Love and Letting Go



Bean and Ginger. My best friend and I created those nicknames for each other and we used it so often, it practically became the symbol of our friendship. I had never experienced a friendship like that one - we hung out everyday, texted every moment we weren’t together... I even ruined friendships with other people just so I could invest all my time into this one friend. I genuinely believed we would remain best friends for the entirety of highschool. Then, at the end of freshman year, she abruptly told me she decided to transfer schools and left me with a “Bye Ginger!”. Just like that, I was left devastated for months - not just because she was moving, but because I realized that our friendship obviously didn’t mean nearly as much to her as it did to me. As it turns out, 2019 would bring the loss of another best friend.

In Cody’s final days, he was constantly in pain and couldn’t eat or drink by himself. I had been pushing my parents to have him be put down for weeks because I could not bear the sight of him suffering, but they held off as long as possible to spend more time with him. Finally, when we had to stay outside with Cody for four hours after he collapsed in our yard and didn’t have the strength to get back up, my parents admitted it was time to put Cody out of his suffering.

January 5th, 12:43 pm. It was raining. I caught one last glimpse of Cody as he disappeared from sight in my parent’s car to the vet. Yet, standing there in the rain, I could not summon any tears, even though I knew that Cody wouldn’t be returning. Instead of locking myself in my room and crying like I did over my other friend, I spent the next two hours listening to “I’m a Mess” on repeat until my parents returned home, an empty leash in their hands.

That night, I was unable to join my family when they wept together at the dining table. And for weeks after that, I functioned normally while my mom, dad, and brother remained in a state where they would break down even at the mention of Cody’s name. Their bewilderedness at my lack of emotion evolved into bitterness, my brother even accusing me of never loving Cody. His comment revealed a fear that had been churning in my mind ever since Cody’s death... how could I react less to the death of Cody, a loyal friend, than to someone who chose to leave my life without making an effort to preserve our friendship?

One day I was scrolling through my Snapchat memories and reached August 2017, where I saw videos of Cody from a trip to San Francisco. As I watched snaps of Cody smiling, tugging on his leash, and drooling on my lap, I realized how long it had been since I had seen Cody enjoy life like that. And suddenly my apathy at Cody’s death made sense to me. I did love Cody, because love is the willingness to make sacrifices for someone’s well being at the expense of your own. And in my opinion, relieving Cody of his pain and suffering - even if that meant him leaving my life - is an ultimate act of love. I didn’t agonize over Cody’s passing the way I did with my friend because I willingly chose to let go of him out of my love for him. And while Cody isn’t here to greet me when I arrive home from school or keep me company while doing homework, I know he’s in a better place now. How could I be sad about that? I’ve learned that when I love someone - whether it’s a person or a dog - I will make sacrifices and prioritize them so highly that I would do anything to maintain our relationship. This leaves me vulnerable to get hurt when the effort I put in isn’t reciprocated, and I’ve experienced first hand the pain when someone you love pulls a Tati Westbrook and suddenly cuts you out of their life. Anyway, I’ve dwelled on that fake friend for too long now - I mean, Beans and Ginger don’t even go together. It’s time for me to commemorate Cody and the amazing dog he was. I can just picture him up there in dog heaven - no pain or weakness holding him back from sprinting freely, no leash or fence to constrain him. Who knows? Maybe now he can finally catch those darn squirrels that always escaped him in my backyard.


Meet the Author



Jenny Liu

2nd year

she/her

Biology




"im sexy lol"

Instagram: @jennbliu




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