Sometimes words fail me completely.
Today is certainly one such time. So I'll just dive in anyway, and hope to find them as I go.
Nearly three months after his diagnosis with anaplasmosis (and later kidney failure from this tick-borne disease), my beloved Charlie gave up on his fight with illness. He waited for me to wake yesterday morning, then quietly died in my arms on the hill beside our house.
It was a long and painful fight that led us there, and I'm thankful for him that his suffering is finally over. But the other truth is that I can't recall a time when my heart has felt so irreparably broken. Perhaps things are harder to understand when they come out of sequence. Maybe if he were old this would somehow be easier to accept. (Charlie was only 4.) Or maybe it wouldn't make a difference at all.
I do know that my house has never felt so lonely as it did last night, when – with Pete and the kids still in town – I returned alone to an empty house.
My Charlie. He will be missed. Oh, my will he ever be missed. My constant companion, my side-kick, and yes – my very best friend.
Safe travels, sweet Charlie. May many rabbits await you in the tall grass on the other side.