Ava Bean was the love of my life. I say this with the utmost sincerity. I told people this long before she was sick and while she was still here. I haven't been able to say the words dead or alive in reference to her because I don't want it to be real. I'm not entirely sure why I'm writing this now. I don't want or need pity. I have a lot of difficulty with past tense like " was" and "liked" I don't want anyone to ask where she is or what happened. Not in person anyways. If I'm going to cry I'd prefer to do that in private. I use the words "lost" because that's the word that resonates the most. Being here without her never stops feeling like I'm losing. I wasn't someone who posted updates detailing her condition. I didn't start an online fund to help pay for anything. I didn't make a collage of her life in exchange for "love and light" in the form of Facebook comments. And I wasn't someone who went away to find themselves after. But I'm all for whatever gets you through the night. When it ended, I worked a lot to pretend it hadn't happened.
Apologies to those who didn't know what was happening. There was nothing you could have done to help. It was a terrible Christmas and an even worse New Year. I haven't lost many loved ones and it turns out... I had zero coping skills. I'm now certain, that if there is a higher power it wanted me to grow up, fast. Since February, which is when we (the world) lost her *Yes she was that important. You would have loved her.* I've done a lot of research on how to "recover" from the loss of a pet. The words "Rainbow Bridge" come up a lot. Few ideas piss me off more than this Rainbow Bridge, shit. Call me defensive. And pray for anyone who tells me she was: "Just a dog".
If you've never had a pet don't try to understand what it's like to lose one. It's been suggested that my losing Ava was more traumatic because I'm single. This is offensive. Having a boyfriend doesn't safe guard or duck tape a broken heart. Would "he" love me back to normal? No pressure there! Who wouldn't want to sign up for that? Those kind of expectations are unfair, antiquated and destined to disappoint. It's a boyfriend not a doctor. No relationship could (or should have been) able to magically cure the pain associated with losing something I held so dear. There are certain things I can't talk about. Some of which related to how hard I tried to save her. There is nothing I wouldn't have done. A combination of denial, selfishness and my inability to let go have led to memories that will haunt me for the rest of my life. When she left us it was winter.
We decided to have her cremated because the alternative in Northern Ontario is to "keep them in the shed till spring" Ava was not a dog who spent time in the shed or a crate. She slept in our beds. There was no way I would risk having her little body preyed on by other animals. There is no honour in that. We asked that Ava be put to rest with her blanket. I thought since I can't be there to see her go at least something will. It was then that I received an email stating this wasn't possible. Despite hundreds of dollars spent to insure that she was privately cremated they had lost her.
They didn't know where her little, lifeless body was. Never in 30 years has it happened they said. My belief is that never in 30 years had they been caught. It took days to properly determine what had happened and where she was. I was told "Most people don't care" Ava's home now. She's kept in a tiny, wooden box with little flowers carved into it's top and her name on the front. There was no certificate. I choose to believe that they found her. It feels like her when I hold it. I have no choice but to believe that. If you have a pet please know that they live for you... they will continue living for you no matter how sick they get. Enjoy every waking moment that you have with them. Find a vet who's as serious about animal welfare as they are their next vacation. And if your pet won't listen or stop barking... know how fortunate you are that they're healthy enough to destroy your carpets.