Grief is a funny thing. It can strike at anytime, wherever it likes. I’m awake writing this right now because of it, otherwise I’d be curled up in bed with the boyfriend, making the most of the time I have with him this weekend before the madness of the holidays descends fully upon us.
Yeah, I know, it was just a dog. But dogs become part of the family. They play with the kids and they bark ferociously when a strange car pulls in. They let kids pull on their ears and do all kinds of stupid tricks just to please the humans (okay, and get a treat). They’re four-legged family members, and to lose them–especially abruptly–hurts.
Mustang wasn’t the youngest of dogs, I admit. She was about nine. But she could’ve had more years. Five, at least, I think. And it pains me to think of those years being lost.
I kept it off my mind most of the day. It was busy, after all, with Chomsky here and the excitement of meeting a fellow NaNoer and getting to hang out with her all day. But when it came time for bed, all the thoughts I’d carefully nudged aside all day came slinking in, one by one, until my brain was overwhelmed.
Then my iPod decided to play Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel” while I tried to sleep beside my already-snoring boyfriend. (I really do hate him sometimes for how easily he can drift off.) I cried a little and then I gave up. I got up, crawled over him and when the sleepyhead asked what I was doing, said there was no point keeping him awake too. I took a long, blistering shower and now here I am.
Funny how this grief thing works. You put it aside, don’t think about it, and suddenly, it gets you again like a fist in the gut, and not just in the first few days after a loss either. Weeks, months, years. Time helps, yes, but only because time is the great leveller, bringing us all to the same end.
Anyways. I’m going to go try that whole sleep thing again. Wish me luck.