I’ve always valued PROCESS.
I live PROCESS.
I teach PROCESS.
And I respect PROCESS.
I tend to forget, however, that grief is also a process. 45 minutes after Flyer’s passing, The Kids and I were on our walk, maintaining our morning routine. I felt sticking to our daily schedule would help myself, and Navi and Chief.
And, it has.
I’ve had my moment where my eyes have misted, but those moments are lessening. The joy of Flyer’s spirit will always remain, but I am finding the little things that linger. Her food bowl is still in its place, and her retractable leash still hangs by the front door. I’m in no hurry to move these items.
Last week, I discovered a full bag of Flyer’s special kibble in the pantry across the room from The Kids’ food bin. Normally, I would mix a half cup of kibble in with Flyer’s homemade chicken, rice and vegetables to give it a little more texture, and to keep her teeth strong. I opened the bag and poured it into Chief and Navi’s bowls. Navi sniffed the contents, and laid down by her bowl. Now, with Navi, eating is more like “Bid A Note” from the old television game show, NAME THAT TUNE. “I can eat my food in four gulps.”
I set down Chief’s bowl, and he looked up at me with his sad-eyes look. He walked over to Flyer’s bowl, nudged it toward me, and sat down. I knelt, suspecting what was going through his mind. I scooped some of the kibble into my palm and held it to his mouth. “This is Chief’s food, now.” He turned his head. After another attempt, Chief walked into the center-hall that adjoins the kitchen, living room, bathroom, study and guest bedroom, and laid down. I replaced the kibble in the bag, and scooped out their food. It disappeared.
This morning, there were two remaining peanut butter flavored glucosamine treats in the large glass cookie jar. Flyer’s special treats were always kept in this jar, while The Kids’ treats were kept in a tin pale. I distributed the treats, and filled the glass cookie jar with Navi & Chief’s treats.
I am sure I am on the spectrum of Elizabeth Kubler Ross’s five stages of grief, but as with everything in life, I am doing it my way, as well.
When we first moved to The Haasienda del Shroyer, Flyer became the official squirrel chaser, and Logan, my cat, took care of the chipmunks and mice who dared enter the house. This morning, as I sit on the deck drinking tea and typing, Chief and Navi are patrolling the backyard from the top of the steps. No squirrels or bunnies dare enter the grounds of The Haasienda.
Life moves on with different chapters closing, and opening up. It’s a good script.