Tragedy has stuck us this week. The constant, and largest part of my life for 11 years passed away. To those who knew her, know how much of a vacuum there is in my life. It’s taken three days just to breathe properly, and two to let the debilitating shock ease over. I entreat you to see this, and this.

In the aftermath, I’ve been trying to adjust, and keep moving forward. It hasn’t been easy, and the emptiness has been a real battle. The shock, and the loss has taken the largest role. To those who showed compassion, and called and kept me talking even though I was a blumbering mess – thank you. I will not forget the kindness, the patience, and the assistance. Thank you.

No, I won’t go more into it. No. 1) I still get choked up. No. 2) It’s very personal.

My mother in law came over (to help in her own way by taking me somewhere new, somewhere quiet, and to her I say thank you), to take me to the Pawnee National Grasslands. Before we left, we skinned a freshly killed raccoon in the front yard; that I will be tanning either tonight or tomorrow. I also have the tail; and the three paws will be made into folk talismans. I wanted to save the eyes and skull – but the skull was mush. The brains were coming out of the eye sockets, so… No. But I did get one side of the mandible and the upper fangs. So, we’ll see what comes out of that. You should have seen the looks on the driver’s faces as they passed our place on the dirt road. We smiled, and waved. I don’t think we’ll be getting company any time soon.

(And I’m ok with that)

We were searching for the 200 ft. tall buttes that, well – hid very well from us despite the unobstructed view. We did see some Antelope, thought we saw some jackrabbits – the car was surrounded by vesper sparrows, and we stopped to bark back at the prairie dogs.

At one of the high points we came to a crossroad. I collected dirt from the centermost point.We returned home to a quiet, peaceful house.

The tragedy has not left us, but dwelling on an open wound only exacerbates it.

We will heal. It’ll just take time.

This is for Aj, who asked for a photo of my corn wolf:

Not as cool as hers, but still…. The corn stalks blew to our front door from the very field I saw the ‘wolf,’ bound in my hand-spun thread.

Any person who says ‘no animal has touched my life,’ would be striking to me. Dogs have been with us since our evolution from hunting to agriculture and herding – cats are not far behind. It is in denial of our very human nature to deny the influence of animals. Am I wrong in this?

Categories: Uncategorized | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “Aftermath

  1. Hugs, the loss of a family member is always hard, no how many legs they have. Call me if you need to talk.

    your corn wolf is awesome. I’m impressed. Something I would not have tried for fear of it not looking like a wolf!

  2. L


    I’ll be going through something similar soon too, I wager.

  3. Thank you for your kind words L. I hope to have time to call this week Aj, just letting you know.

  4. Though words are small comfort, you have my deepest, heartfelt empathy (and big, fat, hot tears). Just _thinking_ about (inevitably) losing my boy tears my heart into pieces. Animals leave an indelible mark on our lives.

  5. I am truly sorry for your loss. I’ve been through there a few times myself. Time helps but the common saying about “time healing all wounds” is but a lie from my experience. It just becomes less painful with time and you start slowly but surely enjoying life again. Sooner or later a new companion will cross your path, probably when you’ll least expect it…
    Take care of yourself…

  6. So sorry. 11 years is a very long time to have someone important in your life, animal or human, and the loss is significant.

  7. Natalie Reed

    So sorry Anne – I understand how you feel, have lost fur babies through the years and sometimes still well up with their memories. Anyone who does thinks “no animal has touched my life” has either been terribly sheltered, or should be avoided at all costs for if they feel nothing for animals, I shudder to imagine their feelings about people.

  8. Elizabeth

    I am sorry to hear this, and I know how it feels. I hope your grief softens with time.

  9. Thank you, all of you. Your kind words has kept this blog afloat. It’s been hard, and so many memories keep catching me teary eyed, and it’ll just take time to heal. When you live alone for 3/4 of your life, that little patch of barking fur becomes enormous company. After all the tragedies, violence, homelessness, the military, etc., that little patch of fur became a companion. We’ll be placing a marker for this remarkable dog this week. Thank you for understanding, and knowing how it feels. It’s rare these days.

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