Witnessing the Unimaginable
Several months ago, when Simon and I were walking to the park, we realized we would be late for the start of the race.
Simon suggested we take the shortcut across the road. I wasn’t sure it was the best idea because of the traffic. But, before I could say anything, he took off.
When I neared the road, he yelled, “I’m going to make a run for it.”
Seconds later, he was hit by a truck and killed. When I finally calmed down, I went to the park and broke the news to our friends.
Now, whenever I try to have a conversation about Simon, they either change the subject or blame him for being reckless.
Some had said things like, “He was always doing something risky?”, “Be glad it wasn’t you.”, or “I knew it was only a matter of time before something terrible like this was going to happen.”
Sometimes I wonder whether Simon would be alive today if I had spoken up. Why don’t friends that are both Simon’s and mine understand how lost I feel? Why don’t they want to talk with me about Simon and how they are feeling?
I am sorry you lost your friend under such terrible circumstances. Witnessing the death of a friend is very traumatic. Also, wondering if you could have prevented their death is a heavy emotional burden.
I suspect Simon would have taken the shortcut, even if you said it was a bad idea. As for your friends, most dogs, or humans, for that matter, aren’t comfortable talking about painful subjects such as death. It’s easier for many to blame the victim or say, “I told you so.”
I suggest you discuss your concerns with the canine counselor at your doggie daycare. Counselors know how to help canines talk about emotional issues and recover from the trauma of witnessing and losing a friend.
© 2022 Geneva Woodruff
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