We'd made camp in the living room for her final days, watching TV and eating takeout and leaving everything else for the undeniable after, so we spent most of this morning putting the house back together.
Bevan dragged her mattress up to the attic and I ran the vacuum cleaner. We collected all of her medications into a paper bag and discussed who we might give them to. We stacked her food and water bowls, one inside of the other, and slid them on top of the spare refrigerator in the laundry room. We folded her blankets and placed them in the wicker basket next to the sofa, purposely not washing them so as not to lose her scent. Bevan's voice cracked when he asked if we should keep her leash.
Throughout the day I'd find myself glancing at her favorite spot on the rug or checking under a lump of covers on our bed or opening the door to Sidney's room half-expecting to see our Patches girl grooming herself in a narrow strip of sunlight on the floor. I just now found myself listening for the click of her nails on the hardwood. Buddy hasn't eaten since she passed.
I've long known that loss is the price of love and that there was never going to be enough time, so then why is it that I failed so spectacularly to foresee that when she left us for good our house would no longer fit?