Sunday, January 15, 2012

Two Weeks

I'm adjusting to life without Ernie and Ruby. It's been a little more than two weeks since we put them to sleep, and it already feels like much longer. The incessant self-questioning -- Did we do the right thing? Was it the right time? -- has mostly subsided. I've become much more comfortable that we did what was best for them and for us.

My photo classes have certainly helped, getting me out of the house and focusing (!) my mind elsewhere. It's also indisputable that our quality of life has improved, sad to say, without the dogs. The house is much cleaner and more pleasant, the laundry and other housekeeping is more manageable, and we have time to do things spontaneously like go to movies or out to dinner. Next month we're going to Amsterdam for five days.

And I am sleeping better than I've slept in months. Last night, for example, I went to bed at 10:30 p.m. and I didn't wake up until 7:30 this morning. That's an unheard-of amount of sound sleep for me, and it never would have happened with the dogs around.

Obviously, this isn't to say that I don't miss them. I miss them every day. But we've already reached a place where we can talk and laugh about them -- all their goofy shenanigans, especially when they were younger -- which feels much healthier. I even feel a little guilty about this healing process, like it betrays them somehow -- but a truer betrayal, I suppose, would be permanently attaching sorrow to years of happy dog memories.

I'm sure I still have more healing to go. It's early yet. But I do feel much better.

Dave and I went to see "The Iron Lady" with Meryl Streep yesterday. We both enjoyed it a lot, and Meryl, of course, gives an amazing performance. That woman is such a chameleon. She becomes her characters more thoroughly than any other actor I know.

(Photo: The Bridge of Aspiration at Covent Garden, on Thursday.)


  1. It's so true that time heals. I'm glad you and Dave have been able to move on with your lives. You will always have good memories of the dogs.

  2. Healing is never disloyal - though I know what you mean. So glad you're sleeping and remembering them when they were healthy.

    I also know what you mean about living in a cleaner house. That was one thing I always struggled with - dog hair, I mean.

    Like you, I enjoy the ability to go out and about with no constraints on my time. Still, I think sometimes about getting another dog. I must be nuts!

  3. In my Zen tradition, the official mourning cycle lasts 49 days, with daily chanting for the first 7 days, a small chanting ceremony every 7th day after that, and a formal memorial ceremony on (or around) the 49th day: seven cycles of seven.

    Although I'm not slavishly attached to the numerology, I think it's interesting that this cycle basically acknowledges a gradual process of mourning, whereby each week brings a different stage. It sounds like you and Dave have been working through a similar kind of cycle, without all the chanting. :-)

  4. glad things feel eased somewhat for you and dave. love the lighting of that photo and the way it juxtaposes the old and the new.

  5. "...a truer betrayal, I suppose, would be permanently attaching sorrow to years of happy dog memories." Now THAT is definitely true!

  6. you need to stop that self-questioning stevie - you guys did the right thing!

    wonderful photo...i need to take a class or read up on night photography!

    amsterdam - exciting!!

  7. I'm glad you're healing and enjoying your photo class. The dogs would approve.

  8. I remember the freedom of not having a dog. The house is cleaner, less scheduling is needed for trips or late nights and all those habits (filling up the water bowl, stepping over them, etc.) are hard to break. I was thinking of you this week because we got another dog after 10 months without a dog. It just goes to show that things go on and change. The cycle continues.

    Enjoy Amsterdam.

  9. Glad your doing better. I wish I had something deeper or more supportive to say but I'm kind of at a loss for words today.

    Ms. M