A South Carolina woman used the written word, for all the world to see, when she penned a moving obituary to her best friend, Charlie James Gregory-Hammett, a golden retriever who passed away last month after a five-month battle with lymphoma.
“Charlie passed on that big farm in the sky - which, hopefully, for Charlie’s sake, is littered with lots and lots of Charlie-worthy sticks,” said Sallie Gregory-Hammet, 30, in an article for HuffPost.
On Sept. 13, Charlie passed away, and for Gregory-Hammet, the loss of her best friend was devastating. To deal with her grief, Gregory-Hammett was hoping to memorialize her dog in the local newspaper, but when she found out the cost, it no longer became an option. That is when she decided to create an obituary of her own, mock-newspaper style, that would give her a forever keepsake, and the closure she craved.
In the obituary that she posted on Twitter after Charlie's passing, she described him as “a dog that always saw the good in people” who always gave unconditional love.
For Gregory-Hammet, Charlie was the first dog she ever had on her own. She said she had gotten her furry friend when she was 23, and at that time she was single and has just moved to a new city.
And, according to Gregory-Hammett, the two were quite the duo.
“He went with me everywhere,” she said, adding even the Home Depot. “He was just a constant source of comfort and companionship and joy. Everyone that knew me knew Charlie and how much I loved him.”
In the obituary, she wrote about all the fun and “crazy” times they shared: tailgating, camping, hiking and fishing.
“He lived the very best life,” she shared with WHNS.
She shared that some of his favorite pursuits included stick collecting, swimming, smiling and snoozing. His love for car rides and the beach, his favorite destination. Bananas and socks were what he loved to eat. And, his visits to his grandma and grandpa always appeared to be a hoot for Charlie, who not only got to chase squirrels and get spoiled with treats, but “pee everywhere cousin Captain peed,” his owner wrote.
The only thing Charlie did not like, pointed out his owner, was the stairs. “He hated stairs,” she recalled.
In May, Gregory-Hammet married her husband, David, who she knew would become her life partner when she saw the connection David and Charlie shared.
“When I saw David interact with Charlie, I just knew hew was the one, because he loved Charlie as much as I did,” she said to the Post.
Looking back, Gregory-Hammett said Charlie’s final days were filled with happiness where he frolicked at the beach, and “relaxed in the Charlie-sized holes he dug himself,” she wrote or his ability where he just “dove right into the waves.”
“We will think of him every time we open the peanut butter, see a sock on the floor, or pass a stick on a walk,” she wrote. “We will carry with him forever.”
In lieu of flowers, she wrote in the obit, that the family asks that “you give all your pups some extra love in honor of Charlie.”
After she tweeted her final farewells, Gregory-Hammett received an overwhelming response of 104,000 likes on Twitters, something she did not expect but, in retrospect, may have been obvious. “I wrote my dog in obituary because of course I did," she wrote. "He was the best boy.”