Hello everyone,

This one is going to be a personal post. If you are here for the anime content, you rock and I hope to see you tomorrow. Today, I’m going to get a bit honest with all of you.

As some of you may know, I recently lost my beloved dog Buddy and it was just horrible. I spent a week doing considerably more sobbing than anything else. To say I’m over it is a gross overstatement but I am feeling better. After all that’s the deal. You’re born then you die, no way around that. It’s the middle part that matters and I did everything I could to make sure Buddy was happy, comfortable and adored for every second of it. 

And that’s all I want to say about that. What I want to talk about is the aftermath.

I’ve always been greedy with my pain. I’m much more willing to share happy moments than difficult ones so I’ve spent my entire life taking these types of events within me and just slowly getting through them in my own time. At the shock of the moment I tweeted out a short message in a haze which I figured I would regret immediately and said a few comments on my blog expecting nothing in particular. Nothing at all in fact. I wanted to forget but I needed to get some of it out.

What I got was a wave of delicate support and love I could never have predicted or had any right to expect. You guys were so consistently kind, caring and just there for me. I got encouraging comments, tweets, dms and even emails for days on end. People took a few minutes off their day just to lend me some cheer. It was and is amazing, and it helped more than I can properly explain.

Like I said, I’m not good at opening up about pain. I’m not that great at opening up in general in fact as I am very very introverted. I know that in the moment, I didn’t manage to tell you how much your efforts have meant to me. I would like to fix that now. 

So real talk, nothing can really erase the pain of a loss or do the hard work if mourning and grieving for you. But I never realized just how much help a little sense of community and belonging would be. Even in the worst of it, your messages made me smile. The idea that the world was filled with genuinely nice people kept that little spark if optimism alive in me. It was going to be ok and I m not alone. That simple notion gave me more strength and comfort than anything else.

I don’t want to abuse your goodness and I would hate for you to think I took it for granted. If you got short noncommittal answers from me, it’s not because you did anything wrong, I’m afraid it’s just the best I could manage at the time. I assure you, you were not intruding and your consideration is deeply appreciated.

To be honest, even now I’m not quite sure how to express myself. One of the downsides about being really excited and hyperbolic about everything is that you are at a loss when something truly impactful happens. I don’t think I should be using the same language as when I’m reviewing a reverse harem here…or maybe I should…

I may not know how to finish this post properly. I will most likely never be the type of person who can clearly express emotions in a way humans can understand. That’s why I tend to rely on descriptions of the physical impact said emotions have on me. So here goes. Because you really do mean this much to me, let me relive my worst moments in recent memory. Coming home from the vet, numb and broken, I stopped at the grocery store. I hadn’t eaten in a few days but I had no appetite at all. When I took out my phone there was already a flurry of well wishes on Twitter. I broke down in tears for the first time right in the middle of the store, and I was also hungry. So I got myself a wrap. 

When I went to bed, without Buddy for the first time in over a decade, I was taken over by something a bit like fear. I was so exhausted I could hardly think straight but the thought of dreaming was terrifying. So I got my laptop. I’m not sure when I fell asleep but it was while reading your emails. And the dreams were sweet.

I stopped watching anime for a couple of days. I didn’t feel like it. I cooked nonstop with mindless TV as background noise and read countless doujin instead. Discovered a few pretty good ones actually. I didn’t have the drive to keep up with the blog like I usually do. I probably missed a lot of great posts. But I still read the comments, figured it was the least I could do. After a few days I wanted to watch anime again (Shirobako to be precise) and I really wanted to share that with you. see what you thought about it. 

My irl friends also went above and beyond to make sure I was ok. Taking turns to keep me distracted and make me feel loved.

I may not know how to say it but I do know that I am very lucky. This may not be much but it’s the only thing I can think of: If ever you need a shoulder, mine are right here and I’ve no clue what to do with them anyways. 

From the bottom of my heart, Thank you!


