Love, Death, and How the Loss of My Best Friend Made Me Stronger

I still remember hearing the panic in my step-fathers voice as he yelled for help.

15 years old; my mom and I run out of our rooms to see the limp and motionless body of my 2 year old tea-cup yorkie, Max, in my step-fathers hands.

I’m not ashamed to admit that Max was my best friend. We adopted him the year I became very sick; Mostly when I found myself at home more than I was at school. I lost so many friends due to my health, but Max was always there. He always made me feel like I had someone even when I felt most alone. Standing there, I stare at my step-father and my motionless best-friend; no expression, no reaction.

In a panic state, my step-father tells us that Max was jumping on the couch with his toy, as he’s done hundreds times before, only this time he fell and hit his head. My mother, frantic yet trying her best to stay composed, checks Max’s pulse and see’s that he’s still alive. Motionless and unresponsive, but still alive.

My parents rush to get their keys and shoes as it feels like time is running out. They quickly run out the door and I silently follow. As I see our car and begin to climb into the back seat, I realize I still have yet to say a word.

My best friend, Max, now lies in my mother’s hands, still motionless and unresponsive. My mother continues to pet him, tell him he’ll be ok, and do everything she can to believe it’ll be ok too. But I can hear it in her voice. I can hear that it’s not ok at all.

We crookedly park in the closest spot to the veterinary emergency room. My mother frantically hands off my motionless Max to the vet tech, they exchange words, and we are told they’ll do the best that they can.

My parents and I sit down in the room that rarely ever sees joy. I stare at the ground; uncomfortable with the situation, uncomfortable that my parents are emotional, and in shock of what the f*ck is even happening.

I honestly can’t tell you how much time passes. It feels like hours because I don’t want to think about anything at all.

The veterinarian comes into the waiting room and gives us the facts. Maximus has internal bleeding. He is brain dead and will never function again.