Monday, May 11, 2009


Monday, a new morning. I feel confused - I really can't believe that Sherlock died only last Friday - it seems my mourning was vast and long. Something happened to time. Not having him was noticing every moment that he was not here. I use the bathroom, I notice that I don't have water in the sink. He insisted on that, liked to sit on that ledge by the high mountain stream, we called it. I go out to the garage, I notice I don't have to be looking down and saying No, No in louder, firmer tones, to keep him from running out. In thirteen years with us, he never gave up the hope. I notice what he left behind, the markings on the side of a cupboard, the cat toy on a wand that hangs in the kitchen. One thing at a time we are putting things away. I was vastly appreciative that Tom removed the litterbox and rug from the bathroom Friday night. He said it helped him to do an action. He is very rooted in the material world, the world of form, and I am more rooted in what? imagination? creativity. Last night Sherlock appeared in a dream, but he did not look quite like himself. This is what you lose, that actual warm body, the bony skull, the patterns of the fur, the tailtip twitching until the end.

Yesterday we went to Oakland Nursery, along with a million other optimistic people. We bought mint and basil, but the main thing was the pansies. I'd been wanting some for weeks. And they still had some on a trolley in the back, though it's all about the summer annuals now. We got a mixed bowl half-price. It cheers me up to see it through the kitchen window, on the stone ledge that encases our untidy Zen garden. In fact, it cheered me in the morning to see heaps of oak flowers fallen in that garden, one gracing the Jizo's head. It said that change keeps coming. We might be at a dead stop in our grief, but life kept moving on.

Last night Gini came by with a huge, beautiful bouquet that features purple Siberian iris, and a sympathy card. We sat and talked for hours, some about Sherlock and her cat Mariah, who died just a few months ago of the same kind of thing, kidney failure. She loves animals too, and is part of a national network of people who provide foster homes for Dalmations. We also talked a lot about our regular, ordinary lives and concerns. How I have reserved at the library a book called somthing like Throw Away 50 Things, how she and I have been reading this book all our lives without improving ourselves very much, and accumulating things all the while. We really need to take it in hand, but last night being together, talking, enjoying hot fudge sundaes, was more important than arranging things.

You don't throw away that loved one. But you step out into your life, paying more attention to those you love, knowing how swift and certain death comes.

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