It's only the first without my dog.
The loss of both still hurts like hell.
I've gathered a lot of things over the years. Most of them greet me every day. Many of them sit unobtrusively in a box, or upon a shelf, behind closed doors.
The dresser I had as a small child. I don't remember what became of its mate, if I ever knew. I reclaimed the long one from the basement at the start of my adult life. I've kept it with me every since.
The stuffed blue bear given to me by my grandfather, long before I would have any memories of Saturday morning breakfasts and Christmas trees. I have his coffee table also - a sturdy piece of furniture that I hid under as a child. It has often held my weight as I sat or stood, quickly, to tie shoes, change light bulbs or clean ceiling fans.
My great-grandmother's green kitty tea set. It was a free gift when she purchased some furniture - when she was 16. When I was little I thought it was exquisite. Now I'm much more impressed by the fact that my great-grandmother was buying furniture at the age of 16. The set lives in my kitchen now. Hers now seems remarkably small.
My great-grandfather's typewriter. He was so proud of that typewriter. Only educated men had typewriter's and a house full of books. I have many of those as well. And a bookcase he built for my aunt. I think it's beautiful. No one seems to know what happened to the giant cedar chest he built for me.
My great, great grandmother's Christmas ornaments. I never met her. She died long before I was born, but most of her ornaments always hung on my grandmother's tree. Many have always hung on mine.
My dollhouse. My trophies. My report cards.
Pieces of my childhood.
It's funny how all the pains of all the years manage to roll themselves into a single state of loss. Never allowed a glimpse of one without at least hearing the whisperings of the others.
You mourn for all those gone before you, all the moments gone.