Since Cosmo’s passing I have had a lot of time to think about grief. And I have been reminded that grief is pretty much the brain trying to solve an unsolvable equation. It knows it is unsolvable but it won’t give up, won’t rest until it has been processed in every possible angle and seen for itself that it cannot be processed, that loss is not always meant to be understood in the way we understand so much of everything else in life.
It’s the kind of thought process that dominates both conscious and subconscious thought (the dreams I have had this past week are, in a word, fucked up and sad).
Eventually, the brain will give up and move on. Or move on as much as possible.
But I’m also reminded that it’s a necessary human function, it’s part of the process of moving on and it’s part of the process of living, feeling, loving. Which is why, of all the notes I received, I loved this note from my father-in-law the best:
I just wanted to tell you how much I am going to miss Cosmo. He was a great dog who no doubt reflected the care, training and love you gave him. I enjoyed my brief opportunities to walk him and have him sleep at my feet. I felt very soon after I met him that he was part of our lives. I have had a couple of dogs in my life that were friends I treasured. I still think of them and smile when I do something I did with them. My sheepdog liked a good cigar as much as I did. I know it will take a while for you to get over the loss of Cosmo, but fortunately you will have many wonderful memories.
In other words, as hard as the past week has been — seeing his bowl with food still in it, sweeping up hair that has been shed over the years, writing thank you notes to his vet and walkers, and trying to motivate myself to store all of his stuff — it will get better.
And that someday I may very well allow another dog to take (and eventually break) my heart again.
Thanks to all who have reached out to us this past week. It has meant so much to know that how I’m feeling is normal and appropriate when you lose a pet.