The day… I was aware of it. Of course I knew it was coming, only… I expected the sadness. I expected missing him. I expected that I would think of him a lot, and wish he was here, and wish he never died.
But he did die.
And as the one year anniversary of that date quickly came upon me, I did feel sad. I did think of him a lot. I did miss him. I always do.
What surprised me was the panic. The irritation. The feeling of being completely overwhelmed and powerless in this life.
I don’t know why it surprised me. These emotions are nowhere near abnormal for me, but…
May of 2017 was a good month. A really good month. Better than any I have probably had. I had energy. I was (mostly) calm. I was content. I was happy.
As June 8 approached, I expected to cry a lot. Instead I shook. My mom is still here. I am thankful she is still here. But I haven’t been visiting well. It has been hard to talk. When I am so anxious, I retreat inside myself. Inside my head it is so loud, that I forget the sound doesn’t carry forward into ‘real’ life.
I have been so quiet, and I feel bad. “It is a hard day,” I explained to her (even before the day arrived.) She acknowledged the words, and we remained mostly in silence.
And then we reached the day before. I was washing the breakfast dishes, and she came in to talk to me. Her words were ‘off.’ She seemed ‘off.’ She sat down on the dining chair and I kept looking back.
“Are you okay?” I asked her.
“Just dizzy,” she answered – but her words were slurred. Slow. Like she was answering from a dream. Not like her.
The panic grew, but I couldn’t figure out what to do.
So I asked again, “Are you sure you’re okay?”
“Just feeling really dizzy,” she answered. Still ‘off.’ Still ‘slow.’ Still not like her.
I finished the dishes, and left her there to deal with her dizziness. I shouldn’t have left her, and worried about leaving her – but I really had to go to the washroom, and couldn’t wait.
While I was in there, there was a huge crash, and my dog started barking excitedly. I thought maybe my mom had tried to get to her bedroom, and had knocked over the baby gate leaning on the wall in the hall. That happens often.
I got back to her as quick as I could, and found her on the kitchen floor, covered in spilled cappuccino. She was just starting to get up, and seemed highly disoriented. Our guess was that she had fainted – a mix of Gravol and Valerian she had taken during the night before seemed not a good mix for her. It was the first time she had taken the two together, and only the second time she had taken the Valerian at all.
Maybe that was it. She didn’t want to go to the hospital to be checked out. Instead she rested, and I worried for the day.
364 days. Three hundred sixty four days before, my Gryff also started falling over in the morning. I also looked at him in concern that morning. He fell, and I rushed him into the vet (well… I rushed, they left him waiting in the waiting room for his appointment, though they could see he was in obvious distress.)
He fell. I worried. He died anyway.
A year later, my mom fell. I worried…
Am I sad? Extremely. I absolutely did not want to lose my dog. Who does?
A year later, I was reminded once again how quickly everything could change – and that sadness grew to panic that has been with me ever since.