I just had a memory/thought about one of the strangest things i ever experienced-- loss of someone you have no logical reason to be connected to or really to care about. Very wierd- maybe writing will help me figure this out.
Ok so lots of people in my family i.e. relatives and stuff, have died. You're just going through life, you come home from school, and Dad says- Matt, we just heard, Nanny died. Or Grandpa, or whoever. You know what i mean. And maybe i'm alone in this, but my initial reaction is not to shout or scream or cry- in fact i almost never cry. I take the news with a sort of detachement. even when i know the person really well, and love them more than the whole world. The fact that all of my family lives 3000 miles away might have something to do with that. But i'm not sure if i would react any differently if the person lived 10 miles away rather than three thousand. My mute reaction of detached incomprehension is as far as my response goes.
Then a few months later, our family goes back to the states to visit, and i absent-mindedly say- "o yeah dad i meant to ask, when are we going to visit Nann............" and burst into heart wrenching sobs when the loss actually becomes real to me.
It really takes a long time for me to grasp that loss- and that might be me alone, or maybe others feel that way too. Who knows?
But the only time i can remember grasping, understanding, really feeling a loss INSTANTLY was this past summer. And the wierdest thing is, i really had no reason to feel that loss. I was working at a friend's farm in a warehouse, painting the inside of an office; i could see outside through a huge big window, and everything was ok. My boss's dog, Baxter was sitting happily outside as far as anyone knew. A beautiful chocolate labrador puppy, only like a year old.
All of a sudden this huge tractor thing comes around the corner and either hit Baxter or just ran over his leg, or something. Baxter starts howling, jumping around and just looking frantic- i, not having seen him get hit, thought he was playing, but then he collapsed on the ground. I realised something was wrong, ran down the stairs to the door just as he was lying there on the concrete. And then his eyes glazed over and he was gone.
My boss put him in her car and rushed off to the vet, but he was dead long before she got there.
And so there's me. Standing in a half painted office with cream colour paint all over my hands, and tears literally pouring down my face. Wondering how i'm supposed to wipe my eyes cus i'll get paint in them. And feeling this enormous sense of loss, which had no right to be there. I didn't know this dog from any other walking in the street. It's a dog not a human. It's not my dog. Why am i so ridiculously torn up by this?
But i guess it comes down to a life- it was there one second, and snatched away in the next instant-- whether that puppy belonged to me or not, i still felt that loss. Illogical as it is, whatever anyone says, i think i felt that more intensly and certainly more instantly than any other loss i have experienced. Maybe i'm just screwed up. But i think that trying to get rid of that or forget that emotion or try to excuse it would be wrong. So i'll give it up to God. As soon as i work up the courage. But i think that could take me a while.