I adopted a puppy in March, I didn’t want to, but I had to. In October of 2010, my dog Puddin was killed by a careless driver who didn’t have the common courtesy to stop and let me know. Over the next few months I grieved over that dog so much that I seriously considered seeking professional help. Grief is hard. And what’s worse is that when you grieve no one wants to talk to you about it. Your friends want to talk you out of it. They don’t want to hear about it, they want to steer clear of it. And that is what makes it so much harder.
Even as I am writing this, I worry that I will bum you out and you will stop reading. I lost my mother in 2006 and I have had friends who lost their parents at young ages. Losing a parent, at any age, makes you realize the importance of life and love. It makes you shorten the distance between your friends. It makes you want to hold on to the important people and get rid of all the negative stuff.
But why did I HAVE to adopt a puppy? To put it simply my dog and my cat were grieving and I didn’t know what to do. Babydoll saw Puddin’s “accident” somewhere in her she knew he was hurt. But do dogs comprehend death? I think on some level they must. After my mother passed away you could see the look in Lexie’s eyes (my parents/sister’s beloved dog) and you could tell that she knew someone was missing from her home. After Puddin was gone both my dog and my cat seemed sad. Maybe it was just me and my anamorphic tendencies, but I could feel that they weren’t happy. Babydoll who would sleep most nights in the den with Puddin, now insisted on sleeping next to me. Luci would come to me and cuddle and would try to wrestle Babydoll. I couldn’t stand it anymore and so I adopted Cinnamon.
That is what makes humans fortunate, is that we can express our grief. But the unfortunate truth is that as a society, we shun grief. We treat it as if it were taboo. We whisper about our friends, “Oh you know her husband died.” And that is our cue to not mention it. We hide it behind fake smiles. We bury it with the dead. Christians, such as myself, tell ourselves that our family members are not dead, they are waiting for us. But that’s all good and well until you feel lonely. We watch programs about ghosts. But those ghosts are from the 1900s. Yesterday’s ghosts are waiting until we are old enough not to care about them, not to grieve for them personally. That’s why you don’t see horror movies about the 1990s. No scary September 11 ghosts. We still grieve, we still care. We are still actively shutting it out of our minds.
I made these last sets of cards with a more serious frame of mind. I thought about how pretty they needed to be. They couldn’t be the happy robots or sockmonkeys. I hope you like them. Remember to take a look at my etsy shop, visit my new website, and to love your friends and family while you have them. And when all else fails, go adopt a dog.