Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Grief In its Own Time
I wake up with blog post ideas. Yes, that's a good one, I tell myself. And I can use the photo from . . .
Over the past month I've considered lots of entries, but somehow when it's time to open the blogger dashboard, my fingers freeze and I stop.
My last post is a tribute to Daphne, my 14-year-old golden retriever, who died on July 23. I haven't wanted, been able, to consider supplanting her muddy face with another post, until now. I pause, ready to leap into my new idea, but . . .
Many times I've walked down to her grave at the end of the yard, by the compost bin, and chatted with her. "Hey girl," I say, "I miss your impish energy, your wiggling up out of a deep dirt sleep to trot around the yard with me and tease me when I dump the vegetable droppings.
"Oh isn't she being a conscientious citizen," you would say--if you could talk, jerking your head back in a challenge, your black lips parting in a smile. "You're such a good girl, unlike me, the wolf dog." You would bark and invite me to chase you or play a game with you. You'd drop a ball or a stone at my feet. "Throw it," you'd say. Whenever Bill came out, you would try to block him when he shot baskets in your yard--try to get into the game with him. He swore you laughed when he missed a hoop.
Yesterday, without you at my side, I strung a clothes line out back, something I could never do when you were alive. For a day or two you would have ignored the damp prey. But then, on a lazy afternoon, a pillow case waving in the breeze would have been too much and you would have ripped it down, shaken it to break its neck, and dug it into one of your mud holes. Next a sheet, a t-shirt, anything you could reach.
Now I have a line up. I have a screen door since you're not here to paw through it at the first threat of thunder--the change in weather you always sensed long before we did. Our TV room no longer smells like a vet's office. There are no clumps of golden hair clinging to our kitchen chair legs. I can take a brisk walk and not feel guilty for leaving your rickety self at home.
I set out to write a post about something else, thinking I was ready. But you have taken over. That's how grief works--it has its own timetable, surprising us.
I choose this picture, looking up the driveway from the Wildacres resident cabin. At the top of the slope, light bursts through but down here we are in a darker place.
Posted by Carol Henderson at 8:19 AM
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