Grief sneaks up on you

Corky’s been gone 2 weeks tomorrow.  The first night and the following day were pretty bad, then Thanksgiving and traveling were upon us and that took my mind off of things.  Coming home gave me a twinge of sadness, but I shook it off.  Corky was really sick and he was weak enough that he couldn’t even tell us if he was in pain or not.  We made the best, nay the ONLY decision that a caring, loving family could make for their pet.  I was okay with the decision and I was getting over the loss.  So I thought…

I wasn’t feeling like being social at all the night after Corky left us, but my BIL was visiting from up north.  So we moved the cable box up to the TV in our bedroom (which usually isn’t even plugged in) and holed up for the night to wallow in my grief and self pity.  The problem is that it’s two weeks later and the TV and cable box are still up here.  Most of Jake’s toys have also made their way up here.  More and more lately, I don’t want to leave the room; I don’t want to face the memories of Corky that are all over the living room and kitchen.  I don’t want to face my grief.  The more I’m up here, though, the worse I feel.  I don’t notice it all that often, I just see it as tired, and not feeling well, but when I look at it objectively, usually in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep, I see it for what it is:  a downward spiral of depression and self-pity.  It’s not healthy.  It’s not good for me or for Jake or for anyone else for that matter.  The housework isn’t up to par, the cat box is dirty, TJ is sleeping on the couch b/c I don’t sleep and even Jake is starting to act out.

It’s time to shake the cobwebs out of my head and do something about this.  I could be complacent about this for months, letting the time slip by without my even really noticing it, but the one who really suffers here is Jacob and I have to be more concerned about his well being than I am weak and depressed.  I have to fight this for his sake as well as for mine.

I haven’t left the house in days.  Not good.  It’s reminiscent of the last months in Lake City.  I even missed knitting last week, which isn’t like me at all.  Sure, I had a decent reason, TJ had work to get done after being at work so much all week. It would have been a MAJOR inconvenience for him to take Jake for the few hours I would have been gone, but he would have done it and without complaint.  I know that.  It really was just a lot easier to stay in bed, watch movies with Jacob and not bother with the world.  The thing is that I know I would have had a great time!   Ilove the Zombie Prom Daters and being one is one of my favorite things.  I always have a great time and laugh a ton when I’m with Spinsanity.  I just didn’t have it in me.  It was totally self destructive, though.  This week I’m going not only to ZPDK but to Guild as well and to Spinsanity’s house for some knitting/spinning before guild.  I’m jumping back into life even if feels like it takes everything I have to do it.  The TV is also coming down tomorrow no matter what.  If we want to watch TV, it will be in the living room like normal people.  I’m coming back, baby, just wait and see.

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Man’s best friend

Or in my case, woman’s.  I’ve had Corky for the last 11 years.

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Here he is right before Jacob was born in the summer of 2004.  Cute, huh?

I’ve had him for just over 11 years and he’s as much a part of this family as anyone else is.  I’ve really never thought of him as old and I haven’t allowed myself to think about a time when he might not be here anymore, but now I don’t have any choice, it seems.  In the last month he’s lost at least 15 lbs, maybe closer to 20.  He’s not eating much at all, no dog food and very little in the way of table scraps.  He’s been very lethargic and had only diarrhea for the last few weeks.   It really hit me the other night when I was giving him a haircut so that I could save his fur (which has grown really long) to spin with some wool for yarn to make a “Corky scarf” and I realized just how thin he has gotten.  His spine seems to be sticking up and his ribs can be clearly felt/seen.  Not a good sign.

We’re taking him to the vet tomorrow where I’m sure they’ll do blood work and give us the prognosis.  I’m not expecting it to be good; I wish we could have gotten him in last Thrusday like we planned.  I chickened out at the last minute, though, b/c I didn’t want to know.  I know, now, though, that I have to stop thinking about myself and what’s easiest, least painful for me and start thinking about what’s best for him.  I honestly don’t expect to be bringing him home on Monday.  I’ve been spending all the time I can with him, just sitting around cuddling and feeding him every meat product that I can get my hands on.  I even gave him a can of beer to drink last night (he used to steal long neck bottles when he was younger and tip them over to drink the beer as it spilled out).

He’s been a really good dog; the best friend and companion that I could have asked for.  I’m going to miss him dearly and there will never be another dog like him for me.  We’ve decided to wait a bit before getting a new dog.  I know that it’s important for Jake to have a dog, well, maybe not important in the traditional sense, but he’s had dogs since he was born and I think it would be confusing to him to have none suddenly, but I think I want to wait at least a few months in honor of Corky’s memory.

So, if you have a few minutes today, please stop and send some good thoughts/vibes his way.

Jake and Corky

Death of a Great Man and Zombie Knitting

originally written on 11/12/07

First off, I want to take a moment to remember my surrogate father, Wynne Fidler. Jacob called him Papa Wynne and thus so did I. He was my “little sister” Brooke’s father and as our friendship grew, I quickly adopted him as my very own. The way this man opened his heart to me and even more importantly to Jacob without really knowing either of us was nothing short of miraculous. It was just one example of the big heart and amazing capacity for love that made him who he was. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer almost 6 years ago (correct me if I’m off on the length of time, Brooke) and he was so strong and so brave and so determined not to let this beat him. He fought the good fight for as long as he could and this evening it finally got to be too much and he let go. It was peaceful, Brooke tells me, and there wasn’t much suffering at the end. If there is a blessing in all of this, that would be it. I will make sure that Jake remembers that he had a Papa Wynne and that he loved him very much. Good bye P.W. you will be missed and you were loved. You already know this Brooke, but my heart is there with you and I just wish my body could be as well. I love you!!

Okay, lets try to lighten the mood a little bit… Last Thursday I went to the Zombie Prom Date Knitters group and it ROCKED MY SOCKS!!! What a great group of women (didn’t hurt that Shannon, my first local knitting buddy was there as well). I was a little nervous walking in, as I always am in new situations, but had Nan with me, Shannon was going to be there and I have to get over this shy thing. Turns out that everybody was really friendly, especially Holly, who is the brains behind the group. We had so much fun and I wish that I had been able to go this week as well, but Corky is sick. I’m going to have some serious withdrawal since it will be over a week before another knitting group.

ETA: Today (11/17) is Wynne’s memorial service. It should be starting right now. Brooke, know that my heart and my thoughts are with you. I wish I was with you right now. I’m going to take a moment when I’m done here to be still and silent and remember him.