It’s been four weeks since Henry’s passing. I know I should put it behind me and muddle on, and sometimes I do.
But last night I dreamt of Henry and in my dream I heard his bark. It is a bark I recognize anywhere, and it was coming from somewhere in the house. Desperately, I set off to find him. He’s here!
“Henry,” I called out, hoping he’d run to me. But the barking continued as I searched every room upstairs and then ran down towards the kitchen. When I reached the bottom stair, he barked again.
Henry, buddy. Where are you??”
The sound was coming from within the garage! I swung open the door to the garage, and in the darkness I could make out Henry. He was there, along with several other dogs of all sizes and breeds. Though only Henry was barking. The others simply stared back, confused.
Henry!” I called with outstretched arms. “Come over here, buddy!”
Henry’s tail wagged as he began to move in my direction, and as he did, I couldn’t help but think how wrong the vet had been about his health. He looked fine, just fine. To my relief, he was okay!
I crouched and held out my arms to welcome Henry into my arms. How much I’d missed him! To hold him once more and to prove the vet wrong absolutely thrilled me.
“Come Henry. Come here, boy,” I beckoned.
The anticipation of holding him once again gave me joy. I shut my eyes knowing I’d be hugging him soon, and I was ready to sink my head into his thick furry coat and take in his scent.
“Henry!” I couldn’t wait another second.
I opened my eyes and saw nothing. My arms, empty and broken. And that’s when it hit me. Henry, along with all the other dogs I saw in the garage with him, are all gone. In fact, they were never there.
I know he’s gone and not coming back. The thought saddens me, true, but there’s nothing more to be said about it.
Oh, Monica! Hey, don’t ever think you need to put this behind you, never do this., or that it’s something you have to get over. Never! Never. It takes as long as it takes. A dog as important and beautiful in your life as Henry will always have a treasured place in your heart and memory. Over time the anguish isn’t as overpowering and you can hold him in your thoughts with reverence and joy that you two had a mutual admiration society going. (I was wondering about Oliver, too, how is he doing? ).
Karen, thank you for your words. There is something about our culture that makes me feel I must hurry up and get over Henry. Put it all behind me. I feel like I’m taking too long to mourn. Like Cher once said. “Get over it!”
So thank you to you and all who let me know it’s okay to keep feeling. Because even though I try to be my old self, I often feel like there’s this thick cloak of sadness wrapped around me, reminding me of my loss. Sigh.
By the way, see my response below for info on Oliver. He’s doing well. I will write about him soon.
I think that was a simply beautiful vision, Monica! Perhaps Sir Henry insisted on returning just to reassure you that he’s okay, has found friends, and is no longer in pain or misery. Isn’t it amazing how all your senses were focused on him — the sight of him, the familiar scent, the hearing of his bark? But when it came time for the expected welcoming hug and lick, they weren’t there, and I’m sure that lack made you miss him all the more. Hugs, my friend. By the way, how’s little Oliver doing as an only dog??
So far, not a day goes by that I don’t think of him. For me, his presence is still everywhere. In fact, some days I don’t even cry. But then something happens. Like yesterday. I checked the mail and there were two condolences cards. One was from the vet’s office. The entire team had signed, including the doctors and for some reason that brought tears to my eyes all over again.
Oliver is fine. I’m doing all I can to give him special attention. We walk to the park everyday, and a few times I bring a tennis ball. Fetching is his favorite thing. I will write about him soon. Thanks for asking.
Aw, what a sweet thing the vet’s office did for you! Henry’s death probably affected them too. I’m glad Oliver is a comfort and joy for you during this period of grief. Take your time to heal — there’s no established time limit for tears. Hugs, my friend!
Aww bless. He came to you in your dream to let you know he’s ok and with new friends.
I like to believe that there’s an afterlife and that it’s not all in vain and for no good reason, even though my mind suggests that it is. Sigh. Virtual hug 🤗
I’m with you, Gina. Not sure what to believe but it does give me comfort to believe he’s in a good place. That perhaps he’s happy or simply, at peace.
Hi, Monica. Perhaps the dream was Henry’s way of letting you know that he’s okay and that he’s not alone.
Pat, I think you’re right. It was Henry showing me all his friends. I did wonder why there were so many dogs in the garage and why he wouldn’t come to me. Why I couldn’t hold him once again. My poor Henry. He never knew what was hurting him or why. I never got a chance to help him.
Beautiful post Monica.
Lovely picture as well.
Dreams can be funny things, many we have during the night we don’t remember, others we always will.
This dream I had just before waking. It felt so real, so vivid. It stayed with me long after it ended. Sigh.