69 thoughts

  1. I’m way late and wasn’t there at the time but I’m really sorry to hear about Buddy.
    *Hugs and love* Rin-san.

  2. Omg I had no idea ! What was I doing! I hope you feel so much better Irina. Even though I’m a month late, I’m sending you lots of love ❤️❤️❤️

  3. This really brought me to tears it was so moving. First, you have my deepest condolences for the loss of Buddy. Buddy is lucky to have the love of a friend like you. Second, I think your vulnerability and willingsness to share it with the world is very brave. I do not know you personally of course, but your blog is full of intelligence and sincerity and I enjoy reading it. I’m sure Buddy is super proud! Take it one moment and day at a time and hugs from me to you wherever you are from Bossier City, Louisiana. -Angela

      1. Your welcome Irina. I’m a little sad too because I lost some family members who were very deep to me: my grandpa, grand-auntie, great grandma and my cousin who was like my mother to me.:( I’m still recovering but I learned that I must work harder to make up for their loss and keep the memories alive. Everything is going to be okay so let’s keep heads up together!! 🙂

        1. oh no. Not all at once I hope. Yes – let’s keep our heads up together and if one stumbles – the other will be there?

  4. As a dog owner myself I’m dreading this inevitable day, not just for me but for my mum who is the closest to our pug (and vice versa), so I can understand your attachment to Buddy.

    Just be happy of the fact you gave Buddy a lot of love and I’m sure he reciprocated, which is something nobody can take away from you, and will live on in your memories so he may be gone but not forgotten.

    Stay strong. 🙂

  5. Aww… I know I won’t be able to say anything as others already articulated better what I want to say. So here, have an awkward, virtual hug from me! <3

  6. I don’t think I can beat anything the others have said in this comments section, but know that Buddy was loved and you can take all the time you need to recover. Live for the sake of those who have gone before you…(or whatever other sage thing I can spout out of my piehole. I’m bad at this stuff too.)

    Well, at least if you run out of content to write about, you have doujins to talk about…

    …and because Moya said that stuff about hearts being tweeted at you, I’ll finish with this: <3

  7. So sorry about the death of your beloved companion. I saw people tweeting hearts to you and couldn’t figure out what it was about until now. You’ve been such a supportive part of the community and have supported me in a difficult time as well, even if we don’t interact individually all that frequently. Just don’t let yourself suffer alone… <3 <3 <3

  8. You are a beautiful if distant part of my life; you bring me joy and offer me acceptance. So of course I hurt when I know you’re hurting. I’m sorry for your loss–I know that you and Buddy were both very lucky to have each other, especially for so long. I offer that you grieve within the warm shelter of our love, and we will keep your watch. Be warm, be well.

  9. To love something is to extend your definition of self to include it. It always hurts to have a part of yourself torn off and knowing it is inevitable doesn’t change that. I’ve lost precious humans, canine partners, feline partners and even an equine partner over the decades. (I suppose I can take heart in knowing that our newest family member might just outlive me. I’m pretty sure the tortoise will too.)

    It hasn’t gotten easier except for the knowledge that one emerges to the other side. I know that from experience. The pain lessens, the wound scars and heals and you get on with life.To this day I tear up a little over a pet I had to have put down 30 years ago and I’ve lost several more since then, equally beloved. But you see, that is a good thing for if you weren’t sad the relationship wouldn’t have helped both of you along the way. You made Buddy happy and he did the same for you.

    Don’t avoid the sadness. Experience it in its entirety. Let it flow over you and thru you and then beyond you. You will still be there when it is done. Shortcuts make you a lesser being. For now, hold the living things you love a little tighter and burn them into your mind. Humans are designed to deal with tragedy.

    Grieve, but don’t let it stop you from loving the next creature and the one after that. No animal can replace another and one must not fall into the trap of making comparisons. It isn’t fair to your new pet to do so. Each is as individual as you are. You will extend yourself to include a new partner even as the scar for the prior one fades to match all the other scars you’ll accumulate thru life.

    And you will be happy again.

  10. I’m the type who would tell a suicidal person to do a back-flip when they try to jump off a bridge.
    As horrible at opening up about pain you are, I am as horrible at giving condolences.

    Not trying to get even here. Trust me.

