This is hard, but we knew it would be
There’s no easy way to work through grief, it’s the most painful, engulfing of emotions. Even when we know it’s coming. When we got Susie-Belle’s diagnosis 6 weeks ago I knew that we faced this time, that we’re now struggling through and I thought I’d started to prepare for it in my way.
But, this is bad, it’s much worse than I may have imagined, but it’s a phase, this I know. Hard and horrible as it is, time will move me through this awful pain and emptiness.
While the primal feeling I have, is one of wanting to hide away and give in to the agonies of weeping for what I’ve lost, this is not what I must do. For the sake of Renae and Twinkle. Saying that, Renae seems unperturbed by the change in our household; her life is one of pure and simple contentment and, this is the wonder of dogs, she’s getting on enjoying it, as she always has. I’m thankful for this, I don’t see it as anything but what’s right, for her. Grief, after all is a selfish emotion, it would make no difference to Susie-Belle if Renae was distraught. But, Twinkle is a different character, her needs are plain, she must have stability and the comfort of routines. So, I cannot indulge myself if it means ignoring Twinkle’s requirements. She’s always been happiest when we’re out on our walks. So, today we’ve walked, and walked.
I feel a strong urge to do this, not only to keep Twinkle’s mind at ease, but, for myself. I have to walk our favourite walks this week, without my little friend at my feet. Susie-Belle was always at my feet, she never strayed more than a few steps away; in all our thousands of walks we’ve taken together, I could look down and see her there, from the first walk we took together when she was on loan to me for the day, just before her cataract operation, she’s been there.
So I must be out and walking this week, I have to move forwards, together with Renae and Twinkle, watching them enjoy the simplicity of their lives, and drawing from them the comfort I so need right now.
As we move through time, we have to find our own way of doing what we must, to get through the challenges it throws up. There are no easy ways at times of loss and loneliness. For me, for us, this week we’ll walk. And in the words of Mary Oliver (thank you my dear friend who sent me this):
To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it,
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.