It hits me like a tidal wave. One moment I’m so mad it’s like I’ve lost my boogie board riding the wave of the century and in the next tears are streaming down my face like a dripping faucet.
The grief you experience when you lose the love of your life is overwhelming.
It’s different than what I experienced when my Granny passed and she and I were darn close. She was like a mom to me.
But having seen my 12-year-old beagle die the other day in front of me has catapulted me to a foreign atmospheric level.
This past Thursday morning Skylar, my sweet beagle and I were all in our 7:45AM routine.
We played circus dog, where she sits and stares intently at the rice Chex Square of cereal I’m holding and she catches it in mid air (trick dog, the only trick she knew). Then the cheering begins and she seriously assumes the position signaling me to repeat the process. And so we did.
Afterwards we went outside to take care of business. She ran to the back yard to meet me at the back door as she often did. I called her and clapped, she made eye contact and began to take the first step up the stairs.
Suddenly her leg straightened and she fell to the ground, rolling down the hill. I ran after her yelling her name and shaking her to wake up. She had lost consciousness.
On some level I knew what was happening. I was watching her die.
I did watch her die. Before my very eyes the light switch was turned down and in a blink she was gone.
For three weeks we had been on a steady pace of steroids hoping to keep the lung cancer that was isolated in one lung lobe at bay while keeping her comfortable.
In the end, I self diagnosed her with congestive heart disease since the radiographs showed an enlarged heart and she has all of the symptoms, no thanks to three DVMs we saw.
Having left me just three days ago I find myself drowning in grief, unable to truly take a deep breath. I’m two blinks away from flooding a conversation with tears.
I’ll stare for minutes on end. I wake up at our early morning time when she’d wake me up to go outside. Eating cereal I go through the motions. There is no laughter in this house.
Immediately I reacted by picking up every blanket and consolidating all treats out of site. I’ve cleaned and rearranged the furniture to normalcy. I’ve eaten every piece of comfort food possible with no relief in site.
The algorithm of my heart is flat. There’s nothing you could put before me that would phase me.
I’m praying and asking God for comfort and for my heart to be open to receive it. But it’s not coming. Not now. I’m searching. I’m seeking. I’m crying. I’m begging.
I look for her at every turn. I think I hear the jingle jangle of her collar charms. I smell her blankey at night for comfort. The slide show of her final moments replays in the theatre of my mind.
When I take corrective action to remember the good times the slide show reverts to the documentary of our life together. The sweetest moments; the snuggles, the kisses, the mud pie eyes, the excitement when she took her first swim, how she got better at riding in the car without blowing bubbles or getting car sick, and how she finally got the courage to stand up in the car and put her head out the window.
Better thoughts take over like those at the annual pumpkin patch, walks in the park, playing circus dog, and how she loved her blankeys and a soft pillow.
I know that grief is the price of love. But it’s hard. Hard to let go and to move on.