Goodbye, Lucy

On Friday, December 15th – we had to say goodbye to our sweet, beloved and wonderful dog – Lucy. Honestly, I have written this blog post 3 different times and deleted each of them.  I thought I wanted to share exactly what happened that day but was having an awful time doing so. Not only was it startling and shocking – everything seemed to happen so quickly. We could hardly process what was really going on and it took us a few days to even comprehend what had happened.

I will say this – I instantly knew she wasn’t okay. One moment she was fine – the next she wasn’t. Within moments we rushed her to the emergency vet and when a doctor continually uses the word “unfortunately” you know what is about to happen.

We were promised she wasn’t in pain. I find peace in that fact. We never, never wanted our sweet girl to experience any pain or suffering – it was just her time. I could see it in her eyes, I just felt it to my core – but accepting and then experiencing all of that within a matter of an hour or two is something I don’t want to go into great detail about.

My husband and I are trying so, so hard to look for the good in this – even though the pain is so intense.

We were with her to the end. We were able to say goodbye. We were able to tell her how much we loved her, how she changed our lives for the better and how much we would miss her.

When you get a dog, you know they won’t be with you forever, but it is something you can’t ever bring yourself to think about – at least I never did. As I try with every fiber of my being to look for the good in this – I have a gapping hole and void in my day. It is no mystery from the hundreds and hundreds of photos that I have of this dog – that she was more than a pet, more than a dog – she was our family. Lucy consumed so much of my day in the most amazing way possible – I now have to find a new routine and normal. What is most startling is I thought I would miss the bigger things about taking care of her like walks, treats or her early morning feeding. But no… it is all the little things, the bumps, nudges, noises, and her missing presence that I am missing the most. I miss that lump on the couch, the noise she made when sleeping, how she followed me from room to room, the way she greeted you when you got home and the kisses, cuddles and hugs. Again, that void is currently too much to handle and navigating through this part of saying goodbye to her is proving to be the hardest.  I know it will feel less empty and not as painful as time goes on – but at this exact moment my home feels so foreign to me.

In all of this pain and grief – I am finding so much comfort in the photos. When everything was happening on Friday – my mind raced. Not only was I thinking about ALL the things but I naturally thought about photography… and I thought all kinds of things. Like “I don’t want to see ANY photos of her.” “I won’t be able to ever bring myself to my computer.” and “I don’t want to touch my camera ever again.” But I was wrong. I naturally went right to my computer. Right to the photos. Right to my camera. I began organizing and gathering. As I scrolled through the photos – I smiled. I cried. I laughed. And then, I realized that I just didn’t take a few photos of my dog here and there – I captured her LIFE. I told her story. I loved sharing her story. I loved finding new and creative ways to capture her, her personality and how much she meant to us. I mean, she was the very last frame on my camera from the day before. My memory cards, external drives and catalogs are filled with her.

Looking back – when I was taking those photos – I would tear them apart, critique them and be so harsh and critical about them. WHY?! Why did I ever do that?! I am honestly sad that I ever did.  Two project 365s later and hundreds of snaps, photos and edits – I have so much of our sweet dogs life – documented.

And there it was.

The good. The good in an awful situation. The photos.

Honestly, all of this has been awful. There is no other way to describe it. Just truly awful. But in these last few days, I have never felt closer to my husband, my family and strange as it sounds motivated. I am motivated to document our life, take more pictures and just cherish every moment we have together. There is no room for critique or scrutiny of my work. I just won’t be doing that anymore. These photos are priceless. Again – these.photos.are.PRICELESS.

I am working on a short video of ALL of the images – but have a feeling it will take a bit. There are just so many. I couldn’t help but share some of my favorites from the past few years.

In the end – I want to share one last thing before all of the photos. I firmly believe in signs and that God has a plan and reason for everything. As we left our home Friday – to escape reality and to try and process what had happened – a rainbow shined brightly over our home. Actually – it was a double rainbow. The brightest, most gorgeous rainbow I have ever seen. Granted, I know I live in Hawaii…I know we have rainbows all the time…I know this and that…but seeing that…in that exact moment…I knew my sweet Lucy girl was good and happy. I knew that it was her. I just felt it.

Lucy, we love you.