Grief–that is the grieving over the loss of a beloved–is an odd thing. 

It’s like a blanket of sadness has been thrown over every moment, every activity, every thought, though there are, to be sure, holes or thin patches in the fabric.  Moments when one doesn’t think about the missing one, when one is focused on the present good and simple pleasure of living, the beauties of autumn, the first whiff of crisp-apple cold air that sweeps down over the countryside at this time of year, the intricacies of the research one is engaged in…

But then, suddenly, like those rapid-moving showers that Britain seems to specialise in, the ones which sweep across the sky–blotting out the blue with a Cairngorms-worth of layered, towering leaden cloud–soaking one to the skin, to the soul in less than a minute–the raindrops more like slapping water against ones face…it’s like that.  And in that instant, one is overwhelmed with a crushing sense of loss, with grief…with an incompleteness that will not be filled.

And these cloudbursts of emptiness, they’re uncontrollable too.  They just are. 

I lost my dog last week, my elderly Cavalier King Charles. 

She was tremendous and I adored her.  She was with me all the time, you see, ambling along beside me, or sitting nearby (snoring).  She watched over me, stayed with me while the rewrites and edits mounted up (on the floor), beside me always…really, if I’m honest, she mothered me.  And if that sounds funny, well, it’s true.  (No doubt she was right in thinking I needed someone looking after me.) 

And she was the best mother a body could ever have had.  She was kindly, devoted, pure in her affections, never cross, never sharp, brave, tolerant, always trusting and utterly lovely. 

(The spaniel, Comfit, in Of Honest Fame was inspired and modelled on her.)

She was the very best.  And I miss her dreadfully.

That’s all.


17 comments on “Grief…

  1. J.A. Beard says:

    Very sorry to hear that.

  2. Diane says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Our Pembroke Welsh Corgi passed three years ago and I still cannot get over not having her with me every second of the day.

  3. Ken Hives says:

    I am so sorry to read this MM. We went through this two years ago.
    It hurts ever so much, but I don’t need to tell you this. A couple of months later we found our little “gaspode”( thank you TP). She was born the day after Kelly died. We are spaniel people too and she has replaced our grief with that kind of insanity that they all seem to bring with them. It is a kind of UNALLOYED JOYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY. Get another MM xx

  4. I know grief. Intimately. Losing a dog is sad. But it’s not the worst grief. I know because I have had grief of the worst kind. What you have to concentrate on is the happy times and the lovely memories. And to be grateful for the love you had. I hope you never have grief of the worst kind. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

  5. mandyeward says:

    Sorry to hear about this… she sounds wonderful.

  6. So sorry, M. I think I know what Dolly meant to you. But that’s the bitter/sweetness of sharing your life with an animal. Their days are so much shorter than ours. Might I be permitted to hug?

    • M M Bennetts says:

      Hugs definitely desirable at this point. Though I trust your shoulder is waterproof because it would need to be. (Everyone should have taken out stock in Kleenex–they’ll be rich by the end of the month!)

  7. I’m so sorry, M.M. I know exactly what you suffer, which you express so beautifully.

  8. So sorry to hear. I’ve lost two dogs and both were wrenching experiences. Take care

  9. [nose] So sorry to hear that you’ve lost her, but glad to know you’re brave enough to share it with us. –~^..^~

  10. Mignon says:

    Sorry, dearheart. There are some wounds we receive unexpected. In the form of fur and warm breath and nudges. Empathy. When it is suddenly gone, it hurts. A lot. Period. xxx

  11. M M Bennetts says:

    Thank you so much, everyone, for your kindness and understanding. It means a huge lot to me.

    There’s always that joke about the Englishmen and their dogs–which they made much of with the James Fleet character in Four Weddings and a Funeral. The thing is, it’s not really a joke, it’s a statement of fact…so thank you. MMx

  12. It is never a joke to have a dog, to love, cherish, and care for it, and commit yourself to knowing, rationally and intellectually, that you won’t have it forever. It’s never a joke to feel every day that special happiness when your dog loves you back with the only unconditional love you will ever receive in this or any lifetime. It’s not a joke when after days and nights of companionship, there is suddenly a vast hole in your world that nothing can fill at the moment, and perhaps never, or not in the same way. Anyone who would suggest that losing a dog may be difficult, and sad, and worth a moment of grief, but is not the same as losing a person, should be ignored because that person doesn’t know.

    You will get better eventually, and on some level, but for now, understand how lucky you were to have your special dog, and how fortunate she was to have you. And sometimes give a thought to those people who will never know that happiness, or that risk.

    • M M Bennetts says:

      Margaret, thank you so very, very much. Thank you. And bless you for saying all that–you have helped so very much indeed.

  13. Losing a loved best friend of the four legged variaty is hard, been there. Lost both cat and dog a few short months from each other, both started of with us as puppy and kitten respectfully. Odd thing is, neither had left my heart. . . and it’s been years . . .

    • M M Bennetts says:

      Yes. I’ve lost cats before–I had this tremendous and enormous ginger tom who went by the name of Nutcombe Nutcombe (after the name of an 18th century vicar found on a plaque in a cathedral–no lie). He was the laziest, soppiest, least threatening ginormous beast. He used to sit beside me on the piano bench, when I was practising, and particularly when I was practising Purcell’s Evening Hymn (which seemed to be his favourite) he would occasionally lift a paw and press down a note at his end of the keyboard. He was helping with the Continuo of the piece.

      My Cavalier though, she was magic. She was all the very best of dog-life and love in one.

  14. Once a great while an animal comes along this is more. Almost human in their understanding of us. They are irreplaceable. I have lost such a pet and I feel your pain.

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