I have been doing okay in grieving the loss of Lily. Some days I think about her more than others, she is still in my life in many ways. Last week I spoke to my mother, who had gotten Lily's ashes in the mail. I asked her what she had planned to do with them, but she didn't yet know. Right now they are sitting on a shelf next to pictures of Lily when she was in dog shows. Yesteday I suggested to my mother that she bring some of the ashes out here when they visit and we can scatter them at one of Lily's favorite places, like where she used to go swimming. I haven't had any sort of formal ceremony to mark her passing, or celebrate her life, maybe being there for scattering her ashes would be enough of a ceremony to help to move on a little more and find some closure for my guilt and sadness.
Yesterday Iris, for the first time in a while, said "Lily's at the doctor". I said no, honey, she's not at the doctor and that she wasn't coming home.
So, last night Iris woke up in the middle of the night and wanted to come in to bed with me. She climbed in and wanted to nurse, as we laid there together I was thinking about Lily's ahses, and where she would want have wanted us to scatter them, and how it would be to have a ceremony like that. As Iris finished nursing she said "Lily's not coming home". It startled me because I hadn't said anything about Lily while she was nursing, but it was all I was thinking about. I said, no, she's not, she was is heaven. Although I don't specifically believe in heaven (like God, heaven, hell, etc), I've been telling Iris that Lily is in dog heaven. We have a book called "Dog Heaven" that talks about dogs becoming angels and what they do in dog heaven. It's really sweet. Iris and I talked about when Lily used to swim. I asked her if she remembered Lily fetching her bumper at the lake, and she did remember. It was just so strange that Iris said that right when I was thinking about it.
I really miss having a dog around our home. Of course, I feel incredibly guilty feeling this way because in the last few weeks of Lily's life all I could think is how much work she was and what a pain it was to be a dog owner. I had pretty much completely forgotten how wonderful she was and how much I did enjoy having her around, even if it was stressful to take care of her on my own with a toddler and a newborn at home. I really want another dog, but in addition to it logistically not being a good time, I don't think my heart is ready. I would want a new dog to be just like Lily, and be sorely dissappointed if it wasn't. Some day, some day.