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Goodbye to sissy's sugar...

Goodbye sissy's sugar…

Started 11-27-23 and finally finished today 2-12-24

I've tried to write this so many times and just could not do it. And even now I'm sobbing. My parents' dog, affectionately called Putt Puppy, passed away. It was several weeks ago, but again, I couldn't process it at the time. I think he made it close to eighteen years. I called him sissy's sugar… I got to tell him goodbye, and I knew that was the last time I would see him on this earth at least. Then I tucked the grief away in my heart and saved it for a day. I was strong enough to handle it, strong enough to write about it.

Today was not that day, but if you've ever dealt with any kind of grief, you know you do not get to choose when it decides to be walked through. So, I was enjoying a Christmas movie, more than any I have in a while. A Christmas movie that had no dog in it at all and just as the end credits rolled, I realized I Was about to get hit with a wave of grief and emotion and ugly tears and sure enough it hit hard.

So, I decided now was the time to write a goodbye. I adored Putt Puppy, and I know he adored me, we had both been through a lot together and apart. Even though I didn't live at home with him anymore, every time I showed up, he was so excited. Even at the end when I'm not sure he could hear, and I know he couldn't see I was holding him, and I whispered in his ear "I love you Sissy's sugar" and he gave me kisses so I knew he knew who I was because he stopped giving kisses to most.

I will miss him forever….

I've lost a lot of friends, family, and fur babies over the last several years. Some way too close together and I know I have not yet processed all of it…I'm not even sure you ever can fully process all of it. I feel like I have been stuck in a cycle of processing different forms of grief one after another in waves for so long I’ve forgotten what it feels like to not be in the middle of that. Like waves, there are moments to breathe, but it often requires a lot of distraction. Which for me is even more difficult while managing health struggles. Grief fundamentally changes you. Sometimes I feel myself just shut down and I have to fight my way back to connection, some days that is easier done than others.  

But I have learned one thing about grief. The only way to heal from it in any form is to face it, to go through it. Cry, break, scream, do what you have to until it passes, and then keep moving…again, and again, again. And by passes, I don't mean over it. I've come to realize the healing that comes from grief carries a scar that never goes away. It is an oddly healed wound that sometimes hurts again and again, and again when you least expect it, and that is okay. But I have also learned I can’t stay locked in the grief. I cannot continue to live and love and learn and grow locked in that grief, that part I choose to do. I choose to do that because I know that the loved ones, the fur babies I’m grieving and missing would want that the most. They would want me to live, to love, to grow, and to be happy more than anything.

That part does get easier, the more you choose to do it. That doesn’t mean when you are in the middle of a happy moment the tears of missing someone won’t come back or that you won’t have to fight those stupid feelings of guilt for you being here when they are not. But that is when I pull back to knowing they would never want me to stay in that place of grief.

So, I pivot to the happy memories, to the things about them you miss the most, the good things and I try to incorporate those things into my life. If it's a person you are missing what are the best things about them that you can now do in your own life? The lessons they taught you that you can apply to your life now. A place they wanted to go that you still can.

 If it's a fur baby what is a way you can show unconditional love the way they do? What was a favorite spot you shared? It's a lot of little things that add up to big things. And lastly, it's supposed to hurt, that's how you know you are alive, that they were alive. That is how you know that you care that you love, and that this world that can be so cruel more often than not still hasn't taken away your heart.

Love in all its forms does indeed hurt. It hurts to lose it. But it's a million times more painful to have never loved anyone or anything at all. So, I am thankful for all the love my heart has ever been allowed to give and receive. I am thankful for the heartbreak that reminded me to cherish every moment of every day.

So, to my sissy’s sugar, I miss you, and just the thought of you floods my mind with memories, smiles, and tears. I know you are running around heaven having the time of your life now with all the rest of the people and fur babies I’ve been missing.


To everyone else out there, if you read this…. I hope your heart heals from the losses you can't talk about.


Bobbie De Leon



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