I had to bury my dog first
Something went wrong this February, long before the war started. First, my father died. Then I lost my favorite dog.
I wasn’t sad about my father, I didn’t really know him. I didn’t remember him, actually, wouldn’t even recognize him if I’d met him on the street or in the local supermarket. But someone had to bury him. So I stayed in Ukraine. I didn’t believe that the war would start anyway. So I bought him a suit, a casket. I was saving for my next trip to Paris, but someone had to bury him. I paid for ritual services too, for a hole in the cemetery. February 23rd, I was the only one at the funeral. Cold windy day, but sunny and fresh. I had mixed feelings but in general, it was like meeting a deadline. Kinda exhausted but feeling accomplished.
A day before the funeral, Lola died. I stayed with her till the end, talking to her so she’d knew she wasn’t alone. I was devasted by her sudden death. And as five men were putting my father in a grave, I caught myself thinking about her. Where will I bury my dog?
The next day war started. I slept through the shelling and airstrikes a few blocks from my home. I wasn’t ready. I haven’t prepared my backpack for evacuation, I had no extra food or cash. People were panic buying water and food, taking home huge bags of groceries. What do you do when the war starts? I still have no idea.
I had to bury my dog first. Before anything else. So me and my mom, we took a shovel and went searching for a place for Lola. We were walking under the sounds of shelling, the air was heavy, with black clouds of burning. Neighbors were nervous laughing: “What do you need a shovel for? Tranches from russian tanks?”.
That day we buried my dog. When we came back home, I packed my backpack with documents, warm clothes, and some art supplies. A month later, it’s still on the floor in my room. The city is besieged, russians in the city, I can’t leave. Sometimes I think maybe it’s good that she died. Otherwise, what would I feed her? I still miss her though. Her and peace.