Instagram has been such a great space for us - to share in our joys and now our sorrows. By far, people who have offered us support and love had exceeded any kind of slight, but there definitely have been some.
Numbers of followers do not matter to me. I am most certain that our follower number is extremely inflated and has a large amount of ghost followers or accounts that are now defunct. It's really been the engagement and anyone who has wanted to know our story that has touched me greatly. But, ever since Piri passed I probably lost about 200+ followers. It decreases every day.
I get that everyone uses Instagram in their own way and we follow and unfollow who we want to. And at one point, Piri was probably fun to follow along. But now he's gone. What's the point.
No more pictures of cute dog.
And life goes on for that person.
What is so hurtful is the fact that life has stopped for me. My world feels like it has completely come to a standstill. And these unfollows are a harsh and cruel reminder that the world has continued on... leaving me behind, telling me that it won't wait for me to get back on my feet. That they are finding other cute dogs to follow and other fun stories to read about. And Piri is no longer here, no longer interesting.
I have been blocking every single person who has started to unfollow us since Piri's death. I did so a little when we lost quite a bit of a following after we announced Piri's cancer diagnosis. Other times when we lose someone, it doesn't matter. Hey, I've followed and unfollowed as well. But times when we share our sorrow and people leave, it just feels cruel. And people who leave when we are going through one of the toughest moments in our lives are never welcomed into our space again.
Losing Piri hasn't been easy.
Last night was probably one of the roughest nights. I literally feel pain in my stomach and heart.
I keep trying to wonder what I must look like to people who may not understand this deep grief I am feeling. He was in fact just a dog, right?
Piri was just a dog. Just a dog whose daily routine was embedded into mine. Every big and little outings, we did together. Always. It wasn't just saying bye to Piri, it was saying bye to a life, a routine, I had with him. Getting over it doesn't just happen over night, or a week.. probably not even in a month or several months.
When I was crying yesterday, I felt a different kind of sadness. I thought of all those animals who die alone, without their families because they don't have one, some under harsh conditions, others in lonely ones. It was such a sad and depressing thought.
Yangkyu and I have talked about getting another dog - I do lean towards adopting an older dog, maybe with medical issues, but it does feel daunting. Caring for Piri wasn't easy - emotionally, physically and financially. And even though my heart would bring home a dog right away, I am not sure if I am ready to take on such a responsibility so soon. And I know Yangkyu is definitely not ready now. He doesn't think he'll be ready for another year. For him, keeping up with Piri's medical bills has been stressful - more than he let on.
I always wondered when my heart would be ready to care for another dog once Piri passed and I was so surprised that it felt ready much earlier than I expected. I always thought it too would take me at least a year. After my childhood cocker passed, it took us almost three years to get another dog, which was Piri. But I now that I am older I realized that getting another dog isn't replacing Piri. Piri was such a good dog - sharing all his things at dog parks and through Piri's Place and never getting territorial. One time at the dog park we gave him water in his bowl and about 5 dogs came up and drank. Piri backtracked and let them drink first. At Piri's Place, he shared his toys, treats, beds, blankets and even us. And I like to think that instead of holding on to empty beds, blankets and bowls, he would want us to pass on his warm bed, blankets and bowls filled with good food to a dog who has been waiting to find a forever family.
That thought is very comforting to me.
// It's been 11 days since saying good bye to Piri. 피리를 보낸지 11일.