I’ve been telling myself for months that I would sit down and write this. I owed it to myself to do this in 2020. Writing is an outlet for me and I’ve not been doing it as much as I should want to. Should implies that I have to and I don’t have to but I want to write more.

Losing Duke has been the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. Infertility, IVF, and miscarriage were so hard and still are. The losses that occurred during infertility treatments seem less intense most days but it’s still hard. With losing Duke, tears creep out almost daily.

Infertility had a lot of excitement. There would be pockets of disappointment. I’d cry and then look forward to the next step. A rollercoaster of emotion for sure but there was usually something exciting to look forward to and something to have hope for coming up. A new treatment, a need medicine, or something unexpected. It kept us on our toes for sure.

After our miscarriage, it took about a month to feel the light again. The next round of IVF was coming up and that was exciting. Hope was there. A potential baby could be born. It was so exciting.

This grief is sad. It’s heavy. It’s dark. And it has been for months.

This loss doesn’t have hope of something new. I’ll never have my boy back and that still stings and burns. The tears that accompany thoughts of him hurt my eyes and burn like fire. I laugh and smile now and then about our time together but mostly, it hurts. I see so much of Duke in Diesel and I love that but it also is a reminder of what is missing. There are so many mixing emotions that are swirled together.

My animals are my children. I lost my son and he meant and still means everything to me. I wish he could come back. It’s hard for my mind to wrap around the finality of his death still. I think he’s on vacation and he’ll be home soon. I think I see him out of the corner of my eye. I see his box of ashes and photo and tears drip out.

Grief is hard. It’s messy. It’s ugly. It’s beautiful. It’s devastating. It’s healing. It’s all these things all at once and so many, many more.

I’ll miss his grumbles when I kissed him when he was tired. He hated when I bugged him while he was trying to sleep.

I’ll miss his obnoxiously loud bark when the doorbell rang.

I’ll miss seeing him snuggle his daddy.

I’ll miss him when I take Diesel through drive thrus and they send a treat for Diesel and say “Just one?”, “Yes, just one.”

I’ll miss how excited he got when friends and family came over. He loved so deeply and was loved so deeply by so many.

I’ll miss how he won’t be here for every hard thing. He always licked away my tears after every failed round of treatment to add a baby to our family.

I’ll miss how his fur looked in the sun. The red showed so bright and it was beautiful.

I’ll miss him in the fall leaves. He was made for fall.

I’ll miss seeing him open presents. He loved shredding the paper.

I’ll miss stacking treats on his muzzle while he patiently waited for me to say “OK!”.

I’ll miss him in the water. He loved to swim. His playfulness in water brought me so much joy.

I’ll miss him in the snow. He loved snow and got so excited every time we played in it. We played in it so much.

I’ll miss him on holidays, birthdays, rainy days, sunny days, snowy days, quiet days, crazy days, and every day in between.

Forever wouldn’t have been long enough. I pray I get to see you again someday and squeeze your neck while you lean into me.

I’ll miss you forever Duke. I love you.

2 thoughts on “Duke

  1. Oh Duke. What a tremendous loss. He was incredible; I can tell from the photos. I took a moment and really looked at him in every pic. So expressive, so handsome, so much everything good. It is easy to see why you miss him. I am so sorry his physical presence is no longer part of your every day. You, your husband, and Diesel are definitely in my thoughts. Thank you for this beautiful tribute to Duke and for your very relatable thoughts on grief. Love, Phoenix

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He is so much of those things. Thank you for seeing him, who he is in the photos. I always said he had ocean eyes. They seemed to go on forever.

      Thank you for sending us your love 💙


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