I have for years preached to my patients that grieving does not start
when you lose a loved one or even when you burry him. Grieving begins
when you really let the beloved go, in your mind.
I thought I had cried enough, I was convinced that I raged plenty against
the slings and arrows of the outrageous fortune, but his food bowl stayed
on the floor, his favorite pouch next to the fireplace, his bed on the
family couch and his toys strewed all over the place. Any well meant
suggestion that I should be putting these objects away met with a mix
of tears and anger.
I constructed a mausoleum and Sadness and Guilt, the inseparable
companions of Grief, fanned the flames of an irrational, primitive
illusion: what if he is really not gone? As the flames of this insidious
illusion strengthened the headaches started, like a vise around my head
squeezed tighter and tighter every day for 2 months.
Then the “core could not hold anymore” the walls of denial crumbled.
In-between my sobs I heard myself asking: He is not coming back, is he?
No, sweetheart, he is gone my husband said.
As the tears subsided the vise around my head began to loosen itself.
In my mind’s eyes I saw Him prancing into the woods, his tail held
straight up like a little periscope, his ears erect. He turned his
head back to look at me: It was a great life, mom, thanks, and so long…..