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I watched the sun peak up on the horizon and all the cars commuting to work. All the while Rita’s tiny body lay limp in my arms and the rest of the world went on oblivious to the fact it had lost such an angelic being. Her passing was as good as one could hope. I had woken early to make her special soup. I took her outside to go to the bathroom. She seemed to be recovering, but suddenly she collapsed and started twitching. I picked her up and she died in my arms.
It is funny how what you complained about when someone was alive is what you end up missing the most. Of course I miss her sweetness, her smell, her weight when I held her, the divot on the bridge on her nose, and the cute grunting noises she would make. But I also miss her stubbornness and how she always found a way to get what she wanted. Until the end she would find a way to steal the cat food or run away from the vet. My mom asked this morning, “How can something so little leave such a big space when she is gone?”
I don’t want to forget these things. I don’t want to forget how it felt to hold her or the details of her little face. I won’t see her when I wake up in the morning tomorrow, nor will she be there to greet me when I get home. I also know that the pain doesn’t go away, I will just become accustomed to it.
You always wish you had more time. She was my constant companion. She went through my masters and doctoral programs, treated patients with me at the clinic, and traveled to my talks and on trips. She was with me for all my ups and downs and knows me better than most people ever will. She gave me so much. I hope I was good to her too.