    I talk a lot and type a lot but when it comes to situations like this. I legit just hug the person in grief and hold them tight in hopes of them feeling at ease. In this case I’m hoping that a virtual hug works for you!

  11. I’m so sorry about Buddy. My own Buddy has been gone for over a decade now, and it still hurts. I’m glad that you’re at least feeling better. The pain will never go away, but I hope you find a different shape of joy to add to your heart.

  12. I’ll echo what Karandi’s first paragraph and Dawnstorm’s first two. They captured perfectly what I would have liked to have said.

    I was really glad and relieved to see folks expressing their concern. It was amazing of you to write this post and share how much the support meant to you — it’s good to know it gave you comfort!

    It’s heart-warming seeing what kind of community you’ve built here!

  13. Thanks for being you. Even though we just recently knew about one another. I know that you are a great person and human being. I hope the best for you and my condolences.

  14. Aww Irina, I just want to give you the biggest hug! This made me tear up so much! Again, I’m so so sorry for your loss. Losing a furry friend is one of the worst feelings in the world but please know that Buddy loved you very much and was lucky to have you as a companion ❤️ I’m glad to hear you a feeling a bit better but please know that it’s ok if you need some time, do whatever you feel is right to help in the moment with whatever you may be feeling! Look after yourself, message me if you ever need to talk and know I’m sending lots of hugs and love to you 💖💖💖

  15. I am glad to hear you are doing better. I always feel so useless when people are going through stuff because while I’d like to help I know nothing I say (or type) is going to make much of a concrete difference and I end up torn between wanting to express concern and support and wanting to leave the person alone to process and not interfere.
    The ani-blogging community is amazing at coming together when things are tough for someone and Irina you are such an important part of that community. I was really sorry to hear that you lost such an important companion and I cannot imagine how you must have been feeling but know we are all here for you and offering our best wishes and support.

    1. I am exactly the same way. But those simple shows of concern you shared really warmed my heart. I am grateful and humbled to have met so many incredible people

  16. Man… Didn’t know I missed so much. My words as I type them through a keyboard are insignificant in this matter; they’d be insignificant regardless but I want you to know that, at least from my perspective, you’re the most respected member of this community and earned every bit of that respect and more! Not just because you’re amazing at what you do but because you’re strong. And it can only get better from here…

    1. Your words are hardly insignificant. They make a huge difference to me. Right now, they’re propping me up and I am so very grateful. You helped someone you never met. I will work hardbto earn those compliments. Again

  17. I really appreciate you sharing this, Irina. Always remember that you are loved and that even when everything feels worthless, there’s worth in living, no matter what. I’m cheering for you!

  18. I remember that post. On top of the page, you told us that Buddy stopped eating. Not too long ago, we had a cat we got at 8 weeks old. It took us a while to get rid of all the parasites and make sure he was well. Took a few vet visits, but then he was fine, and grew to be big healthy tom. At around 1 years of age he suddenly stopped eating. And that’s what I remembered reading that. I knew that not everything’s lethal that reduces appetite, but I felt a slight sense of dread. Then, at the bottom of the page, you told us that he was keeping down his food now, and in my reply I expressed my relief.

    Then, when the page loaded with my reply, I read a reply to someone else that he had passed away. God, would I have liked to delete or modify my reply. Instead, I replied to my reply. I felt like apologising, but decided against it, and tried to go comforting instead (or what might pass for it), but I’m not that good at it, and I was upset enough that I forgot to fill out the name fields and posted as anonymous. I then went on to watch my usual anime: I can’t tell you how many pets I noticed that day.

    Losing pets isn’t easy, and it’s different for each. I’ve always had cats. The last one was a shock: we thought he’s finally grown out of his initial troubles, but he contracted a sudden illness, and that was that. It was fairly intense, and hard since we saw him grow up from very little. The pain subsided very quickly, though, and since we didn’t have him that long and he was taking extended walks, him not being around wasn’t such a change from routine. Lots of people would ask us, for month, how he was, though, and that’s when it came back.

