Sunday, July 19, 2009

Up and Down



Grieving is awkward. It lurches forward, then falls on its face, takes a nap, but then it comes back to bite you in the butt. It's not graceful.

Brand new grief is almost luminous in a way; awkward but shiny. It strips off the skin and leaves a person so open and vulnerable, it's almost glamorous. After the first bit of time passes, grief loses it luster. It gets crusty and annoying to the griever as well as to everyone else.

I miss my dog. I do. I'm not crying all the time anymore; I'm no longer a wreck. I've been able to come up for air and realize this life changing event will most likely yield great benefits at some point in time. No one needs to reassure me of that anymore; I'm OK, really. But.

Jake was not a good dog, but damn he had character. When he was younger, I always felt safe with him by my side. He was so powerful. All through his life (until he got very old and frail), I have no doubt he would have fought to the death to protect me. So glad he never had to.

I miss him.

21 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Yes, Jake sounds very characterful and tough.
A powerful dude.

Muffin, the chocolate lab we had when I was a child, was very fierce and very bad --chasing sheep, losing toes under trucks, biting poodles
but gosh how we loved him.
Love is quite independent of so called 'goodness'.
It just is
Hugs.

Peaches said...

In my own experience with grief the napping part gets longer and longer, but the bite you in the butt part still jumps out at you now and then. Usually at the most odd times.
To me, character trumps good. It's fortunate I think this way...my son was/is not easy, but man he has character. The name of my blog, Goosebite Lake, is an inside joke between my son and I...sometimes the good things in life are worth a bite on the butt.
Looking forward to some starlight photos...

Joanne said...

It sounds like the grieving, like water rings in a pond, slows down but expands, now reaching a longing for that fierce loyalty and dedication that Jake brought to your life.

JC said...

Big Hug ...

ellen abbott said...

Two steps forward, one step back.

The Bug said...

Love the pensive gargoyle - he seems to embody your feelings at this moment. You've described grief quite well, at least as I've experienced it.

G said...

When I was a kid I had two mongrels of mostly fox terrier heritage. The first I named Skipper and, after he died, I named my next good friend, Pepper. Not the most clever of names, but I was an east-ender and "clever" in any form could get you hurt. I loved those dogs as they loved me, unconditionally.

There is a price, I discovered, that one pays for loving. When they died, the grief was very real; approaching devastating.

I saw my dad cry twice before his premature death at the age of 60: the day Skipper died; the day my brother barely survived an explosion. I think I loved my father more because of those tears.

Have we finished the appetizers yet?

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

I liked reading this today, thinking of what the past few weeks has shown to you and that, at least at the moment, you are coming to terms with loving Jake "on a different plane".

I know after I lost Mike, there came a time when I could truly say "He would have enjoyed this" rather than "I wish he was here"...because all the wishing cannot bring him back and he would not want me to grieve but remember...

The gargoyle is perfect...not sad but pensive, with a little "bad dog" thrown in.

John Hayes said...

Hang in there; grief is such a such a maze--just when you think you're about to get out you can hit a wall. But it will get better.

lakeviewer said...

Grief cuts out every other sensation. It demands attention, and it pays back by showing you the depths of your soul. How alive you are when you feel this deeply.

Meri said...

Of course you miss him. You wouldn't be you if you could just go on without missing a beat after suffering a major loss. You need time to ponder, find meaning, repair the disruption in your energy field that had grown larger by having Jake inside its boundaries.

Barbara Martin said...

It is the dog that we loved dearly is often the dog that was a terror and bad. I had a Doberman male named Spider, sweet tempered, but into destroying clothes, furniture, anything he could sink his teeth into. One day we stayed overnight at a friend's place on an inflatable mattress which he tried to make comfortable. He could not fathom what happened to make it flat.

And there was the St. Bernard, Greta, who would chase the neighbour's cattle across the road at every opportunity she was loose, and had to be confined to avoid the risk of being shot. Though she made the best foot-warmer while sleeping on the end of the bed on frigid winter nights when the temperatures dropped to -40F.

Each brings a pang at odd moments, but the best part of them always remains.

Nancy said...

I have no doubt he would have fought to the death for you. He was powerful looking even in his old age. You must feel vulnerable without him. He had "presence."

We are starting the process you have just been through with my daughter's dog, who is in very bad condition despite only being 8 years old. It is so hard!

Love the statue. So apropo.

Ronda Laveen said...

Gargoyle's are my favorite protectors. A perfect image to go with today's post on Jake. Jake was (is) family.

Carolyn said...

A soulful post and an absolutely wonderful gargoyle pic!
Blessings and smiles

Ronda Laveen said...

Re: yesterday's post-Arbiters of Fate...loved it. Makes sense and feels comfy to me. I sometimes find myself taking for granted the beauty outside my front door: Mountains, lakes, trees, stars. I sometimes forget that others don't have this view.

Reya Mellicker said...

Character trumps "good," eh?

Hmmm ... I'm going to really enjoy thinking about that!

Merle Sneed said...

You are in my thoughts.

karen said...

Of course you miss him, and you always will... I have experienced grief for my pets so many times. I still miss all of the lost ones. Your description of the grieving process is very moving, and so true. Sending you some love and thoughts from Africa x

sheri said...

Reya,

As others have said, if dogs aren't allowed in heaven, I don't want to go there. I'm so sorry for your loss of your loved and beloved Jake. Thanks for sharing his stories with all of us. When you are ready, I hope you share that love with another deserving dog. He won't replace Jake but he will take another piece of your heart.

Deborah said...

so sorry you have to go through this--

sorry for all of us who have to deal with death and dying and grief--

how do we get through this, we fragile humans

and having been through it, are we better with others

do we see the waves of pain others
ride daily

are we able to help and hold and love more

i hope so
i so hope so

love you completely