For a few years after I finished college, I had a lingering anxiety about school. I’d wake up with my heart racing because I had slept through an exam that didn’t exist, or realize at the end of a bad day that I’d been stressing out because I hadn’t done any homework in a while, so I must be very behind on everything.
I had initially planned to do a longer memorial post about Raksha, but I can’t make myself do it. She was a major factor in my life for almost 15 years, and as she needed more care in her later years, my entire schedule centered on her and her needs. There’s the obvious stuff – any time I went out, I had a timer in my head until I knew I’d have to clean up a mess when I got back, if I couldn’t get back in time.
But more than that, there are the ways in which I shaped my behavior for the comfort of a dog who was convinced that the sky was always about to fall on her head. It was made worse by the fact that, on occasion, we would drop something on her, like a sock.
I don’t think I’d realized how much of my day to day life involved trying to keep her mellow, because any time she got interested in something, or scared by something, she’d get up and pace. Doing so was a struggle for her, near the end. Her hips were barely able to keep her upright, but if I sneezed too loudly, she’d decide she needed to be in a different room.
And I can’t go to bed until I’ve let the dog out. I can’t sleep in, because I have to let the dog out. I had a dream the other night that I woke up one morning, and she was just there, on her bed, as if she hadn’t died in my arms.
I don’t know what I expected, but I’m realizing that it’ll probably take me longer to get over this than it did to adjust to the end of my school life, but I’m not rich enough to take more time off, so I’m back.
Tomorrow, we’ll be back to the usual cheerful content of this blog. Life goes on, and the climate is still changing.
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