October 14, 2017

Letters to Piri // 012

Dear Piri, 

Hi. How are you?

I'm doing ok. You know.. it's already been a year since we said good bye. I don't know how we managed to go on living a whole year without you, but .. we got through it.

After you left, the never ending "firsts without Piri" were hard. First Halloween and pumpkin carving without Piri, first birthday without Piri, first Christmas, first cherry blossom season, first time not renewing your dog license - I remember opening up the mail for your dog license and it broke me down.

The list of firsts was never ending. And I presume that there will continue to be firsts without you even after today.

While these firsts have become more bearable, there is still a feeling of emptiness that lingers on. I now try to take this as a sign that you are still very much an important part of our lives, and always will be.

In all honesty, I didn't know how to approach a day like today. I didn't know if I should be happy and celebrate the fact that I had you in my life, or be sad or maybe indifferent. I think it's a mix of everything.

I am so very happy that I had you in my life and I am so very sad that you are no longer in my life. I think feeling this way is ok.

For a long time, I thought maybe there was something wrong with me. People told me how I should be happy that you are no longer in pain. How I should be happy that you lived to be 17 years old - so many dogs die much sooner. How I should be happy that you were surrounded by love when you passed - there are so many who die a painful, sad and lonely death. So I should be happy. Just be happy damn it.... And I couldn't do that.

It made me feel worse that even though I had all these privileges that others did not have - having a dog grow old with me, having a dog pass in his favorite bed, having a dog surrounded by love up until his last breath, I was still sad. How much more greedy can I be? How much more could I have wanted? It's maybe feelings I still wrestle with today.

The weeks leading up to today, I kept telling Yangkyu how much I miss you. I kept calling out your name, more than usual. I like to think that I keep calling out your name because over across the rainbow bridge you're still calling out mine. 

Yangkyu and I continue to build stories where you and Bartles and the rest of the gang of misfits are so very much tied to our lives. Little signs we pick up while grocery shopping or at Yangkyu's school to little frustrating things that happen. We somehow come up with a storyline that involves you. Sometimes you guys are looking out for us, other times you guys are playing jokes on us. Either way, it always makes us smile. For an entire year we have been doing this. It's helped us keep going. 

A week ago when we were in the AT&T store there was a kids show playing on the TV (I later found out that it's called The Octonauts). I have never seen it before but it immediately made me think of you and the gang of misfits. There was a polar bear who was the leader and his crew of various sorts of animals, including a floppy eared dog (there was something urgent that happened and she turned around with a concerned look and had the cutest hair pin on her head. It was a girl dog but her cuteness reminded me of Bartles. I literally bursted out laughing by myself because I saw Bartles on TV).

Anyway, they went on adventures on a big ole ship in the shape of an octopus. Their team work and friendship put a smile on my face and I thought that you all would have the same sort of camaraderie and love for each other. And so I took the show playing when we were in the store as a sign that you all were on similar adventures and having the time of your lives.

About three or four months ago, when I was still had harrowing crying episodes from missing you, I was reminded of the time when I found you on your bed, already gone. That night, I buried my head in Yangkyu's chest and muffled out words that have haunted me since you died. I was afraid that you passed without being able to breathe. Even after 9 months since you passed, I felt guilty for not changing your sleeping position. For falling asleep. For falling asleep on the sofa and not right next to you. For just not being next to you when you might have possibly needed me the most. That was my last crying episode involving that moment. 

The last few times I cried these past weeks, I start by thinking of you but then my mind wonders to Bartles. I think of how you passed at home on your favorite bed and blanket, and how I left Bartles in that cold hospital thinking that he would make it till the morning. When I kissed him and told him I will come get him in the morning, I really thought that was what we were going to do. Instead, he passed without us next to him. Without his favorites things near by. And that eats away at me. It makes me cry and my heart breaks all over again. 

Last night I asked Yangkyu, if he could have anything in the world - even impossible things like bringing people back from the dead - what would it be? He thought about it and then said, "Piri. I would bring Piri back." I replied, "What about Bartles? He would be lonely." He agreed and said, "That's true. We can't have that."

We ended by saying that we would want all the members of the misfits come to life, even the imaginary ones. I said how wonderful it would be to wake up one morning to find you, Mr. Bartles, a goat and Russian Dog in our home like you all have been here all along. I think Lady would have a field day with that. 

I miss you Piri. I hope you and Mr. Bartles are taking good care of each other. And I hope you continue to drop us signs that you are still thinking of us.


Your human girl.

PS - We gave the gang of misfits a name. You guys are now The Rainbownauts. Yangkyu coined it. He always comes up with the best stories and names.


  1. Hugs for the mix of everything! Love the little stories, the name and these beautiful photos of Piri :) xoxox

  2. Thinking of both of you on this hard day. I think Piri and Bartles are having a blast together and I know they're happy to see you happy and smiling now that Lady is in your life. xoxo

  3. I would like to think that somewhere out there, Piri can read this (or at least hear your thoughts when writing this) and say to you how much he misses you guys too and that not to feel guilty coz he knows how much you cared:) XOXO
    PS Oh how I miss the Octonauts. My kids used to watch this show aeons ago. I think Rainbownauts is such an apt name:)


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