Monday, November 22, 2010

When It Hurts

You may have noticed the addition of a new page to the top of my blog.  For new readers who may not know, contained on that page is the story of Taco, the compilation of a 6-part series of posts that I wrote earlier this year.  It's a bit long, but I regard it as some of my best, most personal writing.

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Saturday morning, I awoke from a nightmare.  In my dreams, I was back in April of 2007, reliving the painful weekend that Taco died.  As dreams usually are, the details were fuzzy, but the emotion was all too real.  During the first few waking hours of my day and even in to that evening, it felt almost as though he had died just the day before, rather than 3 1/2 years ago.

I feel better now, but I'm still bewildered.  I have no idea where the dream came from.  I haven't been thinking about him any more than I usually do.  I've been having recurring dreams literally for years about horses, due to several unresolved conflicts that led to my departure from the horse world, but never anything like this.

I have fortunately not suffered a lot of loss in my 20-year life.  Taco's death was the first, and it was probably the hardest on me.  As a 17 year old, I was in counseling for about 6 months afterwards because the intense anxiety and grief that kept creeping up on me.  It took me a long, long time to even begin to accept things.

It all comes down to the fact that I really have not moved on.  I probably never will.  I still catch myself thinking very critically about the circumstances surrounding Taco's death; there are so many "what ifs" in my mind.  I acknowledge how difficult it would have been to care for him through my college career, and also acknowledge that I likely wouldn't have found Marge if he were still alive.  But, the thoughts still remain, and I wish I could spend some time with him again, just see him once more.


I still have his owner's phone number, and actually spoke to him earlier this year.  He's a nice man, a religious, generous, 70-something ex-firefighter. He and his wife both like me very much - they've even sent me Christmas gifts for the past three years.  I want to talk about the three decades of Taco's life that preceded my involvement with him.  I would love to spend some time with them both, maybe grab some lunch at a diner or something.  We spoke about meeting up, way back in 2007, but the plans never came in to fruition.  I don't know whether to call him up and invite him out, or to leave it alone.  I'm trying to hold on to bits and pieces of something that's been gone for a long time, trying to keep Taco alive by learning more about him and continuing to discussing him.

One of these days, I might just have to suck it up and dial the phone.

16 comments:

giantspeckledchihuahua November 22, 2010 at 1:49 PM  

Not surprising, that these emotions creep up on you and knock your sox off. My Wabbit-boy does the same to me, a lot of whit if's there, too!

Having been involved with elders for most of my adult life I can tell you that a visit or a phone call would undoubtedly be so welcome by this couple. Call them and see where it goes. Maybe offer to bring lunch or a snack by, if getting out is difficult for them. (I'm thinking about how busy you are how the heck you're going to squeeze one more thing in!) Just a phone call or a card to let them know they are thought of works, too!

♥ Sallie November 22, 2010 at 2:01 PM  

A nice holiday card goes a long way!

Hugs,

Sue November 22, 2010 at 2:04 PM  

Those memories have a way of sneaking up on you when you least expect them, in a dream or just a certain movement of one of the dogs, a piece of music or a smell.

I've been thinking a lot about Monty lately and even called him the other night to come in when I called the others. Rob had to remind me that Monty was gone.

George the Lad November 22, 2010 at 3:22 PM  

I think you have answered it yourself by saying you have not moved on, you need to talk about it, go with your instinct, make that phone call
Jan

Gus, Louie and Callie November 22, 2010 at 5:23 PM  

You are just dreaming of a special time in your life...

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

AC November 22, 2010 at 6:16 PM  

Oh, I so have those dreams filled with intense emotion. It's like the emotion I can't express in a wakeful state erupts in my sleep. It's so exhausting. I wonder what's bringing up your (more intense) memories of Taco?

I hope the memories of your Taco are able to sit in a more pleasant place. It's so hard to be haunted by something connected to someone/thing you loved.

Marg November 22, 2010 at 8:04 PM  

I think you should call those people. It would be fun to learn some more about Taco. I lost a pony during my chemo and was too sick to try and save her. I will never forget that. There are a lot of things we just cannot forget or put out of our minds. They keep popping back up.
Take care. Hi Marge.

Ricky the Sheltie November 22, 2010 at 8:07 PM  

Sorry you are still hurting so much but it takes a long time to get over losses of loved ones. I too think you should call Taco's owners and meet with them!

Kirby, CGC November 22, 2010 at 8:15 PM  

I sometimes think my Max stops by and visits Kirby. Kirby has adopted some of Max's funny ways and, well, you just have to wonder...

I would look at those dreams as just beautiful memories. It might be really neat to connect with his owners, maybe that is why you had the dream?

Kirby's mom

Siku Marie, White Dog November 22, 2010 at 8:48 PM  

Trust your instincts. If you need to talk about taco, visit the folks and share your memories. Take a nice tea cake and tie it in with the holidays. You won't find peace until you are convinced that Taco has forgiven you...and you forgive yourself.

I know because it took me nearly 5 years to get over Sheena's loss. We thought she was just going to the vet for the day to be checked out because she wasn't eating, so I didn't go along. Never said goodbye. Two hours later the vet called to say that she had gone into cardiac arrest and when they opened her up she was just filled with cancer. She died on the operating table.

Amy / Layla the Malamute November 22, 2010 at 9:44 PM  

Oh, I'm so sorry that you had that dream. A lot of time it's wonderful having dreams about past animals because you get to pet them and actually feel it, but when it's the kind that you only feel the emotion and not the physical, that's horrible. I'm so sorry you had to almost re-live the whole thing.

I don't have any advice for moving on. I haven't moved on from Sonny, my chow-mix. I have ridiculous amounts of guilt, and actually developed an ulcer a few months after he had to get euthanized.

If you think it would make you feel better, then definitely call the previous owners. My only hesitation would be that they might not remember enough to make you feel any better. I get very frustrated when people don't remember things that I think they should, even though I guess it isn't their fault. Maybe it's because I have such a detailed memory, I expect everyone else to also? But my worry would be that the previous owners are not only seniors and might not have as great mental acuity as before, but they might choose to intentionally not remember, and have less memories than they would have otherwise.

You won't know until you call them though. Personally? I would, absolutely. Even if it's just one small detail that you learn. Plus, it'll be nice to talk about Taco with people who also knew him. I sympathize with you, but I know it's not the same as someone who actually had Taco in their life.

Diana November 23, 2010 at 7:37 AM  

Some losses are harder than others. I hope you can find some peace. Diana

CindyLu's Muse November 23, 2010 at 5:32 PM  

It sounds like your dream was, in a way, trying to tell you something. Go ahead and reach out, make the call. You'll all probably benefit, at the very least from the shared love of Taco!

Dawn November 24, 2010 at 7:07 AM  

I agree. Give them a call and see how that goes...

Kari in WeHo November 29, 2010 at 6:27 PM  

I believe in what has previously been said, trust your instincts. You don't want to regret what you didn't do. It might hurt more now but it will make things hurt less in the long run

Kari
http://dogisgodinreverse.com/

PoochesForPeace December 11, 2010 at 8:02 PM  

If not meeting up with them hasn't helped let go, maybe meeting with them will do something positive for you.

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