Friday, February 18, 2011

Thank you.


Grief has that terrible way of hitting a person in waves: you feel fine, and then suddenly the sadness is overwhelming. Our sadness continues, although the fluctuation is less severe now than it was on Tuesday. It is not just he loss of Zane that saddens us: it is also the loss of our family unit. There has never been a Rachael+Greg without a Tori+Zane. Anyone who knows us knows how our two dogs initiated and defined our relationship. Zane loved children so much, and we were sure that Jack and Zane would have been best friends. I am especially torn up by Tori's confusion. She sits and waits by the back door. Sometimes she paces over to her dog bed and lays down for a bit, but then she goes and stands watch again. While she cannot conceptualize that Zane is gone, we are sure she feels lonely. We have no way to help her with this loneliness, because human companionship will never be the same as canine companionship.

We are doing much better. We are grateful for each other, for our general good fortune, and most of all, more importantly than anything else, for happy, healthy Jack. However, there is an ache for our original family unit that will probably never go away. It shouldn't.

With that...I just wanted to say thank you. You have all been so kind, and kindness is a word that doesn't even begin to sum up what we have experienced in the past few days. I am simply overwhelmed by the number of sympathetic emails, facebook notes, text messages, and well, frankly, wordless hugs, I've received. People have sent flowers. Our friends Mike and Nathalia drove down from Boston last night, to stay the night and today, just to cheer us up and take care of Jack so that we don't have to deal with the drive to daycare. Wow, I just... wow. I am overcome by the support we've received from our friends and family.

This event, shocking as it was, reminds me of something that is so, so, so, SO important to remember. Nothing matters in this world save for the relationships we form with others.

Zane was hit less than 20 feet away from our property line. The woman who hit him stopped her car; she was frantic and worried and wanted to do whatever she could. Our neighbor Michael came striding forward to barricade the side of the road with trash cans and brought a flat board so we could move Zane into the car. People stopped. One person inquired into Zane's condition later that day. One of Greg's best friends from childhood, Andrew, lives right across the street. He helped get Zane into the car and drove to the vet hospital. He kept Greg company and found a way to lift his spirits during the most difficult time that day.

I am filled to the brim with gratitude for people. I am grateful for those that I am close to, but I am also appreciative of what we all share in human existance. People feel. People care. People surround us. I am grateful for my community, and of my incredible luck to know so many good, loving people. Sadly, we have all experienced trauma in its varying forms, but thankfully, we all share in our grief and move ahead. It is the sharing that makes this possible.

I hope Jack can grow up in a similar community. I feel sure he must: he is a miniature Greg, who, true to his name, is nearly as gregarious as a person could come. As much as I hate this knowledge, I know that Jack will be hurt by many things in his life. During those difficult times, I hope he will find solace, as we have, in those he loves. I hope he will always be surrounded by those who love him. For as long as Greg and I are on this earth, we will be there for him.

On that concluding note, let me provide a caption for the picture up top. The picture is from Mike and Nathalia, who not only sent Greg and I to work with lunch packed (!), but who are taking care of Jack in our home today. This quirky snapshot of my son makes me smile, for Jack is at work, too, taking his job of growing quite seriously indeed. And now, an hour later, they have sent us another photo. Our little baby, chunky thighs and all, is napping peacefully.

Again, thank you, everyone. I will write about happier topics soon.

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