This is how it is, on the third day since. Another awful sleepless night. Tormented by images that won’t leave. Guts in turmoil. Sick with grief.
Pre-dawn: Bugsy sidles up shyly, head-butting, biscuit-making. Dawn: Bugsy [repeat].
Morning. Sitting down to the computer with a cup of something. Taking in the mail. Crying some more. So touched by the tidal wave of your care and concern.
Bugs knows what to do.
He is being incredibly sweet. Much more affectionate and connected than before Fangie’s death. Clearly he feels the loss. He shows it in the obvious ways — looking for Fangie from room to room — and the more mysterious ones — staying closer to me.
Thank heaven for Bugsy. There were times when I thought: Hang on. If for no other reason, for Bugsy.
For my own part, I can’t but tell the truth: Sometimes I can’t even imagine how this terrible experience challenges me, will change me.
So many things sweep through. Right now it’s: I wish Fangie was still here. I miss him so incredibly painfully.
And then the emotions shift and change again.
A friend has offered the image of the broken glass that is customarily stepped-on at a Jewish wedding. This seems profound to me, at this moment. It’s about something joined, something shattered. When we open ourselves to love, this shattering is the other side of the picture.
Kim says this past Wednesday, on the morning of Fangie’s passing, Garrison Keillor read the poem on NPR “In The Moment,” by Maxine Kumin.
Wednesday was also the birthday of Ivy, Kim’s chocolate lab.
The poem is about Rosie, a rescue terrier, paddling in the shallows of a pond looking for salamanders. Here is an excerpt.
“Her heart murmur
will carry her off, no one can say when.
Meanwhile she is rapt in
the moment, our hearts leap up observing.
Dogs live in the moment, pursuing
that brilliant dragonfly called pleasure.
Only we, sunstruck in this azure
day, must drag along the backpacks
of our past, must peer into the bottom muck
of what’s to come, scanning the plot
for words that say another year, or not.”
And I, now I know the time certain when Fangie was carried off, I say this:
What Kumin says is what I do. The loss, now it has fallen so hard, is every bit as bad as what I feared. And then some.
Bugs knows what to do. You know, too. Take care of self, of other.
On Wednesday, just after we buried Fangie, it finally rained. It’s cooler today. There’s a gentle breeze, whiskering its way through the tall oak under which Fangie lies.
This will pass, this will pass like the whiskering wind. The love stays.