“Well, this sucks.”
I looked about the house as I plopped down on my couch, wondering what I was going to do. Everything looked the same, dog smudges on the windows, toys strewn about the floor, hair covered the furniture and carpet; but nothing would be the same again.
The girls were on their way to a new home and new experiences. I was not quite ready to think too far into the future (tomorrow seemed like a chore), so I contemplated going to the liquor store, which in Wisconsin means the gas station, and getting a pail of rum. If I got myself in the right frame of mind, i.e. plastered out of my gourd, I could pick up the toys. Maybe the food bowls. I could wash the blankets and get some of the dog hair off the furniture. Out of sight, out of mind right? Yeah, right. Maybe I’ll just sit here awhile.
It seemed a good idea to get the rum, but truth was, I did not have the will to get off the couch.
Later in the day someone called, don’t remember who. A family member, no doubt to check up on me, make sure I hadn’t started the house on fire. Or myself I suppose. But I was just sitting there waiting, waiting for Matt to call and tell me how Vision and Echo were doing. Finally in the afternoon I heard how good they traveled, how lovely they were and that they were doing so well in the house with Matt’s Leonbergers. He e-mailed me some pictures of them playing with their new friends, having a game of tag. They were happy and that made me happy.
That was how I survived, by thinking of them. I took small steps. By keeping them first in my thoughts there was little time to wallow in self-pity. After all, it had been my decision and mine alone. Grief is a different beast than self-pity. Grief is a necessary process to make yourself ‘whole’ again. To be able to move through life, grief must be recognized, embraced and set free. All healthy steps. Self-pity on the other hand, has no redeeming qualities. It is an anchor of non-accountability, so the ego is free to say, ‘It’s not my fault. This and this and this are to blame. Poor me.’ It serves no purpose other than to repeat itself.
Anyway. The next morning I found myself lying in bed wondering what the day would look like- you know- since it was dogless. The night before had not been too traumatic. I talked with the girls, we loved each other up, I told them what was going to happen during the day because they were still in route to their new home, and they were still very excited about all the ‘new’. And in my head, they were just at the kennel, or at the vet’s; some place temporary. Ah, the beautiful freedom of mind games. Blessed is the mind that brings sweet relief by allowing the fantasy, however brief, to rule your subconscious. And sleep.
But then comes the dawn and one has to once again muddle through the learning curve of life.
I talked to the girls that night and many days thereafter, counseling them in times of confusion, reminding them of their job and letting them know I missed them too, but my love is there with them, just like theirs is with me. No amount of miles or time would change it.
It is interesting how are mind plays games with us, protecting us from overload. The first couple of days were not too bad but when it became evident to me that they would not be returning, I mean in the real sense, it was more difficult. The little changes in daily routine were absent and that required re-organization. Or, a re-boot.