March 9, 2017

Letters to Piri // 011


Dear Piri, 

Hello. How are you? I miss you... but maybe you already know that. 

Today is day 147 since you crossed the rainbow bridge. It still hurts when I think that time continues to flow... it doesn't seem right that our life is going on without you. 

I still cry immensely and my heart feels those terrible aches because I wish you were here. Every day I am reminded of you. March 2, when you had your surgery to remove the mass in your mouth. The anticipation of cherry blossom peak dates so we can all head out to DC and do our annual viewing tradition. Your birthday, which is coming up soon.

Getting over these emotionally difficult days is a challenge. Every time I jump these hurdles I don't think I can jump, I do. Because, well, I don't have much of a choice but to. I feel relief afterwards... then another one comes along and I just don't know if I can do it again. And again. And again.

I wonder how you are because you loved being with us too.

Do you cry? Does your heart ache in pain too because you want to be with us? Or are you ok? 


There was an illustration a dear friend sent us that had you perched on top of a fluffy cloud with angel wings. You were licking your chops like you had eaten something really yummy. That pose is based off of one of my favorite pictures of you. When I saw you in that illustration, it really felt like you were enjoying your time, eating all the foods you wanted and then after a real good meal you were looking down at us to see if we were ok. It was comforting.

Hey Piri. I'm sure already know, and perhaps you played a role in making this happen somehow, but there is someone new who joined our family. His name is Bartles. He's a 12 year old cocker spaniel. He has some medical issues and doesn't get around too well but, just like you, he is a fighter and has a strong will to live. He was also in that illustration, looking up at you. It was heartwarming.

When I said my final good-bye to you Piri, I made a silent promise that if we were to adopt a dog it would be a senior dog with a medical issue. I thought it would be a good way to honor you.

The days leading up to us deciding to bring Bartles home, I sometimes wondered what would have happened if you ended up in a rescue at age 17 with Stage 3 kidney disease, oral melanoma, deaf and partly blind with persistent ear infections and a host of other illnesses that plagued you because of your weakened immune system. I wondered if you would struggle to look for a forever home because you were too burdensome and expensive to care for. 


Piri, instead of your things going unused, I thought that you would like us to share them with a dog who is looking for a forever home. Someone who was very much like you - old and frail but still so full of love and life.

Bartles has been using your bed and your blankets and recently your bowl with your name on it. Sometimes he goes by your little shrine and stops there for a while. I wonder if he is saying a little hello. 

I also started to give him some of your Rehmannia 8 formula that you left behind. We had just purchased that new bottle a few weeks before you passed. 

When I opened it, the herbal smell reminded me so much of you. Especially our last trip to New York. It brought back so many memories. Those early mornings and late evenings when we administered them, the way you took your supplements (your cringing but brave face), your thin body and how we were all so hopeful and despite everything, so very happy.


Piri, there is something else I want to tell you. 

Yangkyu and I decided to stop trying to have a baby. For me, when you died, my hopes and dreams of having a baby died too. Although I'm crying while I write this, coming to that decision wasn't all that painful, like I thought it would be. I wondered how long we would continue to try and how we would know to stop. After your loyal and perfect heart stopped beating, I just knew. 

After we brought Bartles home, adopting senior dogs and caring for them brought new meaning to my life. Perhaps this is what we were meant to be, parents to old frosted faces. 

Piri. I miss you. I will miss you every day for the rest of my life. 

If you could really come back down to earth, come back to us. Please? 

Love, 

Your human girl. Always and forever.

5 comments

  1. Jane, I'm sending you the biggest hugs. ((((hugs))))) Coming to that decision....I can only imagine how hard that must have been. You have my 100% support.

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  2. i'm a new reader of this blog so i'll be honest that i never followed Piri's journey before. even so, i'm sorry about Piri. it breaks me when i hear news about pets crossing the rainbow bridge. i can't imagine losing my dog even though i know it's just nature for them to go. still, i think i'd cry for days too.

    i'm so sorry that you have to face this but Piri is a lucky pup for having you as family (i'd like to believe that Piri is watching over you and your family from the rainbow bridge and is really grateful too) and it's really nice for you to adopt Bartles too. people like you sometimes make me believe in humanity again for helping dogs in need. *sending virtual hugs to you and your family*

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  3. This letter is full of ache and love. I have a pet dog and I'm a dog lover. I'm sure Piri is happy now wherever she is. I admire you for adopting a senior dog to honor her. God bless your soul.

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  4. My eyes are filling with tears - both happy and sad ones. I know Bartles is one lucky pup and I'm so glad you both found each other and I know the ache and sadness you still have for Piri and baby struggles. I've been having similar struggles and know that had to be a hard decision. Sending you happy vibes and hugs too!

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  5. Oh wow, Jane you have super super strength and the biggest heart, definitely got those tears whilst reading this post *big hugs* xoxoxo

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