Dear Max

Dear Max,

I can’t believe I’m not going to see you again. Honestly it’s completely surreal that you’re gone. I love you so much that I’m okay with you going to heaven, because I know you’re so much better off there than you would be if you were still here, struggling to breathe and make it through each night at home. I’m so sorry for not coming home since Christmas Break. I know that I should have tried to come home, and I promise you baby that I would have if I had known. But it’s probably better that we didn’t know the last time we saw each other was going to be the last time. I was able to hug and kiss you goodbye without tears, and now the next time I see you will be when I’m in heaven with you.

Please don’t get frustrated with me for crying a lot over losing you. I know you’re probably up in heaven, chasing little yappy dogs and bubbles {if there are little girls there to blow you bubbles—maybe that’s just between you, me, and Mom}, and can’t understand why any of your family down here would be upset over knowing how happy you are now that you’re in heaven. But I guess that’s the selfish nature of grief: you cry over your own sadness at losing someone rather than celebrating the fact that they are in a place infinitely more comfortable and joy-filled than we on earth can even begin to comprehend.

There’s so much about you that I love so much. I love the way you would rest your head on my lap once in a while when we’d lay on the couch together. I love the way you would put your paws over my legs to keep me from getting up and leaving when I would lay down next to you. I love the way you chomped for bubbles when I’d blow them for you. I love the way you followed Mom and I if we left the room for a moment. I love the way you would walk right in front of the TV, making the awful clacking sounds on the tile floor. I love the way you would beg for my lunch or dinner, and I love the way you never failed to convince me to save you a French fry with your cute begging face. I love the way you devoured your treats. I love the way you would let me hug you {or force-love you, whatever you want to call it}. I love you so much that right now it feels like I can’t bear this loss.

But I know you were suffering, and I want you to know that I in no way am upset with you for being sick. If I had it my way sweet boy, you would have lived forever and been my companion for the rest of my days. Your body would have stayed young and healthy for years to come, and I would never have wanted you to leave my side for a minute. I don’t know why dog bodies don’t get to last as long as human ones, but I do know that human bodies wear out eventually, too, and that when mine does, I’m going to come back as your girl. I’m going to do everything I can do in my life to be kind and good, so that I can go to heaven, just like I know you have. I know that because you are the best kind of creature.

Please do me a favor up there and check on Citrus. I think you’ll remember him—we had him before we adopted you, but he went on to heaven four years ago. He’s orange like you, and he’s a good kitty. You used to be worried he would scratch you, but he was such a good boy that he never did.

Baby Mac, if you can read this or get this message somehow {I really hope you can}, please visit me in my dreams sometime. Your spirit is always welcome anywhere I am, I promise. I will look for you.

Don’t forget me, Maxwell. I love you so much. I will never ever forget you, no matter where I go or how many other nice dogs I meet. I know you could always be sort of jealous when I would pet other dogs, so just know that you’re my number one.

When Mom said that you were having some heart problems, I prayed so hard that you would recover. I wish I could have done more. I can’t believe the amount of pain and stress you must have felt when you got sick. I’m grateful beyond words that you got sick fast and did not suffer for very long {sweet baby, I hope you did not suffer for long at all}. I hope you know that we all selfishly would have liked to keep you alive out of sheer love for you, but at the same time, we loved you so much that we could not bear to keep you in pain. And now I know that you will spend every day that I am stuck in school or work outside playing and chasing rabbits and other animals {pick on someone your own size!!!!}.

Look after Mom and the rest of our family, and your sisters too. Visit them at home sometimes, and keep them in your heart. They all love you so much. You are so much more loved than I can even express to you, but I know that you understand it because you have an incredible capacity for love, way more than I’ve ever seen in any other doggie.  You were my best friend during my whole childhood and my teenage years, and I am so grateful to have had you for all that time. I wouldn’t have chosen another dog to be mine for anything in the world.

Love,

Your Girl

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