Today, though, I pushed myself to be productive. I organized and submitted my preliminary classwork for the second module in the School of Stitched Textiles course. Later than I thought I would, but then again, everything is later these days. I finally am feeling physically better, back to my "normal" (meaning still in lots of pain, but not "sick" with other problems.) This is my first free week of summer. I "should" be going deep into a new piece of art, taking the time I never have all school year to develop meaningful work that I care about, that challenges me and helps me understand and survive in my world.
This is hard to do with my heart living in a very sunken state. The reality of no more Til, ever, is hitting home now that the chaos and distraction of a hospital stay is behind me. I dreamed that he was still alive and felt so much happier in the dream, then woke up only to realize he was long gone, out of reach, into infinity and beyond. This gave way to a brutal cry that was hard to control. I know it's going to hit me from time to time, and that grief circles around with a mind of its own. I know logically about grieving loss and have done so many times in the past, but am very shocked at the sense of loss I am feeling. Most of the time my logical self prevails, but grief can be irrational. He very well could be the last little dog I'll ever have, and that thought both scares and reassures me. It is weird.
Yesterday Hapi started barking like Tilly, then said "Till..." and stopped. He has howled like Tilly did when I closed the door and left for work in the morning, and recently even has brought up some of the dearly departed Toby sounds, too. He recreates the sound and feeling of my little complete family, which will never be the same again. Ellie just moves from room to room with me, laying down near my feet, and quickly falls to sleep. She doesn't really seem to mind being alone. Everything changes, my logical brain reminds me, and things can't be the same forever. All while my broken heart begs to hold my little pup one more time.
I think about next steps. Continuing to get used to the lack of endorphins that surely were created every time I looked at Tilly, let alone interacted with him. Giving myself space to have one less creature to care for and worry about. Try to work on the medical bills left behind from the experience of having a little fella with a bad hip, rotten teeth, and a liver shunt. Try to be mature about this and not see it as a major life issue. People lose dogs all the time and it sucks, we know it. Don't dwell.
Or, I briefly let my brain wander to think about getting a new puppy to care for, so that Ellie won't be alone in the fall, so that I can feel that happiness again. Then I realize that this is selfish too, as I question my ability to care for another dog for its lifetime due to the medical problems present in my own. And, I don't want rebound-puppy, as that is very unfair to all concerned -- and I don't know how any dog could compare to Tilly. I looked online at older rescue dogs, and was put off with the medical needs they seem to come with. Eventually I did look online at puppies and felt relieved when they were way out of my price range. Decision making not needed. Back to trying to get used to life without my little furry prozac.
I better go outside and pull some weeds. My eyes are leaking again.