Archive for July, 2010

It’s been eight weeks since my dog died.

In the days immediately surrounding my dog’s death, I experienced three incidents that affected me physically.

On the Wednesday before he died, I pulled (or possibly tore) my hamstring during my dance recital. On the Friday before he died, I had two moles removed by a dermatologist–one on my back and one on my wrist. On the Sunday after he died, I burned my hand on a toaster oven.

Eight weeks later, nothing is completely healed. The muscle in my leg is still just as sore as it was the day after I injured it (likely aggravated by the fact that I refused to stop taking dance classes over the summer). The spots on my wrist and back from where I had moles removed are plainly scarred. The scar on my hand from the burn is starting to fade, but still visible. And I still miss my dog.

Because all of these injuries occurred within a period of five days that will forever be defined by the loss of my dog, I can’t help but associate them with his death. In my mind, they are inextricably related.

I can’t help but be soothed, in some ways, that none of these physical marks have completely healed. It’s as if it’s my body’s way of telling my mind that some things can’t be fixed in just eight weeks.

And because the injuries are so connected with the experience of losing my dog, I can’t help but think of them as my “Felix scars.”

I have actually gotten used to him not being in my house anymore. I don’t expect to see him when I go home, and I’m not surprised when his bed is missing from my room. I don’t have to stop myself from setting out food for him in the mornings. Strangely, the scars are some of the best reminders I have of what it was like to have him be part of my life.

Given that, do I even want to be fully healed? I’m not sure I want to give up these reminders of the last time I ever spent with such an important friend. I do wish that my leg would not be so uncomfortable, but I’m not sure I’d ever choose for my three Felix scars to fade. I know I’ll never forget him, but somehow the scars make it easier to remember.


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