"Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for awhile."
The Princess Bride
A rough emotional week. Mornings are hardest. Before Lucy I'd never suddenly lost someone I love, much less witnessed the passage. One minute here and fine, the next . . . gone. In my arms. Before my eyes. I'm still reeling from the shock and it hurts like hell. I've started what-iffing. What if I hadn't taken her to the river that day? What if I'd known doggie CPR? Could I have saved her? Questions I have to nip in the bud because they torment.
All of the sudden looking at photos of Lucy hurts, but I can't/won't stop. So happy, so alive, so silly, so NOISY—things I know she still is, just not in her body. Yet it's her physical presence I miss with all my heart and all my senses. I love her body. Her body seems such a part of her spirit. Floppy ears, floppy tongue, three legs, her ghost arm, her hippity hop, her beautiful eyes, her long wonkable nose, her fast-wagging tail, her smiles.
Night before last I had my first dream about her, which I believe was actually a visitation. In the dream I opened a dark pair of curtains just enough to peer through, and there she was: Lucy, curled up on a chair like I used to have, just looking at me like, "Hi Mama."
Wish I could say that peeling back the curtains into the spirit world comforted me, but I just miss her. It's one of the few truths I know.
People keep telling me to be gentle with myself as I walk through my grief, and I'm heeding their advice. I'm discovering then keep doing what provides some relief: talking about Lucy, writing down memories, spending chill-time with friends, going to AA meetings, praying (on knees), playing with Silas, swimming, walking, zoning out with movies, working as needed, soaking in every gesture of support. Last night a friend and I watched About a Boy and I actually felt delight. Stephen Colbert delights me. Being silly with Silas delights me. I think intentionally seeking pleasure (the healthy kind—and the occasional milkshake with whipped cream kind) is the only way I'm going to survive this lifetime.
Yesterday at Home Depot I heard a man say he'd lost his dog that morning. He was grief-stricken. They'd just lost another dog two weeks ago. "Two dogs in one month," he said softly. I looked in his eyes, touched his arm and offered my condolences.
Why do people get so aggravated with each other? We never know what another soul is going through.
I have no words of wisdom. But I do know the importance of a kind word, a warm hand. Of being witnessed. There's a saying in the rooms of AA: "We don't shoot our wounded." I am grateful to have learned from my sober sisters and brothers the necessity and grace of being totally open and honest.
Marion Woodman wrote, "At the very point of vulnerability is where the surrender takes place—that is where the god enters. The god comes through the wound."
I don't know what the god is. But I'm learning that the wound needs fresh air. The wound is an opening where grace and love enter too.
P.S. About the title—Beans is one of Lucy's nicknames.