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  • helenggoldberg

The Blue Coat

This past February I took a vacation to the beautiful island of Aruba. My flight was scheduled to depart Toronto at 10:00 am, however, at 4:00 am I received a text notification that the flight was delayed by one hour. Thirty minutes later I received another text notification that the flight was now delayed by two hours. At 7:00 am I got ready which included walking and feeding my dog, Caleb. I put on his booties and blue coat which was a hand-me-down from Zoey who died five years ago this July.

Upon leaving for the airport, I put Caleb’s booties and blue coat in a Shopper’s Drug Mart bag on a chair near the front door for my friend who was taking care of Caleb while I was away. In the kitchen I had another small bag filled with garbage which I was going to throw down the garbage chute on my way out.

Once in the limo and on the way to the airport I texted my friend advising her that I had left and she can now go pick up Caleb, as well, I advised her that his booties and blue coat were in a bag on the chair near the front door. About forty minutes later she texted me that there was no bag on the chair nor in any other room. I was perplexed as I was certain I had left it there. With sudden horror I realized I threw the bag with the booties and blue coat down the garbage chute instead of the bag filled with garbage! Much to my surprise I found myself overcome with sadness. I realized that it was the loss of Zoey’s blue coat. The last remaining touchable piece of Zoey was now sitting in a heap of garbage. I was grief stricken. It was important for me to allow myself to honour my feelings of sadness, but not to stay there too long. I have come to learn from the loss of of my dogs, that honouring my grief and then honouring their memory is the greatest gift I can give to both myself and them.

Forever loved and missed.

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