Does the Fear of Loss Ever Go Away?

About a week ago we met our puppy Luna. Over the next few days we excitedly announced her to our families and friends. We shared pictures on social media and began planning for her arrival. I have had a knot in my stomach and a little voice in the back of my head telling me not to get my hopes up. Telling me that we don’t get the outcomes we expect. Expecting a puppy, like expecting our angel babies is going to end in heartbreak and grief.

I think about Luna every day. I wonder how she’s doing, how she’s growing. I stare at the pictures of her and wonder how much bigger she will be the next time I see her. When I held her the first time, she was substantially bigger than Lily and Anika were when I held them for the first and last times. But still, here we are at home, the two of us without number three.

Luna seemed healthy, she was beautiful and gentle and sweet. But what if she was sick and we didn’t know it? What if she’s not okay? What if something goes wrong before we’re able to bring her home?

This is a dog. I’m not pregnant. This is a totally different situation, and still the fear is there. Still there are the what ifs and the worries, the looking at puppy things but knowing that I don’t want them in my house until she is here to use them.

I know it’s silly. I know that what I feel now is nothing compared to the anxiety and guilt women feel when they are pregnant again after multiple losses. I know that comparatively I have nothing to complain about. And yet, this is my experience. Having a dog may be the closest Malcolm and I come to having a living child. I worry that even this is not “meant to be” even though I loathe that statement and don’t believe in that sort of predestiny.

It’s a messy place inside my mind. I try to find hope. I try to see the light at the end of the tunnel and I try not to be dragged down by the fear. Sometimes it’s easier than others.

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