Personal Narratives

The legacy of Princess lives on in my heart

Jan. 4, 2022

By Joshua Ormaza
Staff Writer

Losing someone you love is a painful and surreal experience. Whether you have lost a person or a pet, knowing that you will never see your loved one again is one of the hardest experiences one can endure. 

My first pet was a pug named Princess, and she had been in my life since I was born. My grandmother and grandfather purchased her from their neighbors while we were living in Florida.

Princess passed away of ovarian cancer when she was just seven years old. She was the best pet I ever had, and she meant so much to me. She was my No. 1 friend, and being without her felt so horrible that I did not want to leave my room. 

Losing Princess traumatized me. As a result of my grief, I felt confused, sad and tired. I cried nonstop and became very serious.

Prior to Princess’ passing, I did not understand what loss meant. When I lost Princess, I finally understood what pain really felt like.

In 2013, when I was eight years old, my family buried Princess. Everyone in my family was there. We all cried together but were too emotional to make a speech, and none of us could put into words quite how we were feeling. 

Princess was sick for two months before her passing, and every week her cancer got worse. She underwent surgery, but that was not enough to save her.

Prior to Princess’ passing, I did not understand what loss meant. When I lost Princess, I finally understood what pain really felt like.

When I saw Princess on a table in the veterinarian’s office after her surgery, she was lying there motionless. I felt my heart sink. Tears were dripping down my cheeks and falling onto the floor. While I was crying, I felt as if my whole world had been destroyed. 

After some time had passed since the loss of Princess, I felt terrified because the memory of her on the table kept repeating in my head like a video. Also, I felt sad every time I woke up in the morning and did not see her in the living room waiting for me to scratch her belly.

I felt incredibly sad every time I thought about how I would never again be able to see Princess, walk outside with her or hug her, but my mom told me that being sad would not help the situation. It would just make it worse. Then, my mother gave me a photo of Princess and me as a toddler as well as her collar so I would feel like she was there with me.

I overcame the loss of Princess by remembering the amazing times I had with her. Another way I overcame the loss of Princess was by watching videos of us on Christmas and sharing other happy moments. These videos remind me of the first time I took Princess for a walk as well as the occasions when we played fetch or when I gave her a treat.

Additionally, my family bought a little dog toy that resembles her. We also preserve her memory by looking at old pictures, keeping her leash and keeping her favorite dog toy, which was a squeaky toy. These belongings of Princess’ help me because every time I see or hold that picture, leash or toy, I have a happy flashback.

At first, I did not know what to do with Princess being gone. Then, I thought back to the happy times we shared. This helped me realize that I do not have to be sad that Princess is no longer with me; I just have to remember that she will always be with me in my heart.

bookmark icon