Grief is an uncaring emotion. When you think you’re past it, it sneaks up on you years later and hits you straight in the solar plexus, leaving you emotionally bruised and struggling. It can be even worse when it hits you when you’re unguarded; when you’re low or lonely, when you have none of your regular conscious defenses.
In my case a simple conversation about beloved dogs (I believe) triggered mine; the boss and I were talking about how dogs have individual characters. Going to sleep, I wasn’t even thinking of that conversation, and besides, I like to remember Tam, my family’s first dog.
We lost Tam, our very own red dog, over 6 years ago. She lived to a ripe old age for a mid-sized dog, and she went without trauma or suffering.
She has been a frequent character in my dreams since we lost her. There was one time she had a very Death Becomes Her cameo, complete with cartoon-ish hole in the middle (she was happily trotting around, unawares, so it wasn’t all terrible). I often remember these dreams, so in a way it’s good to have a memory of her there.
The grief that has hit me was only a little bit about missing my first dog. It was what I said to her in the dream.
“Haven’t seen you in a while.”
And it’s true. She hasn’t been a part quite of my dreams for a good while.
It’s reality; life stretches on and you have other experiences. You won’t remember one person, entity, memory quite as frequently. And so it goes.
And that is what is driving my waking grief today.
My writer brain is trying to step outside, to think about how this applies to stories I might write. The compulsion to write is there, hence this blog post.
Grief is also tricky to capture. It’s a diverse experience, that has no time limit, few hallmarks of returning to life. It can be crushing, melancholic, hovering.
I’m feeling, wanting to talk about my grieving today. We are often encouraged to go on, ignoring that loss doesn’t follow the same course for everyone. If you do want to talk about yours here, feel free to drop me a comment. Or if you’re feeling sad but want to chat, drop me a line any way you know how.