On Grief

My days have been difficult ones these last few weeks.
Theodora, my cat, passed away and I have had difficulty
adjusting to life without her, especially since she was the
one constant in my chaotic life over the past three years.

Relationships are difficult, even the good ones. We are
never the same person with others as we are when
alone. We develop so many habits meant to deal with the
specific personality and temperment of others. We rely
upon others to keep our own emotional world in some
semblance of stability as well. And so, when someone or
something we care dearly about goes away . . . .

I have imagined Theodora coming back to me many
times even though I know it impossible. This is a peculiar
sort of magical thinking. I have become so used to
anticpating her needs and to taking care of her. These
instincts seem to be, in a way, fighting for their own
survival. They cannot (nay, will not) be obsolete, and
without Theodora they no longer serve a purpose. They
continue to operate as if she is still here.

Eventually, something must give. These cares must
find some other object of fixation (and there is always
someone or something else that could use our care.)
They must release the one loved into (cherished) memory
and adapt to another being.

Such is grief: a great reorganization of the self, a
fundamental change to a part of ourselves we’d hoped
would never require it. Yet, death is the one constant in
life. Someday we will lose everyone and everything we
hold dear, including ourselves. Still, we cannot prepare
for these losses. Love has no value if it is planned only
as a temporary endeavor. Our love must be eternal.

Copyright 2010 by Michael Marsters.
All rights reserved.


6 thoughts on “On Grief

  1. I am so sorry to hear of your loss, and, being an animal lover, I can relate to your pain and grief all too well. Nothing can prepare us for such losses and I dread the day when my own little daughter (a very cute two year old dog called Stormy) passes away…honestly, I think about it every day.

    Although I doubt I can say anything to comfort you at this time, I think your final sentence says it all – “Our love must be eternal” – I genuinely believe that we will see our loved ones again – yes, even our pets cos they have souls too….and little Theodora was blessed to live with such a caring owner whilst she was on earth xx


  2. I am very sorry you lost your companion. I, too, have a cat. They seem to take on our personalities and temperments, and allow us to see ourselves in a new way. Losing that, is losing a deep and personal part of yourself. You will keep her memory alive, and, through it, she comfort you when you need it most.

    The second paragraph really touched me deeply. So much honesty and truth.


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