Brad and I spent the weekend house sitting for a friend the day after Indi died. It was great to get out of the house, take a jacuzzi bath, watch movies in bed… When we came home Sunday night we pulled our bikes up to our apartment door. I stood waited as Brad got his keys out and tears welled up in my eyes, rocks in my throat: Indi was not behind that door. Brad paused, too, thinking what I was thinking. He looked me in the eyes and I started to cry. After Indi died, the hardest part was coming home at the end of the day to an empty house.
One month later, coming home is not sad anymore. I don’t cry everyday, but I cry weekly. I feel I have left the first phase of my grief, which was mourning the loss of my first love, and entered the second phase: I have lost my job.
We know that caring for a tripawd with cancer is a big job. And when our dogs leave we don’t have our jobs anymore. I feel like I’ve been laid off! I have more time on my hands than I know what to do with. I work part time, and when Indi was a tripawd and needed more care that was perfect, but now I’m bored. I’m lost.
Two times last week I woke up in the morning and lay in bed thinking, there is NO reason for me to get out of bed today. When Indi was here I had to get out of bed to let her out to pee, feed her breakfast, and take her for a walk. After work I had to come home and let her out, feed her dinner, keep her company… I lost that. I don’t have anyone to take care of anymore. I am solely responsible for myself now and I don’t like it. There is a big space in my life that my dog used to fill. Now it is empty.
Here is the positive side to all of this: I’m free. We are free now, all of us. James, Indi, Fortis, Mackenzie, Maggie, JD, Commet…. and us pawrents. We can stay out late. Spend the night at a friend’s house! Leave town for the weekend. Watch movies all night. We have so much space to spread out in. It is both freeing, and sad.
The work is to find the balance to be at peace with the empty space. Don’t try to fill it up, hard as it might be. Because it is what it is.
It is what it is, says love.