Saturday, June 7, 2014

The L-Word

I was re-united with my furry son in a cedar box as I picked him up from the vet today.  It was so hard to contain my emotions when I saw the box, and all the ladies at the front office were so sympathetic.  They even unexpectedly provided me with Qori's ink paw print.  I had also received a condolence card from them in the mail.  This vet was so on top of the little things that count. 

It feels so good to have Qori back with me, but the emotion I feel is still so raw.  I walk around feeling a sting in my heart.  It's hard for me to say anything out loud about Qori - which leads me to my Ruffians.

The day that Qori passed, I was just too emotional to talk with the children.  My husband had to pick them up after work, and bring them home to me.  They came home and hardly noticed that Qori was not there.  This was better for me, because I would've just broken down if they asked me anything anyway.  So it was ignorance on both parties that got us through the first night.  The second night, I continued avoiding the topic altogether by pretending that everything was normal, same with the third - until it became a comfortable, complacent trend for me.

The first time Diego even questioned anything about Qori, I was in the middle of cooking for a big party for my father's birthday.  We were expecting company in an hour, and out of the blue Diego asked, "Where's Qori?"  I was stunned and scared all at once, and all I could muster was an 'I don't know.'

And so for 2 weeks I've been dodging reality and not facing tough questions.  But today, not only was I re-united with Qori which was very moving, but Diego also moved me deeply.

We were in his speech therapist's office.  His speech therapist was trying to get him to say L-words, which we've been working on for months.

"Diego, say lunch"

"wrunch" he said.

"Good try."

She looked at another picture in her book.  "Diego, this is a leash.  Do you know what a leash is?" she asked.  "Do you have a dog?"

This set Diego off into a mini-monologue.  "Yesterday, I was with Qori," he said.  Because to him - if it's not today or tomorrow, then it was yesterday whether it was a week ago or a year ago, or actually yesterday.

Then he ran on in a few sentences talking about Qori.  Honestly, I can't remember exactly what he said, but it was nothing moving.  It was just facts, like Qori liked to chase balls or that they liked to chase each other in the backyard.  Then he paused for a minute and said, "I miss Qori."

Those three words were all it took to move me.  At that moment, I thought of Diego and Qori's relationship and a different L-word:  Love.  Before this, Diego had never voiced any emotion or even consciousness at the fact that Qori's been gone.  I thought he probably just didn't care or notice.  I couldn't expect my kids to have the same dog-obsessed gene as me.  I had been going on as if this was just MY loss, because Qori was my dog.  I see now, that Qori also had a deep impact on the kids, no matter how well they are able to understand or express it at their tiny little ages.

On the drive back home, Diego brought Qori up again.  He remembered the bleeding.  He told me that Qori is sleeping at the doctors.  He asked me 'what we were going to do with Qori'.  He asked me again,

"Mama, what are we going to to with QORI!?  What are we going to do!?" he asked.

"I don't know," I said as I froze.  I don't know what to do.  I don't know what to say.

I know I'm going to have to tell him something soon.  I can't hide from reality forever.  But it's just still so hard for me to talk about it.  I just don't know exactly how to say it.  Do I just say the D-word?  It's so hard to say it right now.  I can't do it!

I don't have the words.  I haven't found my voice just yet.

I wish I had my own speech therapist who could teach me the words.

Fort funston
-Shirley (Mama-Ruff)