The Difference Between My Dog And Me
When I leave my house my dog sits outside my office door and waits for me. He sees me go out the front door but he goes outside in the backyard, where my office is, and sits by my locked door. He does that because during the day that’s where I always am and in his mind he can’t understand where else I could be. I’m always there so I must be there.
I think people do the same thing when we lose someone. Death is such a confusing experience. One minute a person is part of our lives and then in the next they are gone. How to make sense of it? Not in a religious or spiritual way but in a visceral physical way? Not possible. So we go to the places where the person we lost used to exist and look for traces of them. We sit outside their doors and hope somehow they are inside.
But just like in my dog’s case no matter how long we wait our “person” won’t mysteriously materialize. They now occupy a different realm in our lives and it’s a hard transition for the people left behind.
My husband’s birthday is tomorrow. He would have been 51. We would have either gone out to dinner, just the two of us, or I would have prepared a special dinner for him. I know we wouldn’t be having a party because we would have had a big one the year before when he turned 50. So this year we would probably want a quiet romantic dinner.
Tomorrow we (brothers, sister, parents and me) are going to his favorite restaurant and I’m going to bring his favorite wine and we’ll talk about him and try to feel his physical presence in that restaurant but he wont’ be there. He will be in this other dimension where he now resides; our hearts.
All of us that have lost partners wonder how we’re going to live without our loved ones. How do we sit at a table to eat – where they used to sit across from us – and stare at an empty chair? How do we get pleasure out of watching the plants grow when that had been a project we had together with them? No simple answer except that somehow we do or somehow we must.
I know my emotional psyche holds less despair than it did a year ago. The love and the longing have not diminished, only the desperation, and as my life continues to exist I keep looking for ways to appreciate more each day and not give way to things that are not that important.
That’s one of the differences between me and my dog. My dog will always be outside my door waiting for me while I instead of waiting outside Chris’ door will honor him with a life lived with dignity.
Happy birthday Chris.