Wednesday, February 01, 2012
watching and waiting
I came home from work, and he was clearly in pain. Shivering, cowering, barely able to move. A shadow of himself.
Is this it? Is this how we end? I remember Charlie's last months, the wondering, the hoping, the vacillating between the heights of health and the troughs of despair. "What next?" was always on my mind. And, "Heal him, Lord". And, "Take him".
That's the rub. Wanting this to last for ever. Wanting him always to be here. Wanting him to go peacefully and to have a swift and easy end. Wanting it to be over. For him, that he wouldn't suffer. For me, that I wouldn't. For us both, that we might have as much time yet as possible. This is the essence of conflicting emotions.
And the vet has done his magic. After a night of presuming the worst, a morning of receiving relief. My beloved heart beats on. I settled him back in the house, drove to work, and after a brief moment's discomposure made my way through the day.
Oh this is better than last time. With Charlie, I was still in parish ministry. Facing my own grief I had to help all kinds of people through theirs. It was my job to wade into everyone's emotional maelstroms & guide them, beaconlike, home. Now, I just go to my desk, speak of research projects, funding & alumni. This time work is a release & a relief and an aid to getting through, rather than a wrench and a side-piercing wound and a guilt-inducing reminder of my failings as I feel unable to be who I feel people need me to be. Amazingly, working methodically & slowly, I got a remarkable amount done today.
Matt is doing well. He is in pain, but the vet thinks he will get through this. This is just practise. Oh my.