Monday, August 1, 2016

Alive: Just out of View UPDATE!



There is an update on Rufus at the end of this post!

It’s been ten days since I lost my best friend. Caring friends have offered advice to ‘get out and see people’ and ‘keep busy with distractions’. And that’s what I’ve done. The last ten days has been full of parties, work and seeing people. Even in the quiet moments late at night I’ve filled the space with mindless TV. I’ve done everything they said to do. I was wrong.

This isn’t my first time meeting grief. I know better. I know that avoidance and distraction are the worst things to do. Grief needs our attention otherwise it patiently wait for an unplanned space between the fillers then it pulls us into the darkness, knocking us on our ass in the process.

It’s better to make an appointment with grief instead of being caught off guard. 
Today I made the appointment.

I went to Rufus’s favorite walking spot. A marine hiking trail deep within an old growth forest. My eyes stung with tears with each step as I walked alone. Soon guilt became my companion. That’s normal. Guilt and grief usually travel together.

I sat on the sea cliff where we had sat hundreds of times before. In front of me an ugly, dead tree – a stark reminder.

They say those things that cause our suffering are just illusions, even death, they are not real. But in this time of suffering it doesn’t feel like an illusion, like Houdini’s magic tricks, it feels very real. Painful. Unnecessary. Unwanted. 
It was the promise of these human emotions that lured us here in the first place. We so desperately wanted to feel something other than, what, pure love? bliss? divinity? I don’t know what’s on the other side, I don’t remember. But I’d like to think that’s what it is and that we came here to be an active participant in the greatest magic show in the universe with illusions so great we believe they are real, especially when they make us feel these emotions so foreign to our true selves.

Being willing to sit with grief is terrifying. It hurts like hell. It sucks. The blackness is hollow. The loneliness deafening. It doesn’t feel like a magic trick. It feels very real. But it’s necessary. To feel all those things I don’t want to feel. 
Release the resistance. Sit in the darkness. Look in the familiar eyes of grief instead of looking away.

And just like when we search the newly black sky for a star, a dim light soon appears.
Grief is not a monster. It’s a deep, intense, powerful emotion that reminds me of my humanness, this temporary and fragile condition that was gifted to you, and me.

Soon I hear the gentle lapping of the waves on the rocky cliff. Slowly coming back to the moment, to the magic. A curious ant scuttles across my hand and I laugh at the creativity of the magician. Up above the honking chorus of Canada geese catches my attention and that’s when I notice that the dead tree is not dead after all.
For up above, just out of view, it is alive. And so is Rufus, up above, just out of view, he is alive.
Update
I had asked Rufus to give me a sign that he was OK, you know, after he passed. I think most of us look for a sign. I said, 'a beautiful sunset is not a sign, I want something really specific, I need to know it's you Rufus'. The days went on and there was no sign. 
Well, this morning I brought my three-year-old to McDonald's for breakfast (I know, I know) and she asked for a toy. I said,  
"No, they don't give toys at breakfast, (I know, I know), feeling like a schmuck I quickly said, “yes they do give toys at breakfast”, and the cashier let her choose a toy. I didn't pay much attention.
After breakfast she asked me to open the package and inside was a stuffed dog equipped with a blue wheelchair. Rufus loved kids so it makes sense he would give us his signal via a toy, a gift for a child.
My daughter screamed,
"Why does he have a wheelchair like Rufus!? Is his name Rufus too?" 

I said, "I don’t think so, this is just Rufus's way of telling us he's alright." 

And he is alive. He’s just out of view.  

 





23 comments:

  1. Darling Rufus his beautiful energy will always be in my heart.
    Much love
    Juanita

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  2. Such a great story, Melissa!

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  3. Oh I love that synchronicity. I raise dogs and I often ask for a sign from them, when they leave me, and it usually is that I sit straight up in bed because I heard their unique bark and I promptly tell them to go to sleep; it's not time to get up. And then as I wake and realize that I yelled at a dog no longer in my house, they were letting me know that they'd be around. GREAT story!!

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    1. That's really sweet, and the dogs are still in your home, just in a new and improved 'form'

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  4. How very beautiful! An amazing reminder I truly needed today!Thanks for sharing this beautiful!

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  5. Thank you for this. I have often reminded my daughter that her sweet kitty Padme who passed a few months ago is still around she just can't see her. Much love to you and Rufus.

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    1. Blessings to you and your daughter and her sweet kitty, Padme.

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  6. I first read this on Pam Grout's blog and it brought a tear. It brought more after reading it here! Thanks so much for sharing!!

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  7. RIP dear Rufus and much love and peace to your beautiful humans.

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    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you. He gave us some peace with his beautiful sign.

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  8. So beautiful. Bittersweet. About to face the same for the third time in two years. Thank you for this post. A wonderful reminder for all of us.
    Debbie x

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    1. Sorry you are going through this again and so soon. It absolutely sucks and is so hard. Gentle hugs and love to you and your fur baby.

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  9. POSITIVELY WONDERFUL SIGN FROM RUFUS!!! Found you from Pam Grout. Hugs to you all!! ~ Christina in FL

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    1. Yay Pam Grout! Thank you, it really was. That little dog toy proudly sits on my dashboard now, goes everywhere with us, just like Rufus.

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  10. That's a beautiful sign! Love hearing these things!

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  11. There are no words that can best describe this. Thank you and grateful come to mind most.

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  12. Amazing story and beautifully written - he was an amazing soul and I was so blessed to have met him :) thank you for sharing

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  13. So beautifully written - Rufus was an amazing soul and I am so fortunate to have had met him - and to have had him involved in one of my latest Ms Pig episodes. Sorry for your loss once again. Best Regards, Ms Pig

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