    The first time was a lot different: a very affectionate calico cat who I lived with since I was a child. She grew to kitty old-age of 17 years, and she’d been having troubles for a while, so it wasn’t a shock. One day she just hid away. We’d take her to the vet, and, well, we didn’t take her back home again. The decision was tough, the moment, too. The pain was less intense than numbing. The pain went away eventually, but there was a sort of emptyness that didn’t fade as quickly. I’d spot her in the corner of the eye occasionally (of course she wasn’t there), and it’s not a metaphor. I’d rally see her. My habits and memories actually created images. They were flashes, but they’d a leave a really strange feeling that’s hard to describe. An example: I’d open the door, and it felt like she’d just rushed past me, as she used to do. The problem with the situation is that she used to be quick, and would sometimes hide, so even if I were looking and wouldn’t find her, I couldn’t be sure she wasn’t there (that was important, because it could determine which doors we were supposed leave open). Now, she was dead, but I couldn’t just look around see she’s not there for closure. You know she’s not there, but these flashes often won’t allow that sort of emotional certainty. Not sure that makes sense. It’s a really strange feeling: you’re at oods with yourself.

    There were a few other cats: one never came back, another one also never came back but found a home elsewhere, and another one we got pregnant, so we suddenly had more cats than we could manage, so gave the whole family back to the farm where she came from (didn’t want to separate them). It looks like that’s how it is for me: the pain goes away quickly, the sadness lingers a while longer, and there’s a strange kind of emptniness that follows behind that and fills up very slowly (I never replaced a cat until that emptiness had filled up). It’s part of life. It’s better to go through that, than to never have had the pet to begin with.

  19. I somehow missed all of this, I think. It’s terrible losing a loved one, and I really do include pets in that. I hope things look up for you soon and that the grieving doesn’t take too long. Take care of yourself.

  20. You’re a wonderful person irina, I know we don’t talk as much as we used to, but I’m here for you if ever the need arises. Stay strong, and again my condolences for losing buddy 🙁

  21. It’s hard to say anything after Raistlin, but you’re the best, Irina. We love you and what you bring to this blogging community! I’m sorry that you lost Buddy, because I’m sure he was the best dog ever. Hyperbole for a reason here because it must be true! Please take care if yourself. *Internet hug*

  22. I’m going to be honest here too…because hey, if you can do it, I can do it (erm well….at least I will make an attempt that is😅). I’m not good at sharing negative things either. Sure I can say an offhand remark about how things are going, but I usually end up laughing it away, or making it less serious. Because why bother anyone with things, or why ask for help. Psshh….I can handle things myself right? It’s hard asking for help. It’s hard reaching out. Or dealing with emotional stuff. I always feel like things might become a burden to other people, or everyone is busy with their own stuff. You know…the usual. However what I have learned over the years is that once you do open up, it always makes you feel better. It always helps you get through the day. The thing is…lately I’ve been scared. It’s not an easy thing to admit. I’m scared for what this thing with my health is. I’m scared for the test I’m going to have to take next week. And that’s a hard thing to admit. Why tell you all this now? Well…this post got to me. I don’t spend much time here lately on WordPress. And I have said it often I miss people, a lot. It’s not by choice that I’m off here, but because I just genuinely lack energy most of the day to read posts, respond to them etc. But well, sometimes I do, and this is one of them. You say you have trouble expressing yourself in this post, I can tell you right now: you are wrong. I’ve said it already on Twitter, but I’m happy to say it here again: You are more wonderful than you know. You have touched so many people’s lives in a positive way. You are always supportive to everyone, and always, always have a ray of positivity around you that is sometimes very rare to find. So…you see, that is exactly the reason why you got so much support back. And all I can say is: though the loss of Buddy will never truly fade, in the end you will always have his memories and the wonderful moments you have shared with them. That is somethings that will never fade, but will only grow brighter with each and every day. Irina, you are a truly wonderful friend, and I want to thank you for having the courage to write a post such as this…because it’s hard to admit personal things. You managed to express yourself just right, and I think pretty much everyone who reads this post will agree with me on that. Also…thanks are not necessary. In fact, we should thank you, for always being here for US. It’s time that we gave those thanks back. Never change Irina, and well…stay strong! 😊

    1. Well I’m sobbing in a public bus now and I don’t even care.
      I can say with certainty and speak for everyone here when I say we love you too Michel. I get being too drained to interact but if you feel the need I will drop everything to spend a few virtual hours with you, and I bet I’m not the only one. Whatever comes, you are not going to be alone.

