Shiva Mouse

Day 7, this last day of Shiva.

We, Fangie and I, have been as mice, crushed in the jaws of the ravening black werewolf of death and grief that has hunted us down.  Now that the monster has dispatched whom it came for – Fangie – I can feel its jaws loosening around me.  Perhaps it has lost interest.  Is turning its baleful red eyes on someone else.  For the moment.

That mythic monster.  So much bigger than Fangie, than I.  Vaster and more eternal than all who live.  Sensitive, thoughtful beings, of and in this community of life, know this.  We can never fully turn our backs on this monster.  It is as much a presence in the community of life as joy is.

Now that shiva is ending, now that the thunderstorm that also visited on the morning of Fangie’s death has heralded the return of cool and coming autumn, I want to turn my back on nothing.  I want to understand, include, be with, all.  No matter how terrible.

This is not noble.  This is self-interested.

From time to time this week, I have caught myself turning my back in various ways.  I could tell the difference between the monstrous pain, which was at least real – and that other thing, that turning of the back.  The marching through routine acts, done flatly, stiffly, obsessively.  Blocked, alienated.  The Olympic theme song, running on and on and on through my head, in a mindless endless relentless loop.

The grief was real.  The other?

I write this in the trembling of incipient tears (yet again) – but now I am thinking that the grief was preferable to the turning of the back.  That denial of life, the opposite of life, in all its flat unmoved-ness.  The turning of the back, in a kind of rage with all life bled out of it.

I think grief is preferable.  The feeling in grief’s wake is preferable.  This morning I feel soft, slow, exhausted – but my breathing is deep and full.  I don’t remember breathing, in those moments of back-turning.  There, I recall having no feeling of life.

This morning I found a long-lost earring.  It is beyond me how it could have survived month after month of vacuuming and ceaseless traffic, only to turn up this morning as I glanced down this time, as I so often do, after Fangie’s passing.  Searching for whatever little signs of him that remain behind.

Two little pearls.  Fangie and me.

Found.  Lost.  Found again?

This evening, as the sun sets on this last day of first mourning, I am going to take Fangie’s favorite green mousie to my women’s group.  With that mouse, we will mark the end of this first period of the rest of our lives.  Together, as with you.

About nadbugs

Anita loves cats. This must be because she, too, has had nine lives. She’s been dancing since she could walk, she was a commercial artist and advertising producer, she earned a third-degree black belt in Aikido, she is a drummer with the Afrique Aya Dance Company, she is an attorney, and she’s a meditator and a devoted student of Nonviolent Communication. She also spent one lifetime sidelined with a devastating back injury in 1992. Since then – FELDENKRAIS METHOD® to the rescue. The FELDENKRAIS METHOD is all about dreaming concretely – thinking intelligently and independently by way of a gracious and kind physicality. The work affords all who study it a process by which to reach, with movement, into the mind and the heart, to make nine lives into one whole being.
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22 Responses to Shiva Mouse

  1. Ritual is powerful, cleansing and healing. May it shower you with blessings.The lost and found earring is a perfect metaphor for life and how in the big picture we never really lose anything. Btw, in the bio about Nadbugs, my eyes keep lighting on “Fang cheated death twice”.Another insight hiding in plain sight? Will share this on my FB page and continued L & L to you.

  2. lahgitana says:

    You have chosen well, my dear. Being numb to one disastrous moment means numbness entire, which is too sad to contemplate.

    How do I thank you for inviting us in? I think it was Ivy who said she couldn’t have borne your silence through this time. Me too.

    We are here beyond the 7th day, too.

    • lahgitana says:

      Pee Ess: I don’t think I’ve ever heard “mousie” and “Shiva” in the same sentence.

      • Yes, I agree… The silence would be much worse. The numbness would be much worse. Shiva and mousie together… first time I ever heard. In order for the pain to be truly left behind, it has to be fully felt. That’s what the whole grief process is about. So it is a comfort to my heart to know that you’re going through grief fully aware of it. It means the future has a better chance at being bright once the clouds leave. I’ll keep coming to sit after the 7th too… In fact, as long as you keep sharing, I’ll keep coming. Much love your way!

  3. looloo says:

    Hello, Nadbug, I don’t know what to say, I read your sorrow and really feel with you, because I have cats myself, but also above all because I fell in love with Fangie, I can’t believe there will be no more stories or pictures of him, I treasured them.

    I think you are really brave and generous to share your grief with us. I learnt a lot of things reading your posts.


  4. “Together, as with you.”
    Thank you.
    Love and Peace

  5. Your posts in this time of sadness and mourning have been very profound and deeply felt. I “don’t remember breathing” in reading and experiencing Fangies passing through your words. But we breathe again, and life moves. I hope sitting shiva and sharing with us has helped you breathe again. We are honored that you share this with us.
    Bright Blessings, Carolyn

  6. CATachresis says:

    This has been, and still is, quite a journey you are taking. I am privileged to have been able to share just a bit of it with you Anita. The lost earring has resonance with me and reminds of a time past when I seemed to stop breathing during a time of grief. It told me that confidence would return and one would move on. xox

  7. We’re with you still, always. It’s not an easy thing you’re going through. There are no other words I can say, just that I’m glad you had Fang while you did. I’m glad he was so loved. I’m glad he touched you, and that you touched him.

  8. Melanie says:

    I keep thinking of you, and sending you as many good thoughts as I can, in hopes that they buoy you through the difficult times. Thank you for your brave and very honest writing about the grieving process… it’s such a difficult topic to touch on sometimes, but I truly believe that only by embracing the grief can we ever heal from something like this.

  9. MTVA says:

    Here we are, a week after everything changed and we lost our dear Fangie, who will always be a blessed and loved memory for all of us. How we all loved him and delighted in his pictures and the stories, our dear Fangle Dangle. From his long-awaited journey to us, thru all his happy times, and yes, thru the worrying times, we loved him then and always will.Thank you for bringing him to us, and for inviting us to share in your Shiva, it has been a blessing for us, as you are. Thoughts, prayers and purrs are with you, as always.

  10. I just came to sit a little while with you. I know the sitting is over, but I wouldn’t be able to stand for too long. So I came to just sit for a while. Just so you know you have my company at this very moment. Much love going your way.

  11. kolytyi says: – a book of one of my favourite writers about death – in fact, about his own almost-death. He tries to write about things which belong to our most basic and most important experiences but are taboo so that we cannot speak about them properly because we do not have the words, the linguistic tools for doing so.

  12. lahgitana says:

    hangin’ around…. love to you…

  13. MTVA says:

    Stopping in for a bit, with warm thoughts and purrs.

  14. Came to be with you for a moment. Sending you and Bugs much love…

  15. lahgitana says:

    Thinking of you and Bugs. And Fangie too.

  16. CATachresis says:

    Just passing through ……. xox

  17. I read your last post when you posted it. Sorry I did not comment then. I felt quite beyond words, knowing what pain you were going through. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. I understand that no words can help at the moment but our thoughts are with you.

  18. lahgitana says:

    still hangin’ around…

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