Tag Archives: grief

Into the Woods

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My insides are like a dark and stormy night that you shouldn’t have ventured out in
The beginning of the well known horror story
Crashes of lightning and thunder
Shivering trees.
Howling winds

The branches crash, hitting me in the face,
as I try to make my way through the woods
How did I end up here?
Feet sunk deep in mud, the kind that sucks the shoes off your feet,
wandering barefoot now,   I am cold and wet and dirty and overhead the storm rages on.

Bramble bushes assault my skin, tiny thistles bury themselves in my hands and neck and arms, the tiniest of slivers buried deep, impossible to see or pluck out,
creating an itch, a heat, that cooks my skin and turns it against me.  Now even my own skin becomes my enemy, scratching at it, scratching as though I would peel it off to get it out, out of me.

And still overhead the rain, the deluge plunging down.
Freezing cold, shivering and shaking, dirty and wet.
Everything around me is sharp, and fierce. And I stumble injuring myself.
And I stumble.  And I stumble.

I leave myself breadcrumbs, by the light of the moon, to find my way back,
out of the woods.
But they are eaten.
By starving, ready creatures, scavenging for any morsel of nourishment.
They scarf down the bread, and show me their teeth, hissing, growling.
This is not a friendly place.  We are not allies.  They are not here to help me.
They steal my resources without a moments hesitation, they would do anything to keep themselves alive, and I don’t blame because so would I.

So would I.

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Things to do after your dog has died

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I haven’t written anything in quite awhile.
My beloved, sweet, funny friend Koda died a month ago.
I came across this poem by Catherine Young (credited at end of post), and it really did help.
Poetry can make anything better, even if just a little.

Things to do after your dog has died

Sweep the floor

Look out the window

Pant

Make a cup of tea and some toast

But then not eat them

Change the sheets on the bed

Try to sing

Start to cry

Forget what day it is

Stumble into a corner of the floor and hold your knees tightly

Keen

Pull yourself together

Make another cup of tea and this time drink it

Look out a different window

Stare at that spot on the floor where your dog used to stretch out, languid and happy, his paws twitching as he raced across sleep meadows and into dream ravines filled with moss and ferns and the scent of foxes

Look for the Kleenex

Use toilet paper instead

Wander around the house,  your heart like a damned anvil in your chest

Heat up leftovers

Push them around the plate before leaving the entire thing in the sink

Look for what is not there

Hear things

Feel the forgotten fur beneath your fingertips

Feel the forgetting begin

Hold a memory, any memory, bright and shining, soft and sad, smelling of wet fur and leaves, with a whisker there and muddy paw prints left on the stairs, of a walk of a hike of a trip to the park with a treat and a bone and a belly rub snacks stolen off the counter and tug of war and the squeaky toy a glance of complicity in play with your hand on head with tail wagging and breath misting in the morning light or the moon over the trees while an owl croons ears are pricked and nose to the ground sniffing, sniffing, sniffing following the invisible trail to its joyful finding

Put on your pajamas

Turn around three times before you curl up by the rope toy and find yourself chasing the echo of a bark into a night that will never end

Grow a tail
Credit to Catherine Young, Poet
Website: : http://www.patriciamcconnell.com/theotherendoftheleash/things-to-do-after-your-dog-has-died#sthash.TWSX3aLo.dpuf

Swallowed

This bed has become a refuge, and a prison.
Dark and warm, I crawl on my belly, deeper and deeper
Into my own absence

This morning, I awoke desperate for some distant artifact
Evidence, of your existence
The lingering scent of your honeyed skin
A stray hair, I could braid into my own
Some remnant I could fashion into a talisman,
to ward off the dark and piercing loneliness

There are no arms to hold me.
But gently,  a cold, wet nose  and sticky, warm tongue
Attend to my grief stricken faced

If I rail at these efforts to soothe me,
she merely lies down and keeps a silent vigil for my wellbeing.
Waiting for an invitation to provide affection.

This love cannot hold me
But constant and unchanging,  it transcends language and culture
As a primate, I ache to be held
As a spirit, I recognize devotion.

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