Monday, July 28, 2008

New Normal

There is something kind of beautiful about the pain you feel when you lose someone special. It is so interestingly human to have tears streaming down your face. I don't doubt for a second that animals are emotional and have feelings, but I think what separates some of the human emotion from the non-human animal emotion is that they probably can't wrap their minds around the concept of "forever". Even if my other hounds loved Travis, they may not understand that he is never coming back. Therefore, they react as though he is just gone for the day. Over time, they get used to the new normal without missing a beat. Or maybe animals know a lot more than we do. Maybe Katie looks at my tears and thinks "Quit crying. He's right here. He's not really gone."

Today seems to be my sobbing day. I have already left work and as you can see "I'm working from home"...... OK, so I am actually blogging, but I am checking work email frequently just in case I have to do something. I think it is kind of strange that the real pain hits me a couple of days later. I felt very calm about the decision and the process of letting go, but the new normal really hits hard and takes some time to get used to. Life goes on.

For now I will continue my therapy sessions with Dr. Pepper and I am having lunch with my friends, Ben & Jerry. Stephen was sweet to pick them up for me.


Denise- LessIsMore17 said...

:-( he is still very much with you. I hope Katie and Regan came help cheer you up from time to time, but it's going to hurt like hell for awhile and that's just normal for now.

Sientay L said...

It's not strange that the real pain is hitting you a couple days later. Trust me, the pain can hit you much later,unexpectedly,too.
Hang in there.

KF-in-Georgia said...

It's all those times when you turn around to see what he's doing because he's being too quiet. And then you remember...

I had a cat for 10 years, and when she died suddenly, I spent days thinking I'd just seen a movement out of the corner of my eye, then remembering that she was dead, and starting to cry again. That's just one reason that I promised Oreo--and myself--that I'd get another dog in quickly if anything happened to Oreo. I was going to need something furry to hug.

As it happened, I had Sam when Oreo died, but I still would grab him and hug him, then look for the other face that was supposed to come butting in looking for a kiss. I cried a bunch.

And then I got Jacey, who every-day-in-every-way reminded me she was not Oreo. More tears, then. (Believe it or not, it was more than a year before I slipped and called Jacey "Oreo." It didn't happen until Jacey turned into a bossy bitch.)

Although you had some time to prepare for losing Travis, the shock of his loss is still going to hit you. After a while, it'll just hit less hard.

Not much consolation, I know, but I cried over Travis a few times today, too. How can a dog that alive be gone?

And you're right: the dogs won't grieve. My guys don't even do sympathy whines (a la Lassie in the movies) when I cry. When Oreo died, Sam looked around and said, "My sofa, my food, my mom" and never missed her for a second...until Jacey arrived and scared the bejeebers out of him. He's convinced Jacey means it when she growls at him.

IHateToast said...

i found that for me, i relied on dreams for them to revisit me. in my dreams, i don't know they're gone, or, if i do, htey are still equal to me in vitality. does that make sense? in the dreams, we're all the same, so as long as they're in my dreams, i can feel them, hold them, pet them.

problem is that i can't make the dreams happen. i have to wait. but they gave me hope.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Ihatetoast, I would love for him to come to me in a dream. That would be so wonderful.

Sientay, I know what you mean about later on.... such as how will Reagan's first agility trial feel?

Denise and KF, thank you for the notes. They mean a lot.


Addie said...

I've dined with Ben & Jerry a few times since Cosmo left us, and I recommend Chunky Monkey and Cherry Garcia.

Even though I never had a chance to meet Travis, I've cried many times thinking of him. I know that with the bond you two had, he's looking out for you.

Of course I can't prove that Cosmo is still here with me somehow, but I've felt his presence several times, twice in my dreams. It took over 2 weeks for me to dream of him, but it was worth the wait. In the two dreams I've had, he looks like he did years ago...young and strong, able to run like the wind again.

In contrast to Travis, Cosmo was never a pro athlete, but in his day he was fast as lightning - he was a rescued whippet/lab mix with the graceful, nimble speed of a whippet and the strength and endurance of a lab. He was a thrill to watch.

In his later years, he ruptured two discs and even though he healed quite nicely, his hind legs had a "twist", and his sprinting, froliking days were over.

I'm sharing this because it took me a while to be sure he is still with me in spirit, and now I am. I'm convinced now that Cosmo can run again without pain, and the next time I see this boy who shared this incredible love with me, he'll be tearing up the grass with this toes, running full tilt towards me. Maybe Travis will teach him a thing or two in the meantime, and Cosmo will even surprise me with a little agility.

Thanks for reading this and letting me tell you a little about my Cosmo. I wish you many happy dreams with Travis. :-)

Cosmo (February 14, 1994-June 27, 2008)

greytblackdog said...

i have a close friend of mine who lost a child who was only 3 weeks old. the new normal is hard to get used to. for you/me/anyone who feels like we do about our greys - it is a similar feeling. pain isn't easy to predict. just let yourself feel it as you are ready to - sometimes it will surprise you.