinois.

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    • I know you know. And I imagine Katie has a lot to say about this latest adventure she’s on. I sat out in the back yard in the space where we let her go 2 weeks ago and asked her to please come visit me, told her I was going camping this weekend (though it looks now like maybe a hotel) and that I hoped she’d come along. She didn’t answer but I know she’s there.

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  15. When so much of our life is spent with someone – and dogs are someones – saying goodbye is not easy, nor is it quick. She’s been central to your life for over 15 years, accepting the loss will not happen instantly. As so many others have said – take your time, let the grief flow, follow your heart.

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    • I will never let her go completely. I think I have my childhood dog Sam, but he was very old and not living with me when he died. And our first sheltie, Daisy died unexpectedly at 10 one year into our marriage, that was hard, but sudden and we got Bonnie two weeks later. She died on her own terms here at home with both of us with her, and a month later Katie leaped into our lives. We haven’t been without a dog for very long, and she is the only one that made me schedule the appointment. We told her a few weeks ago we expected that, she’s too stubborn to just go on her own. Silly girl.

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  16. I won’t give you advice. You will feel what you can’t help feeling and do what you need to do. I’m so sorry for the hurt but/and — happy for the love!

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  17. I’m ready to hear every bit of it when you are ready, Dawn.

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  18. Oh dear friend… it’s hard. I’m so sorry. Please don’t rush . Grief is real and it is hard. Just breath.

    Hugs to you…

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  19. I read your blog earlier today but couldn’t find the words to reply. Still can’t. But as I was driving today, I was in tears for you, Katie, Beckett and Keltic. I know it does get easier with time but some days are still so hard. Big hugs to you!

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    • I’m sorry, Helen. I so much wanted you to meet her. And this just brings up all the pain for you over your beautiful boys again. Thank you for the hugs. And all the support. Still looking forward to seeing you sometime this summer!

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  20. Dawn, you’re not broken.
    You have a Katie-size hole in your heart, and it hurts.
    Grieve now. We’re here for you now and whenever you need us.

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  21. I so understand – since I celebrated Khyra for her last week – and her khrossing – although I intended to get back to her blog for an official post after she became NAK, i didn’t – and at this point, I don’t think I will – she and NAL help me blog each day – and have shared tips and secrets with Willow –

    When the time is right – it will come –

    Whilst I was writing this, I had Toni Braxton’s Un-Break My Heart worm into my head – and pull it up on my phone as finished –

    Willow wishes she could cuddle and hellp ‘heel’ the feelings –

    H&K&W,
    Willow and Phyll – along with NAK and NAL

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    • I wish I could hug Willow too. Yours was the first dog passing in her own backyard I had ever read about, and was the inspiration for us letting Katie go free in her own backyard, under the tree, with big puffy white clouds gently rolling by. Thank you for that.

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  22. How can one capture life in words or photos? So hard.

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  23. Eight years later and I still cry. I’ve had so many “pets”, but that girl Alex was something else. She was a dog, but she was my friend and my family, just like Katie was for/with you. I still dream of Alex, and I swear she is actually there in my dreams. I miss her so much. Words don’t work here. Seems to me you’re right on track Dawn. Take your time … and Katie’s time. She’s still with you. Listen to her. I really like that you posted this. Bless you.

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    • I am sure I’ll still be crying 8 years from now. She was a special girl. I’m sorry about your Alex. I hope I dream about Katie some day. I had a dream about my mom a couple days before we let Katie go. I think she was here because she knew how much I was hurting.

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  24. the tears will stay with us… but once there is a smile with the tears… hugs to you….

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  25. Do it in your own time. We will be here when/if you are ready.

    In fact, you already wrote Katie’s tribute, right here, over the past 15 years! What more could a dog ask for?

    Hugs to you.

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