Saturday, August 8, 2009

Topographies



My waking life is settling down, taking on an apres-Jake form suited to the rhythms and habits of a person who does not have a dog. In so many ways, life without a pet is so much easier. And it has been long enough now that living without Jake feels "normal" to me (whatever that means.) Life without a dog is fine, though not a whole lot of fun. Interesting to me is the realization that I have become a dog person. I like canine energy close by, even if it means I need to vacuum twice a week, refill the water bowl constantly, and invest heavily in dog snacks. Who knew? My waking life, minus the canine, is a bland topography.

My dream topography, however, is a scary landscape these days. When I go to sleep, I find myself in an ugly, muddy swamp overflowing with nightmares about Jake. There hasn't been a single night in the last week when I haven't dreamed of Jake suffering or lost, paralyzed, frightened, and looking to me for help that I am not able to give. The dreams are truly heartbreaking.

I mean, really! Do I need these dreams? I've prayed, asked my spirit guides, visualized nights of peaceful sleep, all to no avail. Maybe the Sufi acupuncturist can address this hideous dream sequence. Enough is enough!

25 comments:

lakeviewer said...

Yes, a new topography. A sudden change and our topography changes; our paths are different; our hours lived differently. Your dreams are trying to make sense of it all.

Elizabeth said...

Such sad dreams.
I'm sure Jake is fine and peaceful.
I wonder if you aren't torturing yourself for not doing more to save him, when you couldn't have
not from the ravages of old age......
I agree that life without a dog is much simpler
so savor it for a little while
but I'm sure, sooner or later,
some wonderful new creature will arrive
to enrich you
yes, the high line is an old elevated train track above the bustle of the streets.
Such a delight in the city
and there was a lovely breeze yesterday.

Expat From Hell said...

Your writing shows lots of activity, Reya. I think that's why I enjoy following your blogs so much. If you are mentally sedentary during the day, it seems your sub-conscious rebels. You have a very high standard of existence! I am looking forward to staying in touch; but, please don't join the circus.

Barry said...

Like Eliabeth, I'm certain Jake is fine and at peace, likely dreaming of the wonderful life he had with you.

Celestite said...

Maybe you have already done this, but if not...try asking your spirit guides to go and check on Jake and report back, and then wait for them to report back so they don't dilly dally around. The answer may be what you need. We get so much in a 'take care of them' mode that our brains think that they can't get along without us, even when they are gone.

Rain said...

Hello Reya, I sure hope those dreams do cease. I often have terrible dreams, reliving things that have happened to me. In fact, just recently am having a string of nightmares about being yelled at and brutalized by french speaking people (due to the recent problems I had). They are disturbing, but I'm at a loss as to what to do except hope time will take care of them. Hope you find some peace during sleep.

Reya Mellicker said...

Celestite, what a good idea. I'm on it!

My sister just suggested that I put a bowl of salt in front of the door I always used when I took Jake for walks, to absorb the bad dreams before they can take hold. I love that idea and will try it tonight.

I'm tired of grieving, does that make sense? I feel like I've had enough of it. I'd like to relax and have some fun now, and really let go.

Many apologies for my boring blog these days. Sheesh.

The Bug said...

Not boring at all! I don't know how it happens, but we become friends in the blogosphere & then we genuinely want to know what's going on with people - I'd much rather read about your grief than for you to take a break from blogging, for example.

Ronda Laveen said...

Maybe now that you've acknowledged thatyou have become a dog person and enjoy that energy around you, the dreams will begin to slow.

Chris Wolf said...

I love that your photos today are blurred, almost warped senses of the world, similar to your dreams. YET, the vision in the rear view mirror is gorgeous! Dwelling on what's behind you as if it was utopia? peace,

Chris Wolf said...

it looks almost impressionist Monet, yes?

tut-tut said...

It's hard to tell grief to take a back seat. It's got its own agenda.

ellen abbott said...

Perhaps because your life pattern has changed to accommodate not having a dog, you are feeling disloyal to Jake, thus the bad dreams. Remember, these dreams come from your psyche, not Jake's. Jake loved you too much to send you nightmares.

