Thank you for your sympathies and condolences we received through text, email and comments. Marc and I really appreciate them.

* * *

Losing my dog Sheero is probably hardest loss I had to go through. This sounds a bit crazy, but for some reason, it seemed to be more painful than losing my grandma and my uncle. And that wasn’t because I loved the dog more. I shared the grief of losing my grandma and uncle with a lot of other people, but Marc and I were the only ones grieving for Sheero. That, I think, made the loss of Sheero more painful and harder to bear.

Sheero’s grave

I’ll have to be honest. I cried every time I remembered Sheero during the first few days of her passing, and spent the past week moping around the house—I didn’t even have the energy to go out and enjoy the holiday vacation. It took every inch of my willpower to write her my goodbye letter, and I kept wondering when the pain will ever end.

With Sheero gone, our house seemed more like a house than a home. It seemed empty. I kept expecting to see a bundle of white fur wagging its tail every time I looked at her favorite spot. I kept expecting a friendly dog smile and a bark every time I got up from bed. I kept expecting an excited series of barks whenever I picked up her harness and leash. But I got nothing. All these just exist in my treasure throve of happy memories.

I kept on thinking of what I could have done. “Maybe if I did this, Sheero will still be with us.” But as each day passed by, I thought about it less and less. There wasn’t anything else I could do, but to accept. I don’t have the power to go back in time and redo the things I could have done—thinking about what I could have done didn’t really help much, made me feel worse actually.

But I like to believe that there’s still a silver lining amidst all of this.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been watching the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and National Geographic a bit too often, or it’s simply because I’m just a logical person by nature, but I have always thought that there are logical explanations for everything. I might not have it now, but somehow, somebody somewhere probably had an explanation for something I couldn’t explain. Coincidence for me is really just a coincidence, nothing more, nothing less.

But grief can sometimes make you think otherwise.

Sheero’s passing came with such a huge blow for the simple reason that she was getting well already. She had a blood transfusion in the middle of the week, and responded wonderfully to the treatment. Even her attending vet was becoming optimistic about her recovery. Every day we visited and checked up on her, we were greeted with great news of her improvement—the vet even told us that we probably could take her home already after the weekend.

The afternoon of that fateful Friday, I woke up with an incredibly painful chest pain. My fault—my cough was getting worse and worse because of smoking. Due to stress, I slipped back into the habit, and found it incredibly hard to quit. I gave the vet a call and asked about Sheero, and she told us that our furry baby girl was starting to cheer up already—she even nipped at one of the vet’s assistants when he tried to change her IV. Thinking that Sheero was getting back to normal (I knew for a fact that she can be very rude when she felt like it, nipping at other people was just her way of showing she was the boss), I told the vet that we’d just visit the next day since I wasn’t feeling too well. I rested and slept, hoping that when I woke up, the pain would be gone.

I woke up to something much worse. Marc told me that the vet just called—Sheero suddenly had a cardiac arrest and went into a coma. Crying made my chest pain worse (I was already finding it hard to breathe), but I wanted to see my baby badly and dressed up as quickly as I could. On the way, we received a call from the vet that Sheero was gone. I was devastated—so devastated that I didn’t even notice that my chest pain was also gone.

Have you heard of the saying that dogs give up their lives to save their humans from harm, bad luck or sickness?

I have. I may be a very logical person, but grief made me want to believe that Sheero gave up her life to save me—she took the cardiac arrest that was meant for me. It just seemed to be the sort of thing she would do.

At the back of my mind, I know it was just a coincidence. However, thinking that some “supernatural forces” were at work, instead of the logical explanation of coincidence, made feel better. It gave me hope, and an assurance that I will see my dog again in the afterlife. I smile every time I thought of my dog patiently waiting for me at heavens’ gates, and found it amusing that Sheero would even follow me to hell and we’ll burn together if my soul didn’t make the cut.

It’s true that we sometimes attribute things that we cannot fully explain to be some kind of a supernatural or spiritual occurrence. Admittedly, I myself found it silly—it’s just not logical.

But now I realize it’s not silly at all. Thoughts of supernatural and spiritual occurrences can make up that silver lining amidst our grief—they give us hope.

And yes, I’ve stopped smoking. Totally. Just the way my furry best friend would have wanted it.