Adjustment and Missing Her

So J and I have been extremely busy trying to keep Little G, our new puppy, safe from his own uncontrolled impulses, and The Boy is back in the swing of virtual school, and life in our community and nation just feels constantly negative and tense and chaotic. There’s a lot of hard work and adjustment going on, and oddly, since we got Little G, while he is adorable and funny, he’s made me miss our old girl that we lost 2 Aprils ago super terribly.

I’ve actually been very very very sad the past few days. Even with all the pieces I wrote here and openly mourning her with J and The Boy for a long time, I don’t think I ever really mourned her. I’m not sure I ever truly deal with grief effectively. That comes from a lot of conditioning to keep on rolling and get shit done and that feelings aren’t important and actually annoying inconveniences. I have a hard time expressing feelings, particularly negative ones (but all of them to some degree really). “Don’t cry,” is a lesson that’s been rigorously taught and reinforced for decades. So maybe it’s weird that my new dog is making me sad because I miss my old dog, but that’s the reality of things.

And back in March when we all thought quarantine would be a few weeks and it’s now basically stretched into the majority of the year with no sign of really letting up, I didn’t really feel very bothered by it. I still don’t in many ways. I enjoy being home with J and The Boy and not really interacting physically with other people very often…I sort of always live my life like this. But social anxiety has gotten pretty bad for me in the past couple of months, and all the constant stress of state violence and natural and man-made disasters and moral outrage and responsibility and COVID safety measures have culminated in even changing my long-distance friendships to a degree. I’ve been feeling pretty lousy about connection lately, and I put a lot of unfair expectations on Little G as a Smol Pup to improve things for me; to restore some of my regular optimism and hope and happiness; to provide a new connection filled with love and companionship…and what’s happened is, I really miss my old dog, and I’m still honestly worried about losing valuable connections, among about a thousand other things based on the time and place we live and the events unfolding all around us.

And then I heard from my friend M yesterday (which was a dark day for me, friends…it really was). She’s a long distance friend. She doesn’t even live in the United States. We’ve never met in person, but she’s read my fiction and I think even though she’s my brother’s age (a lot younger than me), we have a lot in common. She’s always one of my favorite people to hear from. And yesterday, she told me she’d done a painting (she’s a very talented visual artist) based on a photograph she saw in a blog post, and since she was finished and had made it in digital format, she wanted to send it to me. And she said she wanted to check before she sent it to make sure it would make me feel good/better and not sad/worse.

First, the check-in was very kind, and something that I normally only get from J. ‘Will this make it better? I’d like to do this, but not if it won’t make things better…’
That usually doesn’t come from any other humans. But it came from M yesterday. And that means a lot. I mean…I can’t really even write about how touching and important it is to me that she did that. And then obviously…this painting…

It’s just beautiful. ❤
I love it. And I love M. Because for someone whom I’ve never met, who lives thousands of miles away in another country, to think about me with such care and detail, is a very precious thing. And her work is exquisite. Thank you, my friend, for unwittingly but assuredly lifting up a dark day yesterday with your amazing talent and your kindness and friendship.

Something good and joyful and connecting in these unprecedented hard times. I had to share it.

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