I was just meditating and some sad feelings came flooding over me. I don’t think that’s supposed to happen in meditation, but maybe it is.
I’ve been here before. I know it doesn’t last, but when you’re in it, it’s not fun and it definitely makes me miss the ability to eat a giant cupcake or to go shopping without being overwhelmed with guilt. Those two addictions are pretty much off the table, although I do slip up now and then. The other day I bought myself a watch for a hundred dollars, simply because it was reduced from $380 and I thought, “Wow, what a deal. Can’t pass that one up.”
So – back to the blues. My beloved dog, Lucy, is sick again. She’s 12 1/2. We got her from the ASPCA when she was 4 and although it wasn’t love at first sight (she was cowering in her cage), as soon as she came out she climbed in our laps and started licking us, then we knew she was our dog. She is simply a kind, sweet, adoring, loving, neurotic god (oh, I actually wrote that) DOG, who has been with us through more ups and downs than the Cyclone at Coney Island. I remember leaving her in our loft on 9/11 to run up to Zoe’s school to pick Zoe and her friend Willa up, wondering if we’d ever see Lucy again. (We weren’t sure what was happening at that point.) She’s been there for me while I’ve been the primary caregiver for my mother for the last 7 years. She’s been there when we all took turns being seriously depressed. She’s moved with us three times in the past five years. She’s tolerated sharing us with Lola, who has a bit more of an outgoing personality than Lucy.
The last time Lucy had surgery, this past summer, I was reading a brochure in the vet’s office about dealing with the death of a pet. I will try to bring home a copy today if we’re at the vet’s office again. At the time, Steve’s father was dying and I was reading this brochure and thinking that as much as we love humans, and we obviously do – our animals are with us every day of our lives, through all kinds of struggles, they’re often the one constant in our lives and they love us unconditionally (unlike any human I know.)
UPDATE: Just came home after two hours at the vet. Lucy’s got a pretty bad urinary tract infection and another hematoma in her ear. She has blood in her urine and was throwing up this morning, but hopefully with the antibiotics she will be feeling better in just a few days. I brought home the brochure about losing a pet, the one that really got to me that time I read it in the vet’s office. Here is the quote: “For some, losing a pet can be a truly devastating experience. The animal was an important family member who provided unconditional comfort and support over many phases and changes in a person’s life. As you begin to reflect on what has happened since your companion came into your life, a certain chapter in your life closes. As animals commonly live for 15 to 20 years, these life chapters often include major transitions such as becoming an adult, moving homes, changing jobs, marriage, children, relationship endings, etc. Obviously then, may memories are associated with a pet, all of which come to the surface when the pet dies.”
That really got to me.
So aside from feeling sad about my dogs’ eventual deaths (Lola’s only 6), my concerns for my daughter, and money issues, and worry about my family and my friends’ health (Steve has to have eye surgery soon) and I always worry about my own health, and let’s not even get into the election…and the environment and the war and the economy and and and…
…wondering how I got here in my life, to the place that I am at, which doesn’t feel so good right now. I just don’t quite understand it.
I think that one answer may be yoga. I think I have to continue with my meditation and find a good yoga class because at other times in my life yoga has helped me. I also know that this feeling will pass and that life is really about the ups and downs and all the challenges. And that all the answers are inside of me (according to that book I recommended a few weeks ago) – even if I don’t really have a clue about how to find them.
I think I’ll do a few yoga postures and start with Downward Facing Dog, in Lucy’s honor. And if any answers come, I’ll let you know.