Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Mr. Dog arrived home last night, and while his flight was still in the air, his mother called to let me know his aunt had passed away.  It was expected but I was still surprised how quickly it happened.  Now we're waiting for the wake and funeral to be planned so we can arrange our flight back.

When he got home last night, I'd finally got the boys in bed and was just going to make sure I'd remembered to bring both dogs back inside after their evening "wee".  When I got to the door, he was there, struggling with the stubborn handle lock I've taken to using in a tiny attempt to keep those who steal stuff off the porch from making into our home should they ever change focus. Sure, the 140 lb Great Dane barking wildly and jumping at the door might be more effective, but at least I feel like I'm doing something.

We stayed up and talked a bit about his visit, his last goodbye and the rapid decline that preceded the loss of his favorite aunt.  It was heartbreaking. I'm glad he was able to be there, I'm glad he has that closure, I just wish he didn't have to see her struggle.  I wish she never had to struggle.  

I only met her on a couple of occasions.  She was a vigorous and feisty woman.  I liked her immediately.  When I was pregnant both times we had planned to use her name if the baby I was carrying was a girl.  I didn't know her well, but she was Mr. Dog's family, so mine as well.  I knew her from my husband's stories, from our conversations and from the presence she had in his life.  He loved her, and his feelings were clear every time we talked about family.

Now I'm having a hard time accepting my own grief.  I feel somehow that because I did not grow up with her, or spend a lot of time with her I do not have a right to cry.  I feel like my sadness and tears somehow diminish my ability to properly acknowledge Mr. Dog's loss.  My loss is insignificant by comparison.  Where do I get off feeling like I have any part in the grief other than being there as a strong support for my husband and his family?  And I don't really know why I feel this way.  


Robin said...

I'm so sorry. I lost my favorite aunt this past summer after a long battle with illness. I too saw her just before, but she died (in NY) as I was packing to return to Israel and I missed the funeral by one day. My thoughts will be with your husband and all of your family.

About your own grief, perhaps as much as anything else you're mourning the loss of what might have been, what should have been. It's a big loss, and a real one. Let yourself feel it and give yourself time to process it, even as you're supporting your husband. It is different, but no less "real".

52 Faces said...

Sometimes the expression of another's grief is incredibly validating. I know that on the rare occasion when someone else cries when I am crying, I feel empathized with and more contained than if they just tried to be stoic or strong.

Everyone is different, I know, this is just my own experience.

I am sorry to hear about the loss.

mamikaze said...

I am sorry for your loss. Peace be with you and Mr. ((hug))

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