Just when you think you’re past it, it hits you that you aren’t. And it usually hits with no small brutality.
I am talking about grief.
Max has been gone since August and I must say that the easiest day in the process was the day we had him euthanized. We’d made a grim decision and stuck to it. We made our adieus to this absolutely beloved canine, wiped our tears and then went home.
But it was a few days later that the reality hit. Somehow in the back of our minds Max was just ‘away’. He’d come home again. We’d have him back. Acceptance that he is never coming back still succeeds in tearing us up. Just having written that sentence succeeded in tearing me up.
He is never coming ‘home’ again.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross was the person who set forth the ‘stages of grief’ and there is much truth to her assertions. Our problem, I think, is that we remain stuck in denial. I mean, there is a certain acceptance, on good days, or if we are involved in something that takes us away from Max Reality and then a reminder brings it all back.
When I saw the real estate supplement (which I posted on FB) it just brought it all back home to both Wendy and me. We haven’t yet let go of our grief. Or maybe we just haven’t chosen to let go. Whatever it is. And it is the ‘never coming home’ again aspect that makes it so painful. He’s not just away for a while, but for keeps. Forever and ever.
I have lost people in my life. Friends. Parents, all of which hurt. But almost oddly the loss of Max hurts more at a certain visceral level. Because I am basically retired he was here with me each and every day. If I went out he often joined me. We also took him on vacations with us. He was a great hotel dog. Never caused any trouble. And we felt safer having him in tow.
Someday we’ll probably get another dog. Someday. But we both know we’re not quite there yet. It would somehow seem like an affront to Max who was, in our esteem, the best damn dog that ever walked the planet or peed on a tree.
I know you think the same thing about your dog. That’s what having a canine is all about.