I normally don’t talk about losing someone online, but I need to write something. Anything, really. And life is confusing at the moment, so I just need a post.
I’ve done this before. The shock, the tears, and the swallowing. I know that motion where I push my tears back with my tongue, smile and ignore the pain.
I just need to wait, I tell myself. Until I’m alone. When I’m alone, I can say something, do something. But what is there to say? Can I say I’m upset? Of course. But what does crying manage? Does telling myself over and over again that ‘I wish I had…’, ‘I wanted to…’, ‘if only…’, do anything?
Not in my experience.
Today I learned that my cat, Mistiblu, died. She was around 8 years old. I suppose it makes it worse, knowing I am across the ocean, knowing she was alone at home. I do not blame anyone, that accomplishes nothing, and in fact – it’s no one’s fault. There is not point in crying, I tell myself. There is no point in screaming.
I’ve dealt with this before. The pain and the shock. The burst of blood in my brain that makes me open my eyes slowly – because it wouldn’t be a joke. I cannot laugh it off. But it isn’t new. This is the third member of my family that has died, fallen into the void, and I cannot get them back.
It should be worse. I should be crying. But I can’t. I feel weak, like there’s something clucking a tongue at me disapprovingly every time someone else knows. Because that’s the crux of the matter. I don’t want people to know. I don’t want that stare of pity.
That stare is the reason I will not. Losing a pet is not the same as losing a mother – but other people understand your pain. And I don’t want it. I don’t want the pity, the understanding. I want to be strong, alone.
But people always find out. They learn things. Friends can see your tells and will ask “Oh, is something wrong?”. So it’s not worth it. Keeping a secret does nothing. It just makes it harder. So here it is – my cat died. I’m sad. I’m upset. I want to cry, tear, scream – anything, something, something to let myself know I’m still alive. I feel numb, like someone stabbed me with anesthetic and it won’t stop. But I pull it together. I am strong, and I would prefer to smile fondly and think of past memories than sob about the unfairness of it all.
Success always comes paired with grief. And I should have known that too many good things were happening to not expect something along these lines. I forget that there are balances in our world. But I will not wallow. Success is rare in our world, and grief is common. There is no way to remember a life without some tears, but seeing death as a celebration of life is the best way – I believe
There would be nothing to celebrate in life if there was no grief and death. Of course it’s hard. The hard part is grief, how to express it. How to make people understand that you know it will be okay.
I’ve done this all before. Straining nerves to stop the tears, smiling as large as I can to disguise the sadness – This isn’t new, and it won’t be rare. I’ve done it before, and I can do it again.