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Meghan Daum

My father died. Then my dog died. I’m not sure which variety of grief is worse.

Two weeks ago, just a few days after the long-planned memorial service for my father, I had to put my dog down.

My father had died six months earlier after a relatively brief illness. The grief felt like a slow, steady trickle, a constant if generally manageable sadness. It was different for Phoebe, my Saint Bernard: a relentless firehose of grief. For days, I did little but sob. Any activity I associated with Phoebe — and this is including walking, sitting, eating, and sleeping — was now so punctured by her loss as to be almost intolerable. …

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