to find a way through the thicket of sadness, regret and loneliness.
I am not clear of that yet and get tripped up by the sight of her ball hidden under the couch, or the bowls sitting empty that i can't find the courage to clear away.
Our lovely poodle died and it was unexpected and heartbreaking.
She was a funny little thing, typically female poodle i guess; anxious, loving, smart and kind, she was the perfect dog for us and the girls while they were young, happy to sit in the carriage of the bike, happy to sit in the backpack on a picnic adventure over the fence. She looked into our eyes with such love. She destroyed any soft toy we gave her, but never one of the girls' toys.
She loved to climb rocks, speed along the beach, welcome us with the "oh my God you are still alive, HALLELUJAH!!!" that she delivered every morning. She delivered much longed for sweetness to us. Love looks like the connection, the kindness and the willingness to give and receive that she had perfected.
I often joked that i always imagined myself with an Irish wolfhound as a young dogless child, something rangey and wild looking and i was constantly surprised by the fact that i had ended up with a poodle. In fact the surprise spilled over into every day life. We called her "Poodle" more than we called her Coco ( Simon and the girls's surname is Koller - get it coco koller - she was black and fizzy after all). She was loyal and a complete wimp and kindness personified. She was my Dad's medicine. She delivered love to those whom she could trust, in doses that left you filled up. I thought that loving would be around for a lot lot longer - she was only coming up 9 and we imagined she would live to a ripe old age given that poodles usually made it to 16 or so.
So now to the PSA part....
People have been so kind with understanding of how much of a hole i our lives her departure has left. And understandably people want to know why. I don't know why. I also am not served by conjecture. I want to mark this because i want to never ask, ever, in the face of someone's bereavement "what happened?" "did she eat...??"
I know it is ok to try and make sense of things but that is not always something that the bereaved need, and is often more important to the ones who are supposed to be comforting. Maybe if i was a sensate kind of person (practical, relying on data, routine and order driven) this would be useful but this heart broken introvert intuitive just wants to say "not useful".
In grief, and in pretty much everything i guess, help looks like what works for the person who is needing help.
Poodle always helped us feel like life was a joy.
May all of us have access to that feeling. Regularly.