I move around the house like a ghost sometimes, and other times like a contestant on Survivor. Can I outplay and outlast my ownself? I guess we’ll see. Last week when the house was a convalescent home for a dying dog, everything went upside down very fast. I expected to spend this week not moving or doing anything. Instead I push hard to be normal. Today was three loads of laundry, a cassarole and toffee bars. And it was the toffee bars that did it.
It goes like this, though, the way death sits with you like the hiccups. You think it’s not bothering you anymore and you have moved past it, and then you start with a wee break and you’re gone again. Those five stages of Elizabeth Kubler Ross are very neat and antiseptic and make you feel like you can spreadsheet the whole thing when your turn comes–and your turn is coming–but it doesn’t work like that. There is no “Okay I had denial, now let’s bargain for awhile.” After the first few days when you realise that nothing is quite the same you are sort of normalish and then angerbargainingdenialgrief come burbling out at the oddest times. No amount of scaring it away, of drinking water while standing on your head, makes it any easier.
You’re just there, in your kitchen making toffee bars and suddenly you remember that last time you did this he licked the bowl and your lower lip starts quivering, your lungs seize up, your hands lose their grip and you’re sitting on the kitchen floor wailing like a baby. And then you get up, put the unlicked bowl to soak and move on until the next thing.