All of us have lost loved ones, be it a friend, family member or a beloved companion. It is never easy. We mourn their passing and not just because they are no longer with us, but also because we miss how they made us feel. Whether they made us happy or sad, or a combination of both, is something that we will miss. There is no real replacement for that void. We can make new friends, add to our family or even get a new companion, but it won't ever change the fact that they are gone.
My first thought is to be thankful that I got to know them. Had there been only a slight alternation in my life, I would have never followed the path that led me to them. I would have never had the experiences and memories that I will treasure or the great stories that I can tell others. Of course, I am sad but I am heartened knowing that I had a bond with them that I won't forget. And that is a blessing.
Daron's beloved dog, Max, who I gladly called my nephew passed away recently. Some of you may think the words above are a bit over the top in speaking about a dog but I disagree. Max was a wonderful dog and a true friend (and nephew). I have know Daron for 17+ years and he has had Max for almost 14 of them. What started out as taking care of a puppy dumped off by a roommate's girlfriend became something much greater. Max was Daron's son (although they looked nothing alike). He was as much a son as any child. Strangely enough, he was more human than a lot of kids I have met. Max was very intelligent and was not afraid to throw a tantrum if he didn't get his way. Daron will tell you that there was many an evening that he would come home late and Max would show his disapproval by trashing his office and CD's.
Max was a loving dog and was happy playing in the backyard as he was being wrapped like a burrito on a cold night on the couch. My favorite Max story stems from years ago. I crashed at Daron's apartment (on the worst futon ever created) one night and in the morning, Daron left for work. Max saw me on the couch under a blanket and jumped quietly on me (I didn't wake up) and burrowed himself between my legs and went to sleep. I woke up and attempted to get up and he viciously growled at me. Essentially, he pinned me to the futon for another hour or so until he was ready to get up. I still smile at that to this day.
I am really going to miss Max. He made me a proud uncle. He brought a lot of joy and love to his family and we all thank him for it.