Most of the people that are going to read this blog are people who already know me, so they are likely to already know about what I’m going to discuss in this post. There may in the future, however, be people who read this blog who have never met me. As a result, they won’t know anything about what has happened in my life the last few months.
Roughly three and a half months ago, on 17th September 2013, my dog Mutley passed away. He was 14 and a half years old and had been in two – thirds of my life, if you want to get mathematical about it. He was my best friend, provided me with unconditional love for the entirety of his life and his parting was so sudden and unexpected that it was a massive shock for me and my family and a real struggle to get over. Yet, very soon after he left us, I had to dive straight into university life and being in my final year, I did not really have the time to process his death properly. Yes I did cry over the few weeks that followed and some of my closest friends were utterly amazing with the support they gave me, but I was so ridiculously busy from the time I got back to Hull (after travelling back down South to say goodbye), that I rarely had the time to stop and think about him. Although he was at the back of my mind always, I had so many other things to worry about, such as society shows, assignment deadlines, graduate applications, and so on, that he never really came to the forefront.
Now I’ve been at home for the Christmas holidays for almost a week and I’ll admit that I’m really struggling to cope. I’m incredibly happy to be back with my parents and Mabel, our remaining family pet, but there is a huge hole in our house now that is never going to be filled. Well that’s what it feels like at the moment anyway. Mutley had this huge personality and even if you weren’t in the same room as him, you could feel him in the house. I don’t want to lessen the love that individuals with siblings have for their pets, and I know that this may come across as a bit bizarre, but as an only child, Mutley was extra important to me and he almost became a surrogate sibling. Mutley was not just a pet, and that is why grieving him is that much harder. Now that I’ve handed in my work for the semester and I don’t have any extracurricular activities to think about and plan, Mutley is always on my mind. I keep expecting him to walk into a room, and there have been a couple of times when I’ve gone to call for him and then had to stop and remind myself that he isn’t there any more. That’s really hard. Whilst I know that my mum will never get over him leaving us, she even herself admits that she’s had the time to get used to him not being here, to process the grief properly. I haven’t. I’ve been away in a world of my own, much like I was in first, second and third year , and I’ve come back expecting him to be here.
All of this makes me wonder what grief actually is and what the expected time frame is for a person to get over someone they have lost. People say to think about the memories you have and the positive things he brought into my life, and I do everyday…but that doesn’t stop me from wanting him to be here! He was my life, I adored him and having one pet, not two, is something I don’t think I can cope with. Like I’ve said, I love being with my family, but I can’t actually wait to get back to university and re immerse myself in the stress of it all. I might complain about it at the time but it offers a massive distraction from the grief I have to deal with at home. I know that I will have to face it all properly at some point, and in some ways I already kind of am, but right now I don’t want to. My barriers are down from the pressures I’ve faced university – wise this last semester.
Before I finish this blog post, I’ve got to give particular thanks to Jemma and Charlotte who were rocks for me at the time that it happened. I found out about Mutley’s condition literally two days after I returned to Hull and they were the only people who were around at the time because I had gone back so early. But even if they had not of been the only people there, I know I would have gone to them first because they are amazing friends who have shown me time and time again that they will be there for me when I really need them to.
All that’s left to say is that I hope, in a year from now, I’ll have dealt with the grief, overcome it and moved on in a much more positive mind frame. Time will tell.
Thank you for reading. I just needed to get my feelings out on paper, of sorts.