Tuesday, March 15, 2005

You Can Run But You Can't Hide

We went to Denver on Saturday and came back late yesterday afternoon. The main reason I went was to go to the Denver Metaphysical Fair. The second reason I left, and the reason my husband came along, was to get away from memories of Emma and the pain those memories brought up. Running away worked pretty good until we got back home yesterday.

When ever I go to Denver I do some grocery shopping and bring the cold stuff back in a large cooler. First thing I did when we got back was bring it into the house. I started unloading it while squatting down in front of the refrigerator. When it was empty I stood up. The refrigerator is right next to a wall that has shelves attached to it and as I stood up I made the mistake of leaning forward to pick up the cooler. As I came up I rammed the top of my head right into the bottom shelf. It hurt so badly I couldn't cry. I am sure the second I did it my subconscious whispered, Hah! Thought you could just ignore your emotional pain didn't you? Well, try to ignore this!

Ten minutes later I was in my bedroom unpacking my suitcase. I pulled out a pair of slipper socks and automatically put them on the bench under the window. As I did so I felt a sense of confusion; why didn't I put them on the floor? Then I remembered why because Emma loved to play with socks. If you put a pair down Emma was there in a flash to snatch one of them and take off with it. I don't know how many times I chased her around the house trying to get a sock back. She considered slipper socks more sock that slipper and if I put them on the floor she would grab one and run away. I would set them on the bench folded over so only the soles showed. I guess that way they looked more like slippers than socks to her because she never touched them when they were on the bench. I thought about moving them to the floor but I couldn't and left them where they were.

I didn't start crying until I was in bed that night. I thought I had cried myself out last week but I found myself crying as deeply as I did when Emma first died. Then I realized that the tears I was now crying were not tears of anguish but tears of anger and frustration. I was angry at Emma for eating the poison. I was angry at the idiot who put the poison out. I was frustrated with myself because I could never get Emma to stop eating everything she came across.

Finally I cried out my rage and lay on the bed feeling empty and numb. I knew being angry was a waste of time. Emma was a dog who did not know she was eating poison. The man who put the poisoned food out was a careless person who has never thought about the consequences of his actions. This was the same man who three years ago let his eleven-year-old son drive a grain truck during harvest. The boy was killed when he lost control of the truck and drove off the road. Being angry with either one was like being anger at a baby for passing gas in church. Neither one of them knew any better.

I think this may be my last entry about Emma. Today we took her favorite stuffed bear and a small stained glass angel holding a tiny charm shaped like a dog to where she is buried and left them on her grave. I won't be making anymore special trips to visit her but I will stop by whenever I take Kate to the vet for her check-ups.

I want to thank everyone for their written and spoken words of sympathy, they have helped greatly. The Monday after Emma died I started reading other people's blogs again. As I read I realize that her death had not stopped their lives from moving forward.

In the movie The Wizard Of Oz Dorothy's house is picked up by a tornado and dropped down into Munchkinland. Up to that point she had lived in a world of black-and-white but when she opens her front door she sees a world drenched in Technicolor. That is what I felt as I read, like I had stepped out of a black-and-white world into a bright land of color. Emma had died but the world was still turning and life continuing on. I found this thought comforting.

Does that make me an optimist, a realist, or a fool?

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