Bodie was pressed against my chest this morning in just the most perfect and warm way. His head was resting on the pillow with mine, just underneath my chin and his soft fur around his ears brushed against my neck. I gave him a quick squeeze and he let out a quiet moan and then readjusted himself and sighed. When George died, Bodie was nuzzled against George’s legs at the bottom of the hospital bed with his head perched on his shins.
Today marks 8 months of this unwanted journey. Sometimes I feel like I’m scaling a mountain side, holding on to dear life while telling myself to never look down. “Baby steps, Jules” I would say to myself as I pull myself along this mountain. But as patience to get to the end wears thin, that’s when I clip the edge and pebbles tumble downwards as I steady my balance and recalibrate my position. But of course in those moments, I gaze downward and think, how in the hell did I get here in the first place? At the 8 month mark now, I feel like I’m frozen in midstep and evaluating each crack in front of my face and weighing how I’m supposed to proceed now.
I’ve made mistakes. A lot of mistakes. I’ve done a lot of coping with grief in unpleasant and hurtful ways. I’ve succumbed to my impulses rather than reason. I know I’m punishing myself. But the quandary is what am I punishing myself for? But the counter is, I’ve also done really great things as well. The only way I can put this is, I’m grieving the best I can. When you hate life as much as I do- although I’m trying to find beauty in it- all I can do is just pull my bodyweight along regardless of how agonizing it can be.
When I woke up this morning, the warmth Bodie provided me made me think of when I was waiting for the funeral home to pick George’s body up from my apartment. I sat next to his body, wiggling my hands in between his arm and body to feel whatever body heat that was still there. I did this for a few hours, and finally my sister asked what I was doing.
I wanted to steal his warmth before he was gone forever. And without him, I’ve become cold.