Our dog Georgia passed last week, and I’ve taken her death much harder than I had anticipated. I thought I was prepared, but it turns out nothing can really prepare you for losing one of your best friends. Despite knowing that she lived a life of luxury compared to what most animals endure at the hands of humanity, I started to feel overcome by guilt and “should haves.” I should have let her stay longer at the beach. I should have given her more of her favorite treats. Should have taken her on more trips, more walks, had more fun. I should have hugged her longer. Told her I loved her more often.
The last morning of her life, I stroked her and rocked her in my arms. I gave her her favorite veggie bologna, but in my distressed state of mind, I didn’t think to give her some peanut butter, too. I wish I had given her some peanut butter too.
I drove myself crazy wondering: Did I do enough for her? Did she know how deeply I cared about her? Did she truly feel loved?
Anyone who read my tribute to Georgia knows how obsessed she was with rocks and the sea. On our last morning together, we visited a tucked-away stretch of beach that we’d never been to before. It was special in that it was completely covered in beautiful, smooth ocean rocks of all shapes and sizes. We thought: if Georgia were to design her own Nirvana, this is what it would look like. So early this morning, we returned to that same spot with her ashes to say goodbye. We brought three flowers from our garden (one from me, one from my husband and one from our dog Lucy) and placed them atop her ashes in the calm, shallow water. We talked about how lucky we were to have known her and walked tearfully back to the car.
The car we drive came with Sirius Radio. I know it’s annoying, but I generally leave it set to the Coffee House. It’s a great channel if you don’t mind listening to the same 20 songs over and over again (which apparently I don’t). After they had finished playing “Share the Moon” for the 12,000th time, I saw the words “Loves Me Like A Rock” flash across the screen. Soon Paul Simon was singing…
My mama loves me, she loves me
She get down on her knees and hug me
She loves me like a rock
She rocks me like the rock of ages
And loves me
She love me, love me, love me, love me
I’ve never heard that song played on The Coffee House before and I couldn’t help but think it was a message from my little Georgia – letting me know that she did indeed feel my love. And she felt it in a way that was as strong and everlasting as her favorite thing in the world: a rock.
If this is what it feels like to receive “signs from the universe” then I think I might be a believer from now on. Thank you Georgia (and Paul) for giving me closure and peace. Yes, baby, your momma loves you like a rock!