Eric took this picture on a recent hike at Lory State Park. I love how it’s so dreamy and soft, looks like it could be a painting. There’s another picture right after with a deer in it, but it’s really blurry.
Eric’s started hiking at Lory again after a long summer of avoiding it. During the summer, he hikes trails higher up where there aren’t rattlesnakes. This year there seemed to be even more snakes than usual. One of our friend’s dogs was bitten, (he’s okay, after antivenom and lots of drugs and a few days in the hospital and a followup surgery). Riley was Obi’s Mini Me. They met and got to play, but Obi was already sick at the time, (in fact, it was exactly one month before Obi died), so they weren’t friends for long.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Obi lately. The six year anniversary of his death is quickly approaching, and with the Facebook “memories” feature and my Timehop app, I’ve been getting lots of reminders of what that time was like. I’ve also been emailing with a woman whose dog was just diagnosed with a nasal tumor, like the one Dexter had, so I’ve been thinking a lot about that loss too. When I think back, it’s like I’m right there again.
I’m realizing that I haven’t fully dealt with losing Obi and Dexter. I look down at my belly, swollen and round, and I know it’s full of unprocessed grief and longing. I lived through that time, was present with it but then immediately rushed past it. It was just too hard. I didn’t want it to touch me, didn’t want to hold it, and yet it did, and I do. There’s no running from it.
Luckily, as a writer I get to live my life twice. I can circle back around and catch it again. I know I need to, that it won’t leave me unless I let it be with me, unless I sit with it, open my heart to it. Even as I write that, I feel the familiar panic, the speediness, the rush to busy myself with something else. I don’t want to touch it, it’s still so tender and raw, but I know if I don’t, I’ll carry it around with me forever, and it’s not a benign thing. Whatever you do to avoid what is hard only makes things harder. Wish me luck. ❤