For me, grief changes colors as I grow older. The raw pain when grief hits is dark blood. The muted numbness is more Persian blue, like the ocean at midnight.
Grief, they say, has many stages. I'd like to add that the stages is not all the same. Sometimes the pain hits last, after the shock has receded. Sometimes, it's like white noise, always at the edge of consciousness.
It's been a very fast two days since I returned home from my DC trip. In that time, I haven't had much time to actually deal with my feelings. I know I'm hurting but it seemed I spent more time comforting my dogsitter who was very upset and the girls at the vet, who adored Mira.
In today's non-stop whirlwind of living, I've found that I even multitask my grief. Since coming home, I've been catching up with email and job chores, taking the other Old Lady to the vet because of a worrisome cough, trying to find out delays with certain job projects, running around doing all the things I have to do, and for a few minutes in between, I'd think of Mira and I grief. Then I pick up the phone and call the insurance agent about some missing papers. Then I hear the coughing in the background and stress out because any changes in kidney doggies could be bad. And then I'd think of Mira again and the back of my eyes would start hurting.
The hardest parts of the day are the simplest chores. I've to cook for my furbabies because the Old Ladies are on a special diet. The first time, I forgot and I cooked too much. When I handed out the snacks, I automatically counted the usual before putting back one. When I let them out, I'm looking for the missing one because she's always trying to hide behind the bushes. Not yesterday. Not today. I had to remind myself that she isn't there any more.
Perhaps it's the non-closure of it. I didn't get to say goodbye and even though I know Mira's gone, my heart won't believe my head. And it aches watching Temper look for her sister because they share the back porch room together. I'm thinking of getting her a companion because being a kidney dog, she can't stay inside with Jiggle Low and Lilah without supervision. And then I'd grief a little for Mira again while planning different ways to distract her grieving sister, who wouldn't eat today.
The color of my grief at this moment is like a load of laundry that had been stained by a item discoloring during the wash. The sock is still a sock, but it's a weird bluish red; the favorite teeshirt is still my comfy shirt, but it's blotchy. I look at them and am reminded of what I've forgotten to do--sort out that one dark item.
That's what multitasking grief can do to your psyche. Everything appears normal but there is something happening, discoloring and acting as a reminder.
I didn't want to write this blog entry. Grief is mostly a private thing, and open grieving can be very uncomfortable for many who come to this blog for entertainment. But you know what? This blog is my private space, in a way; I come here to be me. Writing demands absolute attention; there is no multitasking in writing, especially when it's personal.
Tomorrow it's back to whirlwind and worry, but for now, I'll take this time to let my heart properly say goodbye to Mira, the once-upon-a-time little thing that the vet told me "if she were alive in the morning, it'd be a miracle." Not only did she survive that night with me, she went on to live for another 13 1/2 years, always feisty and funny, and surviving two heart attacks and pyometra in her old age. She was absolutely my Miracle Girl.
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