Very soon now, I must put this behind me

For sure. This dog dying business is fucking brutal.

Everyone left for home. Shannon and Terri got an early start as they had things to do. Larry, Lisa and I had a great breakfast at a local diner that Lisa found, then they left for home. The power was still out and the house was cold. And I had a meltdown.

I sort of knew that I had not yet fully processed Mandela’s being gone. But now, in the empty new house that was meant to become a home, surrounded by boxes and unkempt furniture, I suddenly felt an overwhelming sadness. Mandela’s absence was acute and immediate. I could not quit imagining our normal routines. She would follow me from room to room. She would lie down and half-sleep and half-watch–keeping an eye on me always. If I got up and moved to another room, she followed. Her border collie instincts were such that she had to keep me close.

I half-hardheartedly tried to unpack but eventually gave that up and instead went to the grocery and Home Depot—but I was sort of a basket case and was at high risk of embarrassing myself by being too emotional in public. Crying in front of strangers while standing in the frozen food section was uncomfortable. Dela was well known at Home Depot. They are dog friendly and always had treats. When we went there, she trotted the floors like she built the place herself–and the staff at the Gahanna store knew her well. And they delivered on the treats. So being at HD without Mandela was hard. Embarrassingly hard.

By the time I got back home, the power was back on, so I ate and went to bed early.

That was it. Just a day that passed without productivity or any meaning, other than my feeling of loss. It was a sad day. But this feeling will pass.

Very soon now, I will make my final post about this little dog–other than perhaps a passing reference. I owe her a more detailed tribute and am slowly compiling and editing the memories and searching for the right words.

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