The Sonia Show

Writer. Mocker. Beer drinker. Old movie watcher. Mother. Goober.

Life After Homer

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Yeah, so, I want to thank everyone who commented, texted, called, tweeted and Facebooked about Homer. Your kind words really meant a lot.

I’m not going to sugarcoat it for you guys, it’s been tough. Homer was a part of our family, and for such a little dog he has left a very big hole.

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When David and I got married, Homer dressed up in his fanciest bow tie for the wedding.

The most difficult time for me has been in the evenings. After Calvin goes to bed, my mighty, mighty good man David and I sit on the couch to drink a beer and watch a movie, and Homer isn’t there to snuggle with us. Later, when we go to bed, Homer isn’t there to sleep with us. I’ve shed tears every night since he died. After almost 15 years of having him curl up and sleep at my feet, it hurts so much that he’s not there.

I realize it’s going to get better. But right now, it totally fuckin’ sucks.

My mighty, mighty good boy Calvin has handled it well. This is a tough thing for an almost 5-year-old boy to understand, let alone an almost 5-year-old autistic boy. The first morning without Homer, he asked where he was and went looking for him. It was so sad. I explained that Homer was gone, and he wasn’t coming back. I said, “Homer loves you very much. He will miss you.” And then I started crying, and Calvin became very concerned that I was crying.

We heard from the preschool teachers that Calvin was asking them to read books with him about dogs – books he doesn’t usually ask to read. And he was excitedly pointed out every dog we saw to and from the drive to preschool. He started asking to watch “Clifford.” He wasn’t talking about Homer, but he was clearly thinking about him and missing him.

Two days after he went looking for Homer, he mentioned him again. Calvin had gotten into our bed in the middle of the night. The next morning, I woke up and Calvin was looking at me.

“I’m sad,” he said.

“I’m so sorry you’re sad,” I replied. “Do you want a hug?”

We hugged.

“Why are you sad?” I asked.

“I’m sad,” he replied.

“Do you miss Homer?” I asked.

“Yes. I miss Homer,” he said.

This was a big moment. Calvin doesn’t really talk about his feelings. The fact that he recognized he was sad and said something was a big deal. I called David into the room, so we could all talk about it.

“We all miss Homer very much,” I told him. “It’s OK to be sad. I’m glad you told us.” We had a family hug, and David let him know that we were all sad about Homer, and it was OK to talk about him.

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Kisses for Homer.

The next day, we saw a dog that kinda looked like Homer.

“It’s Homer,” Calvin said, excitedly.

We had to explain that the dog just looked like Homer, and that it wasn’t Homer. Obviously, Calvin doesn’t understand death, and I don’t know if I want him to yet, to be honest. Death sucks. Maybe he can go on a little bit longer without having to deal with heavy shit like death. I know I don’t want to deal with it, either.

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Hey, remember when this blog used to be all restaurant reviews, fun stuff I did in San Francisco and stories about how awesome David is? Sigh. Now it’s all breast cancer, autism, dead family pets and panic attacks. Lame! I’ll try to write something a little more fun in the next post. What should I write about, you guys? Maybe it’s time for me to write the blog post about the worst wedding photo ever taken. It was taken at my friend Amanda and Brock’s wedding, and it’s definitely the worst photo of ME ever taken. I’ve been saving it for a special occasion.

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Author: The Sonia Show

I'm a writer/mocker/goober/mother in San Francisco who likes to drink beer, shop, laugh and make other people laugh, podcast, watch old movies, feed my unhealthy obsession with pop culture, kick breast cancer's ass, wear orange and root for the San Francisco Giants, participate in general jackass-ery, talk about TV, eavesdrop on strangers' conversations, make nerdy “Star Wars” and “Simpsons” references, and post personal things about myself on the web for all to read, which makes me some sort of literary exhibitionist.

5 thoughts on “Life After Homer

  1. When a animal dies it is so hard! The heart connection we share is so pure and intense.
    Unfortunately at our house we have had a lot of death- including both people close to us and animals. We have become like grief ninjas if that is a thing. We found the Dougy Center has some amazing resources to help children deal with loss: http://www.dougy.org
    As we grow and change our understanding of death evolves, and we reprocess our loss from the new perspective. “understanding” death is really a lifelong process. This is current again for my son who is now 13, his best friend died when they were 6, and this week another friend and her mother were killed in a car crash. So we are revisiting a lot of this right now. I have come to believe that death is not something we need to “protect” children from. Loss is part of life, and processing it helps us to be more resilient. I actually think my breast cancer diagnosis was a bit easier for my guys to handle because they already had “practice” dealing with big feelings around death. And in other ways it brought up echoes of loss from prior events to reprocess.
    All this to say, losing Homer is a big loss, and dealing with grief has no right timeline, and we can learn a lot about grief by how children grieve -which includes play and sadness. Be gentle with yourself, and with each other. Homer sounds like an amazing guy.
    Xo iris

    • I’m so sorry to hear that you are grief ninjas. That sucks! And thank you for sharing that link. I’ll definitely check it out. I appreciate your kind words. Homer was a great dog. We miss that guy!

  2. It’s so funny, when I started reading your blog I saw that you had a really old dog, like we did. They were even the same age! And then we had to put our Angus down last fall and it was hard for me to see your pics of little Homer. It made me a bit jealous that you still had your old man and we had to say goodbye to ours. I know exactly what you are going through. Losing a dog, especially a dog that has been a part of your life for that long is so, so hard. For me, Angus was really our practice child, before we had real kids. It’s almost been a year and I still miss him, but it’s gotten better. Right after he died, I had a dream about him jumping up on our bed, something he hadn’t been able to do for a few years, and I took that as a sign that he was in a better place and not in pain anymore. I do really believe that there is a place where beloved pets go, and I’m sure your Homer is there too. My thoughts are with you and your family.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story. It’s been hard. Homer was definitely our first kid. We called him Calvin’s fur-brother. Ha! I know that he was suffering. We had him cremated, and when we buy a house, we’re going to plant a tree with his ashes, so he will always be with us.

  3. Pingback: The new guy | The Sonia Show

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