Wednesday, January 23, 2008

How Harvey Healed my Heart

On Monday someone wrote a post to the GMGP Board that really struck home for me. She wrote about the traumatic death of her Greyhound, and about how even two years after her loss she still feels guilt and grief. I wrote this for her and thought I would share it here for others to read. If you are still suffering the loss of a beloved friend, please take some comfort in the fact that you are not alone.

Originally posted to GMGP on January 22, 2008:

When I read your post yesterday it reminded me of my own pain of losing my sweet hound Harper. I hope that by sharing my story of her will help you feel less alone with your grief of losing your beautiful girl.

I lost Harper just before Christmas in 2006. She suffered from a severe case of IBD, and had in fact been in foster care for over a year due to her chronic medical needs. I adopted her, and somehow thought that if I could provide just the right care that should would surmount that horrible disease. During our two years together I tried everything to keep her happy and comfortable, and for the most part she was. Eventually we found a cocktail of Eastern and Western medicine, and that seemed to be doing the trick. But, during that horrible week in December, IBD took its final hold.

Even now when I think of Harper, I feel guilt. I know in my mind that I did everything for her, but I somehow wonder if I could have done more. The last days of her life were spent at the e-vet, and I'm anguished to think of how she spent her final hours. Somehow, it feels like its my fault. I'm no longer inconsolable, but I still feel the twangs of pain. One day I hope that the pain dissipates, and I hope yours does too.

Just over a month after losing Harper, Harvey entered my life. I know Harper had something to do with the fact that he was paired with me, and I swear he bears Harper's spirit inside of his own.

I'm not sure what energy guides our universe, but I do believe that when the soul leaves the vessel that housed it on earth that its powers are no longer limited by the expanse of the mind. And when I kiss my sweet Harvey's nose and wrap my arms around his neck, I have to believe that Harper thought well enough of me to send Harvey down a path that led straight towards my heart.

So now, when I think of Harper, I look at Harvey and try to let my love for him conquer the grief that tried to consume me. I wish for you the same healing for your heart.

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