Gone from Here

November 5, 2007 § 2 Comments

It’s not death that bothers me so much, it’s dying. Death is permanent and peaceful, and while there’s a strangeness about it— you’ll never see him again, though he’s always been there before— dying is much more distressing. Loss looms, pain continues, time stretches thin. I find myself awake in the night, trying to think of all the things I might want to say to them in the future, then panic knowing that I can’t possibly get it all out.

My parents had our dog, Bowser, put to sleep last Monday, though no one told me until Friday. He was 17. My Uncle Alan died on Saturday. He was 58.

And while I was a complete mess last week, I am feeling better now. I do realize intellectually that they both were suffering. How much more than 17 years can you expect out of any dog? And my uncle had been suffering from cancer for many months— first in his lungs, then in his adrenal glands, finally in his brain.

I wish with all my heart I could believe in Somewhere Else— a Fourth Sphere populated by foolhardy squirrels where good dogs with clear eyes and strong legs can prance, and keep order, or a Third Sphere for blue-collar men with twinkly eyes and sharp tongues— but I just can’t find it in me now. How comforting it must be for those who can trust in the faith of their forebears! For me, for now, it’s too simple.

But even without knowing I will see them again, both whole and happy, I can appreciate their peace. I can believe in peace.


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