November 4, 2016

Letters to Piri // 010

Dear Piri, 

I miss you. I wonder if you are ok. I wonder if there is such a place over the rainbow bridge. I wonder what you look like now. I wonder if you miss us. I wonder what days would be like if you were still here. I wonder if we will really meet again. And I wonder how I will wait until our reunion.

It's been 21 days since you passed. You passed on your bed, on top of your favorite grey blanket. 

Do you remember when Yangkyu said "no dogs on the grey blanket" because it was his absolute favorite and we kind of snuck that one right under his nose? And he just kind of smiled (in defeat) when he saw you sleeping so comfortably on it. I think he knew then too. That blanket is now Piri's.

When you passed, we kept that blanket, unwashed, for a while. After a week I decided to wash it and for a long time, Yangkyu and I sniffed it in hopes to catch the last of your remaining scent. Whenever one of us found a spot we said excitedly, "This spot smells like Piri!" We smelled all the way to the washing machine and holding on for what felt like an eternity. It was hard to put it in the washing machine. It would be these little things that made moving forward extremely hard. 

The day after you passed, Piri, it was difficult to go about our daily lives. I grabbed your leash and harness when we were headed out thinking you were still with us. We were planning logistics on how to mail boxes at the post office - who goes in and who does what and who stays in the car with Piri - only to realize that we didn't need to do that anymore. I couldn't leave the house for the first time after you passed because I kept imagining that you were inside not wanting to stay home alone. I cried so much inside the car and Yangkyu couldn't pull out of the driveway for a long time. 

That first night out we just wandered. We didn't know where to go. We went around in circles. We just walked. Nothing was normal. Nothing felt right. 

I don't tell you this so you'll feel bad. I say it to let you know how much you mean to us.. how intertwined our lives were, how loved we felt with you around. How amazing our life was together, the three of us. We had something really special, didn't we? I thought maybe just maybe, you would be able to beat all the odds and stick around for another few years. Because you had always been my comeback kid. 

I still think of all the times I threw my arms up and cheered, "We got this, Piri!" Every time you finished a meal, ate your medicine, took your supplements, got your fluids, made it up the stairs, came running back home after greeting Yangkyu... "We got this" got us through a lot of bumps and hiccups, didn't it. 

You did great, Piri. You really did great. I will always remember your unwavering spirit and amazing resilience and will always live my life to the fullest too. 

It is still hard to believe that you're gone though. Especially when I see pictures of you on our refrigerator or over our dinner table. You are so alive in those photos... 

Gosh. I miss you, Piri. So much. So much it sometimes hurts. But now I do have days when I smile a lot. And laugh. Did you see me yesterday when I came by your picture and smiled? Did you see my terrible dance? Did you see Shone, Spootie and Clover's stunned faces when they saw me? I hope that made you smile, Piri. 

I'm still folding cranes for you. I'm sorry I didn't get to fold 1000 before you had passed. But I'm going to get to 1000. I'm going to fold that 1000th crane... and I'll let you know when I'm done. 

Piri, did you by any chance meet someone by the name of John? I heard he is a dog magnet and gives the best ear scratches. His special person told me so. Please tell him I said thank you. For everything.

Piri, the month of October... this fall actually has been a cruel month. So many of our friends' dogs have crossed the rainbow bridge. Just as the ones who have left before you greeted you when you passed, I hope you are greeting the ones who are crossing after you. Give them a warm welcome. I'll do my best to give comfort to their humans here.. just as they have been so supportive to us when we said our good-byes. 

When Bobby, my childhood cocker spaniel died, I cried so much, well into the night. That's when I heard his cries coming from downstairs. I followed the noise all the way to the kitchen only to find that Bobby wasn't there. I looked out the balcony door and saw what I thought was a shooting star. I thought that was a sign from Bobby telling me that he was ok. All this time, I was trying to look for a sign from you, Piri. Something to let me know that you were ok. After finding out that November is Pet Cancer Awareness month and finding some meaningful purpose and having you come to my dream that very night, I sense a shift in the way I feel. There is definitely still a profound sadness and emptiness but there is also more sunshine and hope. I look back now and wonder if this rainbow that we saw the morning you passed was a sign from you letting us know that you had crossed over safely. I hadn't given it much thought because it's the usual rainbow we saw when watering our grass. But perhaps, out of all the ordinaries, this one was special. 

Thank you for sending over that rainbow to us. I'm sorry I'm only reflecting on it now. 

Like I promised before you left, I will remember all of you, Piri, from when you were a rambunctious puppy, to when you grew into your mature adulthood period, to when you aged so gracefully into your golden years and even when you were old and sick. I have been looking back on all your pictures and videos and sharing them every day. Yangkyu was sad when he said he only remembers the last few months when you got so thin. I hope that he will remember all the other beautiful images of you. 

I've been sharing one of your favorite treats with the guest dogs at Piri's Place. We just finished the last of the Vera chicken fillets. You loved that treat very much, didn't you. Every time I gave a little piece to your friends, I said, "This was Piri's favorite. Thanks for liking it as much as he did." 

But the peanut butter filling cookie, Piri. I'm saving that still just for you. 

Piri, thanks for always having a big sharing heart.

We decided to travel. I felt bad making these plans but I hope you know that you'll be coming with us. We might have watched a little too much anime in our days, but Yangkyu said we need to come up with a little object to store your spirit so you can come too. It'll be fun. It'll be like all those others times we went traveling together.

Piri.. you were our favorite hello and our hardest good bye. 

Let's go to Munich together, ok?

Tell Bobby I said hello. I love you both.

Take care... and see you later.

Your human girl who always stopped everything she was doing to give you a chin scratch


  1. ((((hugs)))) Thank you for sharing this beautiful and heart-breaking letter, Jane.

  2. Dear Jane, this post made me cry! And I don't cry that easily.

  3. awwww, this is so sad and so so sweet all in one Jane. I love love the idea of bringing Piri's spirit in an object to travel with and the rainbow is so beautiful too! xoxoxo

  4. So much love! I'm sure Piri misses you both very much too :)

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