Thursday, April 5, 2012

Good Grief

Today marked an entirely new variety of grief.

I knew my day was gonna be, um, off, to put it mildly by 7:30 am.  I had been up for 30 minutes, had a good 8 ounces of coffee into me and I had yet to have a clear thought that didn't carry a huge lump in my throat quickly behind it.

So I attempted to busy myself.  You know the theory....idle hands make for the devils workshop.  So I hung the laundry in the near freezing morning.  That task usually chippers me up but today, with my wide open deck gate and back fence gaping at me I was confronted by my loss.  There is no need to ensure that these items are secured any more because we no longer have a dog in this house.  It's been nearly two weeks and today it feels like a raw and unhealing hangnail.

In this state of mind I numbly attacked my linen closet next (idle hands, devils playground).  That effort requires strong will and a sharp mind to make tough decisions regarding the dismantling and reconstruction of the currently near-useless shelves.  One small bag of goodwill items later (and nearly an hour of fussing before that) I gave into my muddled mind and grieving heart.  I made one rule for myself about today...I must make no major decisions and then let the wind of grief blow me wherever she may take me.

I took Daughter to school first (she skipped the morning due to a late night outing with her new is hard to give out to her with that honours average, three university acceptances and three scholarships she's toting these days...).  We shared a good laugh about my decision not to make any decisions today.

Then, in order to make the grief move faster, I went to the humane society.  Hindsight is making me call it a grief 'enhancer', if you will. I actually had no idea why I went there other than to just feel something maybe.  Luckily I made that rule (no major decisions) for myself before I left the house or else I likely would have taken Maya, the six year old spitz husky mix, home.  I might go back for her tomorrow.  There are no major decisions today.  I went to the cat room at the pound and guiltily scratched a cat while chatting with a volunteer.  I felt guilty because of my own affection starved cat at home.

Since I was already veering towards the east side of the city I thought I'd check out the restaurant where I'd hoped to get a bunch of friends together for a birthday Jiggs dinner.  On my way out to the eastern location I cruised through streets I hadn't been through for awhile.  It wasn't until I hit Coxwell that I realized I could swing by my family's first house in Toronto....very near Coxwell and the Danforth.  My earliest memories are placed here and I tend to revisit the old homestead when I'm in the area.  I think I've written about that before but I'm not gonna try and find it right now.

I expected the floodgate to open when I cruised down the street and spotted the freshly coloured front door.  It was so cheery looking that I didn't even stop.  That wasn't gonna serve my maudlin intentions at all!  As I cruised by the house I made a minor decision...I thought I'd prod the grief a bit by parking directly in front of the house and let my mind free float.  And there was nothing.  Nothing but the wonder I felt at the enormous tree in the front of that house and how much energy that tree contains.  As I grabbed a pic, for posterity (and my parents) I did not really take note of the rays of light in the the shot and how beautifully they peered through the tree.  I felt a bit ripped off that the visit didn't do any purging but I carried on to find the restaurant. I easily found the now closed and rather seedy looking restaurant (unfortunately a bit too similar to some of the places my family has seen during tours around the Rock) and then returned home.  I rode in silence and my mind felt a bit clearer.

I write this now after nourishing my body with leftovers from yet another meal made without my cooking companion.  I ate the meal and peered at the picture (posted).  I often used to call these shots with the rays of light that are placed just so, 'god shots'.  Maybe I might start calling them Shamrock shots since she was a ray of light in my life.  Gosh darn it, the floodgate opened, finally, and yet again.  This grief thing bites.  Large.

First Toronto Hegarty Homestead
Pic taken 2012.  Hegarty Habitat from 1969-1973


  1. Ah, that must be so hard...I hope nobody tries to minimize your grief. Dogs are special - very special. <3

    1. Thank-you and yes, they are certainly special. The thing about grief is that fresh grief seems to wedge a hole big enough to let the cacophony of all the old grief out for awhile...and that really can't be is much better, for the time being :)

  2. Yeah, it comes and goes, and let 'er rip. Best kind, as we say out here. I followed your pilgrimage with interest and to wind up at the old homestead - incredible. It looks amazing. Lovely memories, thank you!! I remember a baby carriage and another dog on that porch....:)

    1. To me Dogs are special little lights...they are here to help us in our days. I understand.

    2. WWW: I had no intention of a blog post taking the shot..I was merely gonna email it to you and dad when I got was the 'Shamrock shot' aspect that made me do it. Thinking about Tara and the baby carriage (now metaphorically empty) brings another lump to me throat. Good grief xoxo

      textilefile: Thank-you and yes, Shamrock did help me out and I'm missing that routine and light :)


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