I am not sure how to begin this. I told myself I wouldn’t even write this post. I told myself I didn’t want to acknowledge the day an essential light went out of my life. But here I am…unable to let the day go without writing…without talking to her still. Maybe I think my words might help another or maybe I just need to place them here…maybe I am trying to find an escape from the enduring sadness that I feel. I don’t know but here it is…a year later…a lifetime ago and sometimes only yesterday…the only thing unwavering is how much I miss her still.
I find that I will never be able to absorb death how others might. It twines itself around my bones and makes its way deep inside my heart resting there as I push along aching for those I’ve lost…for others who have lost – for this life is not without burden.
I kept trying to fix my loss and then I stopped. I have buried it farther than I should so it flushes to the top of moments it doesn’t belong and I catch myself crying as though I am alone surrounded by strangers now avoiding my eyes. I wish that would stop happening but this is how it goes when you miss something you can no longer hold.
I’ve always loved Mary Oliver for the way she wrote in/of nature and the other day I was listening to my favorite podcast On Being and she was being interviewed. I couldn’t believe it because it’s such a rarity and so I was sure to listen to the unedited version. The interview was very good especially when Oliver read her poems, but my favorite part was towards the very end when she talked about her love of dogs. I already knew of this and even purchased Dog Songs after losing Addis…but to hear her talk about her loss and animals in general, even though it was only for a few minutes, filled my heart with joy and I lay sobbing in my bed long after the interview was over. It is absolutely worth a listen, which you can do here.
I don’t plan to make this a constant, counting the years that go here – my heart will do that naturally…but today I needed to.
Mary Oliver writes, Dogs die so soon. I have my stories of that grief, no doubt many of you do also. It is almost a failure of will, a failure of love, to let them grow old – or so it feels. We would do anything to keep them with us, and to keep them young. The one gift we cannot give.