Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The curse of the lingering peppermints

I don't know how long it usually takes to go through the mourning process. I'm still heavily mourning for George. It comes and goes in spurts. I'll be doing fine and going through my crazy life, and then all of a sudden, I'll be grief-stricken like he died yesterday. That's how I feel lately. Bad timing, huh?
Maybe it happens when I feel overwhelmed b/c I can't keep it all in anymore. Maybe my depression about other things spurns out my grief for George. I don't know. All I know is that I've been having the dreams again. Every night. He's still alive (and suffering), and I've been leaving his care up to someone else and ignoring him. Then, I'll remember and go to him. That's when I realize it's time to put him down. I put him down but it doesn't work and he's still alive and in more pain. I don't know why I'm having these dreams. I know I put him down for the right reasons. I know George understands and may even be grateful. I know I shouldn't feel guilty, and that it's normal to feel some guilt. But for some reason, what I know, what I feel, and what I dream are all very different things.
I miss him so much. I just wish I could see him again. Sometimes, I just wish I could cry. And cry and cry and get it all out. But when I want to cry, I can't. And when I can cry, I don't want to b/c the timing is all wrong, and I hold back. I want to cry for George, for Jason leaving, for my frustrations about lab, for all the changes in my life.
I keep finding peppermints. I hate mints. I've never liked them. But I particularly hate them now. I used to save them for George. They were his favorite. He would practically molest me when he saw I had some for him. I'd turn my back to him so I could unwrap the candy. Meanwhile, he's snake his long neck around me and push his muzzle into my side, tickling me. Finally, I'd get the sticky, striped candy unwrapped and hold it in the open palm of my hand. He'd scoop it up into his mouth quickly, but gently--he'd never use his teeth. He'd crunch contentedly with his eyes half-closed--the look I get when I suck on a good piece of Godiva chocolate. His breath would be minty afterwards, which always would make me chuckle, as if he'd brushed his teeth for a hot date. I could teach him tricks with the peppermints too. He'd do anything for a mint. If you asked him a "Yes" question like, "Do you love your mommy?", he's nod his head up and down (he wasn't as good as responding to "No" questions). He would also bow for a mint by bending all the way down to his knee on one front leg and tucking his head underneath. Precious.
I keep finding mints stuffed at the back of my drawer or melted at the bottom of my backpack. Lost, lone mints that had been saved for George. Now, these mints have no purpse but sore reminders of what I've lost, like an infected, irritated papercut you keep rubbing. At the Chase theater, where Jason and I go for movies, they hand out Tootsie Rolls and peppermints after a show. I used to always grab a mint for George. I love Tootsie Rolls, but I'd always pass one up gladly to get a free mint just to watch George's antics over the anticipation of a mint. Now, I instinctively reach for the mint, stop, remind myself, and go for the Tootsie Roll.


carlitos said...

Rachel, that was beautiful.

Erin Nicole said...

you have a beautiful way of expressing your feelings. i am touched beyond words. your stories and sharing have caused more than one tear to be shed by myself remembering george. he is still loved and is now missed very much.

Kevin said...

that is a very sweet story. i feel very sad for you and your loss.

Mon said...

Ahh...that was so sweet! It has to be the hardest decision to make, even when you know it is for the best.
If you believe in the paranormal, often, you hear stories of coins turning up in odd places, some think they are placed there by a loved one who has passed on. I'd like to think this is true for animals too, after all, they do have souls!!

Rachel said...

Thanks for all your comments. Mon, what you said really helped me. Maybe I can look at those lost peppermints as gifts from George from beyond instead of forgotten treats.