A few weeks ago, I dreamt about my Bodie-Boy. It was a joyous moment, and he was as happy to see me as I was to see him.
It’s the only dream of him I’ve had (that I can remember).
It’s been 2 months and several days since we lost Bodie. If I think of him, I still disintegrate into tears.
Because I miss him.
Because of the way he suffered in his last few days. Because I want to tell him I’m sorry for how he suffered. Because I tried to be with him in his last few days, but I didn’t know how much pain he was in. I really thought he would get better.
Because of the way he didn’t want to get into the car for that last trip to the vet. Because he knew. And I didn’t. Because maybe that wasn’t the way he wanted to leave - us, this life. Because I didn’t say the goodbye to him that I wanted to at the vet’s, because I didn’t feel I could get sentimental with all the vet people looking on matter-of-factly, and now I wish I had.
And because I’m so sorry.
There’ve been all sorts of adjustments to get used to, in all sorts of ways. I now call the casuarina tree under which Bodie is buried, the Bodie-Tree. I’ve put pine cones from the Bodie-Tree in a circle around his burial mound. I make an effort to walk down the garden to sit under the Bodie-Tree now, to read, and to stare up at the sky through the leaves, and to shed tears.
I don’t like driving past the vet where Bodie breathed his last; on the bad days, I’ll remember it’s somewhere I left him, away from his family.
I have to buy dog food for one doggy now, not two. It hurts to think about all the different things I bought and tried to make for Bodie when I was trying to entice him to eat in his last days – white rice, bacon fat, boiled chicken breast, tuna. They’re all foods it hurts to remember. I can’t feed them to Indi without feeling emotional.
Indi doesn’t react to his name. But it’s taken her weeks to move back to sleeping on the cushion that Bodie used to sleep on most frequently when he was ill. Indi has a habit of digging through the recycling tub for snacks. The first thing she pulled out after Bodie left us was the re-purposed milk bottle on which I’d written “Bodie Electrolytes” and which I’d finally emptied and put out; Indi left it on their (her) cushions.
Indi now chases and barks at things that used to be Bodie’s speciality – things that she would sit back and just watch. I don’t know whether she barks at them in his memory or because they’re bark-worthy.
Sometimes she goes sniffing in the secluded corners of the garden Bodie had taken to resting/hiding in, in his last few days. She never used to do that. She likes to lie in one of those spots, which was a place she wasn’t interested in before. Maybe she can still smell him? I don’t know. She smells his old home collar with interest, but she doesn’t react to it with sadness.
I think animals are wiser than us and understand a lot of things we don’t.
I know he was called back because it was his time. Because this was his soul’s path. I know there’s a bigger journey he’s making. I know he’s now free and happy.
I know when we buried him, and I put in the flowers for him from his daddy, his mummy and the baba he never got to meet, and his sister Indi, the wind blew through the casuarina tree, a little twig with some leaves landed on my hand to sit with the flowers. I know that was from Bodie.
I know that when his daddy was watering the plants in the garden the day after, a king parrot came and sat on a low, very visible branch and chattered loudly to him for 10 minutes. I know that his daddy has been visited by birds before and that he sees them as messengers. I know that parrot was Bodie sending a message - that he's well and happy.
I know that, within the first couple of days, a poo appeared near the bottom of the garden that didn’t look anything like one of Indi’s. It was half-normal and half-black (like Bodie’s had been when he was sick). I took it as another sign from Bodie to let us know his tummy was better and he wasn’t in pain anymore.
I know that, within the first couple of days, part of the doggies’ regular path in the courtyard was dug up – somewhere where they always sat or slept, but where neither of them had ever dug before. I take that as a sign from Bodie too. That's he's well enough to dig mischievously again.
So I know we’ve been lucky to have signs, and to know he has said goodbye to us and that he’s free and not in pain anymore. I’m so grateful we’ve been able to have him with us as long as we have.
My head understands. My spirit does too. So does my heart. They’re just taking a while to accept it.
I love him and I just miss him.