It seems amazing to me that Dekker has been gone a week already. Somehow, I think my heart and soul have yet to get that message.
Anyway, I have been thinking a lot about why my grief has been so profound with Dekker’s passing. I lost a close friend who was like my brother in 2007, and the grief was not as consuming as this is.
Thursday I thought the grief would literally kill me. My heart was going crazy. I actually called a friend at 8pm because I couldn’t catch my breath that day. It was as if I had been put into a straight jacket of grief with no way to get away from the grief for even one second. Talking to my friend helped. Yet, I can now understand how people can die from a broken heart. I had never been able to understand that saying until now.
When I purchased Bronte Eyre (my fawn pug) and Dekker Black in 2003/2004, I did so in order to avoid the empty nest syndrome that you always hear about when children leave home and move on with their adult lives. Bronte and Dekker filled that empty void that was left when my daughter moved out.
However, I realized this past week that Bronte and Dekker offered me something else. They gave me structure, routine and purpose. Every day I had to get up and feed them, walk them, take the potty, bathe them, play with them, medicate them and on and on.
This last year, Dekker and I had developed our own routine in which he woke me up at 7 a.m. everyday. We went into the kitchen, made coffee, fed him, medicated him, did the dishes, showered, and then went for a walk and came home to some quiet time. We had developed this routine that worked for us and was very comfortable.
We took our afternoon nap together and Dekker kept watch by the tub as I took my nightly soak. By 8pm, he was in bed and so was I.
It dawned on me yesterday, that Dekker’s passing not only shattered my heart, but it shattered my routine, my daily purpose, my structure. Suddenly, there was no reason to get up at 7. Baths lost their luster. Dishes could wait. Walks were no longer necessary or urgent. Most of what I did everyday just disappeared in a matter of a moment.
In addition, I also realized something else. One of my friends commented that Dekker had always been my favorite. Unfortunately, I think that was true. He and I bonded in a special way because we both struggled with compromised immune systems and the consequences that go with that.
On top of all of that, Dekker some how super-glued his heart and soul to my heart and soul and when he died, my heart really did shatter.
You’re probably wondering how this helps me. Being analytical it helps me to under stand why I’m grieving and why I will continue to grieve. And it some how frees me to grieve.
Sunday was the first day where I made it through the day with out massive water works. My heart is still devastated, and there is an ache I can’t get away from. There is also this gnawing knowledge that nothing will ever be the same again.
Despite that, I am finally making progress because I am starting to be able to be thankful for the time I had with Dekker. It was only for a season – and a short one at that. But it was a season in which I was truly blessed with a friendship, companionship and love that I won’t soon forget.
In Dekker’s short life, he gave more to me than I ever could have imagined. And in his death, the gift of his life reminds me to constantly be thankful for all I have.