Writing 101: Grief

Today’s Blogging U prompt fits right in with yesterday’s.  Well, it fits in with my post for yesterday’s prompt.

Yesterday we had a spark of hope that Roscoe was feeling a bit better.  Unfortunately, it was a combination of wishful thinking on our part and the canine desire to please on Roscoe’s.  JD phoned me at work to describe his morning and we cried together over the phone.  For my part, I tried not to cry.  Hell, I’m a professional legal secretary in a global law firm!  There’s no crying in the workplace!

So I guess the most difficult emotion for me to keep under control would be grief.  I wept off and on all the rest of the day but while I was red-eyed behind my glasses and sniffling audibly or blowing my nose, only my nearest co-worker knew something was wrong.  Or perhaps she was the only one brave enough to ask specifically.  Plus I was staying close to my desk as much as possible to avoid untimely breakdowns.

I’ve discovered that I fight grief by trying to keep my mind off of it entirely.  When I learned of my mother’s death I acknowledged the news and headed down the hall to the master bedroom to find some laundry to sort or some other chore to occupy my mind.  My then-fiance, JD followed me into the bedroom, sat on the edge of our bed and pulled me into his lap.  That was all she wrote … he held me, stroked my back and murmured comfortingly while I sobbed my heart out.  Yesterday when I got home I went straight to JD and held him a moment and then went in to greet both dogs.  Roscoe’s tail was wagging away but I could tell he was ready.  His doggy smile was in place but his eyes were so very tired.

I changed clothes and while we waited for the vet I did stuff around the house.  JD and I took turns getting down on the floor beside Roscoe and having last minute cuddles, stroking his back, scratching him behind the ears.  And trying not to weep.  At one point JD went out to check the mail, and I buried my face in Roscoe’s coat.  I choked out how I was going to miss him but soon he would be pain-free.  And I asked him to say hello to his doggy friends Rocky and Old Man.

The vet was a lovely woman, compassionate and patient.  She explained the procedure and let us determine the timing.  The hardest part came when JD had to help carry the stretcher down our porch steps and lift Roscoe’s body into the back of her vehicle.  Later we piled into the Suburban, taking our Beagle, Peaches with us and headed to our favorite diner since neither of us had eaten anything for hours.  When one of our favorite servers seated us and asked whether I wanted decaf I looked him straight in the eye and said I wanted alcohol but I would also take the decaf.

He went off to start a fresh pot and we glanced through a menu we know by heart.  When he returned I asked him for a double whiskey neat.  He suggested Crown which was perfect but unfortunately he discovered the bar was out of Crown so rather than house whiskey he suggested something else.  I got to try something new to me.  Courvoisier mixed with cranberry juice.  For the purists out there I’m sure that sounds godawful but it hit the spot.  I’m such a lightweight that I was quite pleasantly buzzed before I’d finished half of it.  That helped in two ways:  first, it dulled the pain I was feeling; and second, JD was enjoying my inebriated state which eased his pain at least temporarily.  I rarely drink spirits; I’m a beer gal most of the time.  So last night was the closest JD’s ever seen me to completely drunk.  Apparently I was pretty amusing.

Bonus points for the Courvoisier:  I went right to sleep when I finally laid down.  Now I just need to get through the next days and weeks … I know from experience time will make it less painful.



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