You know by now that my dog of 13 years died this week. I know, she was only a dog. But she was also a close companion.
I’ve heard people describe grief as “gut-wrenching.” To me it’s not so much wrenching as it is hollowing. Gut-hollowing doesn’t sound very literary though, does it? Sometimes, though, I think about never seeing Lucy’s sweet happy face again, and…well, I have no good metaphors for you. I just miss her.
But the thing about loss is not only the immediate finality and all-around suckiness of death. It’s not even that I’m just sad because Lucy is gone. It’s like all of our losses swirl around and circle back upon each other, compounding and growing.
My hurt is not just missing my sweet dog who brought me so much happiness, every day of her life, and for many years of mine. It’s also missing my grandparents, the children I could never have, my upcoming empty nest. It all sort of rolls together into this messy rat’s nest of hurt and emptiness and loss.
This isn’t the way it’s meant to be. We feel that down to our bones. Sweet, loving dogs aren’t meant to leave their families. They aren’t meant to stay home and lay on the floor, legs arthritic and full of pain, while their favorite person goes on a walk alone. They aren’t meant to go to the vet and never come home again.
They’re meant to run in the surf of Lake Michigan and play hide and seek and chase after little boys and go on long walks and scare away whole flocks of geese, honking into the sunset. They’re meant to freak out the cats and chase squirrels into trees and gobble up peanut butter and curl up with their favorite person on a nice soft sofa.
Is Lucy doing these things in heaven? I don’t know. I hope so. I hope that this week was national Golden Retriever week in heaven, just because Lucy arrived there. My husband pointed me to this piece about C.S. Lewis’ opinion about dogs and heaven. I like it.
What I do know is that God is in the business of taking bad things and making them good–though, as the Old Testament figure of Joseph learned–sometimes those good things come awfully far down the road. So in the meantime, while I’m waiting for those good things to come along, I’ll be cuddling with my kitties (as much as they’ll let me) and hoping for brighter days.
As a thank you to my coworkers for covering for me while I’ll be away on vacation, I made monkey bread (p. 70) for them. It’s easy to make–just use pre-made buttermilk biscuits, cut them into quarters, and roll in cinnamon sugar. I’m going to leave the nuts off because of allergies.
I had bisquick at home, so I used that instead of buying the tubes of biscuits. I don’t know if that made a difference in the result. These sort of remind me of the Apple Pie Bites, I made waaaayy back last winter.
Final note: Does anyone have any spare zucchini or tomatoes they would like to part with? I wish I could say that I am a gardener. I’m really not, but I know that some of you out there are! If anyone has zucchinis or tomatoes they want to give up, I’ve got a bunch of recipes to get through. I’d love to get to them in the middle of August.
P.S. Latest remaining count of recipes: 112.