Today, in a word, was odd.
Seven days ago today I made the decision to help my companion Gus, of oh so many years, ease his suffering. Seven days ago sucked.
In a dark moment, I was surrounded by friends. Glorious, glorious friends. Friends that helped me carry my 106 lb dog out of the house and into my car for his final journey. Friends that came to the house after bearing kind words, cookies, flowers and hugs. Friends that called, texted, messaged me through every possible communication device. Some just wanted nothing more than to sit with me while I wrapped my brain around what seemed so improbable. Others came over and took charge- helping me do the things that needed to be done. Others picked up the phone and others still are just there, waiting for the meltdown that will probably happen. Some took care of things that I would have never in a million years expected, understood or will be able to reciprocate.
7 days later my house is quiet. Weezie and I are figuring stuff out. We figured out our new routine, sans the food driven beast that reminded me daily when it was time to eat, because he was STARVING. We have a very different morning routine. We are making adjustments and learning how to fill the house.
Today, I finally got back to the business of life. Sure, I’ve been functional, I mean, come on- a person has to get up in the morning and work. But today, I felt like I could actually breathe for the first time in a week. My clothes have a lot less dog hair on them. My house is scandalously silent. No clippity clop of 106 pounds of dog lumbering through the hallway. No snoring so loud you would swear that a drunken geriatric obese man was sleeping on the floor. No dog greeting me at the door.
Today, 7 days and 6 hours later, I picked up a box. A box that holds what is left of my dog. I stare at this box blankly, because I know, that is not my dog in the box. That is just the remains, not the squirrel loving, frito eating soul that brought me joy, angst and happiness over the years. It is a box that signifies a change in time. A passing, a transition.
I expected to be taken to my knees by picking up the box. Instead, it provided some needed closure and reality. I was really ok with this particular transition. It was if it was a loud voice saying “next.”
I picked up the phone, while in the parking lot of the vet and called a friend. Dropped off a Starbucks and snuggled with two amazing labradors. Fine specimens of labradorian lineage. One of the two had those perfect lab eyes. Soulful eyes that make you know that everything is going to be ok. This is going to sound exceptionally lame, but loving on that dog, that sweet boy, somehow made me realize that it was going to be ok.
I got home and was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love in my mailbox.
I finished up work, and prepped myself to go out and support an organization that I love, and friends that I cherish. It would have been easy to stay at home, but life goes on. You just have to do what you need to do.
So, I did.
I hugged the necks of many friends. I made some new friends. I joked with many. I drank a cocktail. I flitted around, I did my thing.
I came home, hugged my black dog, wearing a Lilly P collar and a pink sweater (oh, the indignity) and said to her- it’s time to get our shit together.
We will put the box in a place where it needs to be. I will get prints of the pictures that we took in December. We will go on our walks. We will do our new thing. We will make each day a day.
Whereas I don’t have that big fat yellow ball of squirrel eating dog next to my side, I have my people. My glorious glorious people.
I was looking at my calendar tonight, filled with awesome events and outings, and I realized- I am lucky to have such problems- not enough time to spend with all of my people. I have a home, a glorious new roof, friends throughout the globe, family that keeps me on my toes and a dog that sits in another room keeping an eye on the house.
It’s been a day, but what kind of day has it been to come to such amazing realizations.