My own dreams settled down some last night, though still very active, and the pain I have woken with behind my right eye and up into my brain the last two days is gone.

Reya Mellicker said...

Ellen I'm glad you're feeling better. Hoping tonight I get a break, too. Whew!

My sister Hannah says the dreams are perhaps the last phase of me processing the fact that I had to decide when Jake would die. That really was the worst part. I love my sisters - they are both so smart in such different ways.

And YEAH Bug, we do become friends. I think it's because we share our world views with each other, and in so doing we adopt each other. It's so amazing, isn't it?

California Girl said...

I would imagine your dreams are your working out the pain you feel about his loss. I don't think anyone can suffer such a huge loss and not have a variety of symptoms, do you? Perhaps your acupuncturist will have good insight. When you refer to him/her, I think of the show "Eli Stone", which I loved. He went to a Chinese acupuncturist who acted as his spirit guide, interpreting his dreams and visions.

Reya Mellicker said...

Oh and yeah the pics today I chose on purpose and I do think that the distortions create a "painterly" appearance.

Jopan said...

i had nightmares when monkey (cat) died. i think its because we don't really know what happens afterwards and the worst case sinario(spelling) is always the one that gets dwelt upon. I think its probably normal, although unpleasent and i'm sorry for it. i hope that they stop soon.

steven said...

hi reya, sweet photos - the topography of an unfolding moment . . . you on the fenceline a red poppy in a field of waving grass. the rear-view mirror . . . a painting vision through the looking glass.
i remember being asked about a dream . . ."who is?" and the person asked if i had considered who the person i dreamt about really was. there's so much jake inside reya.
let it allll unravel and reveal in the late summer . . . . . steven

John Hayes said...

It seems that you've had a struggle from even before Jake's death with "the fact that I had to decide when Jake would die"--that's understandable. It is a huge responsibility, but from everything I've read here, I'm 100% sure you discharged that responsibility well--so I'm agreeing with Elizabeth & Barry & others along those lines. But it's hard. Sometimes the hardest thing about grief is the fear that if we let go of it, our last connection to the being we grieve for will be gone. But I don't think that's true.

Brenda said...

I had to make the decision to put our 15 year old Clifford to sleep just a few short weeks ago. I still hear his collar tags jingling as he scratches his self, and look for him to be at the door when I arrive home. The loss of his life is almost unbearable at times. It is then that I have to shake it off and remember that his spirit is with me always. Our bodies simply wear out.

Barbara Martin said...

Reya, the dreams are of your grief releasing from your inner depths. It takes time to cleanse grief from yourself.

My Chia died in my apartment two years ago and I feel now I'd like another dog, but not here. When I make my move for the greener pastures of retirement I'll get another dog, probably two. I take care of my friend's dogs whenever she's away from town and that fills the void for awhile.

Once you have a dog who has been close to you, the yearning for another when the first is gone will be there. Take your time to find the next dog as mostly likely it will find you first.

Sandra Leigh said...

There are many, many dogs out there looking for someone to love them, and I agree with Barbara that in all likelihood one of them will find you. I really think that you want somebody to love, Reya, and when you find that again, your life will take on its rightful colour and brilliance. Cyber hugs in the meantime -

Phoenix said...

I understand how it feels to be tired of grieving... for some strange, divine reason, I have never really found it in my full control to just stop grieving even when I felt it was enough.. I go normal for a few days, and then suddenly like a gust of wind, everything comes back as if it was happenning right at that moment, and I would go back to my grief... and then two mornings later again get back resolving to look forward and reminisce only about the happy aspects of those days.
In short, well.. such is life. You probably would not have full control over when to feel what emotion... but take peace in the fact that Jake is at peace.

Pam said...

Wishing you all the best Reya - grief takes a lot of time, and manifests itself in many ways.Support also comes in a variety of ways, particularly the warm sentiments expressed here in the comments. I hope your dreams settle soon.

Reya Mellicker said...

Pam you are so right. I am so grateful for my blog friends. There's no way I can explain how much you all have helped me through this. No way.

Thank you!