      1. Well, this was pretty much the first thing I read today, having just woken up, and it both made me smile and cry (in a good way) at the same time. Thanks so much for the kind words. I definitely promise to stay in touch as best I can. Please take care as well, and just rememember that the door swings both ways…always 😊

  23. When our family cat passed away last spring, I wished I had reached out to everyone here, even if that sounds a bit selfish of me. I remember not having an appetite for several days. Didn’t watch any anime or read any books either. I just kind of sat there in my off time and stared at nothing. If I had support from my friends on this side of the sphere, I might not have plummeted to such an emotional low. Part of me tries to justify my regret by thinking that at the time, perhaps a break from everything was proper.

    Point being, and like you’ve addressed, we can’t wipe away the feelings that come with loss, but hopefully we can help shoulder the blow and lessen such a heavy burden. Pets are special friends, and I’m glad you’ve been able to express your feelings with us. Much love and respect.

    Take care of yourself Irina! Keep on reading those doujins too (and let me know where I can find those good ones). We’ll be here every step of the way.

    1. Oh no I’m so sorry. Next time you can tell me if you want. And maybe read some Honto Yajuu…sweet super cute bl fun for all

  24. Those little pieces of our soul that were taken by our fur babies can never be replaced. I still don’t understand how we humans deserve such a wonderful gift of their love. I’m sorry that I missed seeing the tweet and I’m sending all my love to you. Again, he will always have a part of you and he will never, ever leave you.
    Thank you for sharing and being open about the wonderful soul that was lost to you. I hope we can all take a bit of the pain from you.

  25. Oh Irina…
    I never did know how to comfort or face the pain or grief of others but I’m here *awkwardly* offering my shoulders too… Do with them what you will.
    Much love and support 💛💛💛

  26. I know how it feels to lose a loved one. Take all the time you need, dear. (I’m used to calling people dear.) It’s a really tough time to go through so you need as much time as possible to grieve and heal. However, please don’t forget to eat and sleep- it’s important to grieve so you won’t break down from holding your feelings back, but it’s also crucial to take care of yourself.

  27. It hurts a load.
    I’m kind of glad my mother wasn’t there when we had to take her dogs limp body to the vet (he only had a couple of minutes left). My dad was traumatised when he watched his dog spasm (he was running at full force). *he had cancer*

    The only time that I felt OK about death was when my syrian hamster died. He was 5 years old, fir going Gray and had suffered from a stroke. In the last months I cried every-time I looked at him, for I had to feed him, give him his water by hand and make sure he was clean every day.
    The stroke had made it so he could’t walk far and would forget where everything was.

    I was happy when he went, because I wanted to remember Scoo for the happy nut-ball he was, not this tired hamster who needed to fall asleep into a happy rest (each day I wanted to wake up to that).

    Does the lost still hurt, yes. It will always hurt, but at the same time I know they will always be there as long as you remember them.

    T-T emotions are annoying:
    “I’m ether really hunger or really angry, the both feel similar.”
    It can be really aggravating when people are teaching you what they are.

  28. I know from experience that it is tough experience going through something like that. My condolences on your loss and apologies for not showing support sooner as I have been out of the loop for the last week or so. Hopefully things will improve for you soon!

  29. Take all the time you need. Losing a close companion like a pet hurts like nothing else… I know firsthand, unfortunately, if you’ll recall from a couple of months ago.

    I’m glad you got the support you need, even if you might not have been sure how to ask for it or how to process it when it came. Everyone in this little community looks out for one another, so we’re all thinking of you even when you’re not actively posting or anything.

    Take care of yourself, and continue to make Buddy proud. We’ll all help however we can.

    1. Karandi and I have opposite schedules. She usually gets to my posts later on but she always does cause she’s a sweetheart

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