Saturday, January 28, 2012

Unsuspected parallels

I met N when she moved to California. I was new to the area, having spent less than a year here. I was walking the old dog, minding my own business, when she came to me, greeted me and said we were going to be neighbors. She also mentioned that she had a mini poodle just like mine, and that maybe we could walk our dogs together.

Indeed, right after she moved in, we became friends, and our dogs got along very well. She was very supportive after the first miscarriage, and also after the old dog died less than a month later. Still, one thing she said was that everything was going to be all right. What did she know? She had three grown kids, and a healthy dog.

Now N's dog has died too, and she is very sad, and nobody takes her pain seriously. And I wish I could tell her that she is going to be all right, but that would be a lie.

I have the yellow dog now, but I still miss the old dog. Whenever we go to places where we used to go with him, the memories still make me sad, even though it's been almost two years since he died.

All I can tell her is that yes, hers was a cute little doggy, funny, loving and well behaved, and that she has every right to feel sad about her dying.

Her pain is real and nobody should be telling her to pull herself together because it was just a dog, or because she could easily get another one if she wanted, or that she should get a shelter dog because there's many animals in need of a home.

Hey, all of a sudden this sounds familiar. I've been told that mine was just a miscarriage, not a real baby, that I could just (HA!) have another baby, or that I should adopt because there are many children in need of a home.

Argh.  People seem to have a limited repertoire, whether it's fetuses or puppies. Depresssing.


  1. If anyone told me my miscarriage wasn't a real baby I would probably punch them in the face!! People who haven't lived through something like that will never understand. Thank you so much for your kind words about Emily :)

  2. boy do you have the limited repetoire correct. sometimes I think people are preprogrammed with messages that they think will make everything "better" and they go through life never wanting to look at those messages and wonder whether those are the best way to be a friend/person/overall good human being.

    are you glad you have more depth :)

  3. We're terrible at coping with grieving or sadness in others. I'm glad your friend has you to let her grieve, rather than trying to get her to move on because it makes you uncomfortable. I can tell you - my pregnancy losses made me a lot better able to help my mother when my father died.

  4. You're an awesome friend! A loss is a loss is a loss. Some people just don't get it, which is a shame but in a way, I suppose they're lucky. Just wish that they had some sensitivity too. So sorry for your friend's loss.