As a classical type-A, I’ve long-held many beliefs on grief that suddenly became irrelevant when my furry, four-legged companion of fourteen-years left my life. I cried, thinking that’d be the end of it. A week went by, then a month. I kept at it, going through the motions of my life, but I wasn’t living. The best way to describe my experience is to say that I knew the sky was blue, but all I saw was grey.
When I smiled, Rog knew it wasn’t genuine. (I’ll never win an Oscar for keeping up appearances). Two months passed, then three. At month four, Rog threw in the towel. He’d tried everything (so he said), the gestures, taking the kids more often than usual, doing the dishes and other strange and unusual things.
All the while, I debated if I was depressed or if I was suffering from grief, not really knowing the line between one or the other, and where they intersected.
“I’m sending you to your parents,” he told me one day. In fourteen years of marriage and a year dating, he’d never encountered this from my big-haired, Leo-self. “I thought it was a physical impossibility and I’d wouldn’t have believed it had I not seen it myself,” he continued. “But I can’t take this anymore.” (So like Rog to make it about himself).
The darkened clouds that hovered were so thick, I wasn’t even really looking forward to the trip. My fear was that it would fail to help my mood, and then we’d be on to other, more drastic measures. At first he planned the trip to be three days, then four, mistakingly believing lengthening my stay would jolt me from my misery. Finally, a week before my departure, he made it for almost two weeks. One by myself and then he’d join me for the latter part.
Then came a break, not from the dissipation of all that is precipitous, but from good old Mom.
|Only in England, where even the pet cemeteries are civilized|
No matter Mom has been right for, oh, going on 44 years. I fell back in to my rebellious, 14-year old self and ignored her. The following day, thunderclouds were on the horizon. I got my butt in the car, drove to PCC, and snapped up an Ignatia 30c. Before I popped one, I figured I should double check with my swami.
“Just take one and give it a month,” Dr. A said (new readers, his last name is so bloody long, I don’t have that kind of time). “The grief has to work its way out of your body,” he explained. “If you take it before the 30 days is up, it’s like hitting the restart button.”
Sure enough, I took a single, white, magical earthen pellet, and in a few days, the heavens started to shine again, the black turning to grey, then white, then finally, after a week, leaving altogether. The day before I left to see my parents, Rog remarked that I had ‘self-healed’ and I probably didn’t need the vacation after all. (I still went and he joined me).
One of the suggested tips was to create a monument to the pet. I found lots of pictures of pet cemeteries in England, where wealthy Londoners started burying their pets in the 1880’s, and by the early 1900’s, it was filled (now it’s closed to the public).
|As an aside, P-dog was weirded-out for about a week after
Fats left the building. She wandered, seeking out her sleeping
companion. Now her and White Bear are cuddle-buddies,
cozying up since Number One is no longer.
I’m writing now, a month after the fact, because just this morning, I popped another one. It didn’t matter that in the last thirty days, I’ve read a lot about the special type of sadness pet owners experience when losing a pet, including the techniques, tips and how-to’s–which were good to know, but frankly, didn’t change my emotional self. Over the last few days, I’ve noticed the same invisible feelings of sadness and mental weight dropping down on my shoulders. This evening, I’m upbeat again and more positive–one of my life-long traits, I’m happy to say. Thus, I must issue an apology for my blog this last month, that really was an overall drag to read this last month, (and readers were flocking from my site like vultures from an on-coming semi-truck). I’ll channel my inner Jack Nicholson (I’m Back.…) without the gory after-effects, as go love on my remaining animals, Mercury (aka White bear) and our adorable, fierce-yet-mushy, pitbull. They still needs lots-o-love.