Lady in Waiting


My dog, waiting.

If only all men were as pleased to see me as my dog.

I came home earlier and there he was. In the window. With his waggly tail. And one of my daughter’s toys in his mouth, disembowelled and relieved of all its facial features.

Whenever I leave him, he takes his place on the back of the settee and stares out, waiting for the moment when I reappear. Sometimes I’ve only gone to the car and back, yet he greets me as if I’m Lord Lucan.

He spends his entire life waiting, actually. He’s sitting under my desk now as I type, waiting for a biscuit. He waits for walks, food, bed-time, up-time. In the year that I’ve had him, he has become utterly devoted to me and my every move.

In the first few months after M’s death, I spent much of my time waiting too. Like my dog in the window, I stared out, waiting for Him to return. Time marched on but still I waited. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was waiting for, as logic dictated that He wasn’t coming back. He hadn’t just nipped to the car. But still, I waited.

I realised today, when I returned home and saw the dog at the window, that I am no longer waiting.

I’m not sure when I stopped waiting. I still hold on to a brittle hope that somehow He’ll come walking round a corner – indeed, I fantasise about it: that He’ll materialise out of a crowd of shoppers, or step out of the woods while I’m on a walk.

But the waiting has ended. He’s not coming back.

7 thoughts on “Lady in Waiting

  1. This post has really left me with a lump in my throat as I know for you to acknowledge he is never coming back means you have taken another huge painful step in your grieving process. It also makes me feel sad because now you have acknowledged it it means so must I…….

    P.S. I must admit although the dog is daft and annoying (aren’t we all) he has brought us all immense amounts of joy and is a real member of the family now. I also admire his ‘straightforwardness’ – bed, bone, walk and you = happiness. If only we could all be so easily pleased…

    • I guess it is a step without me realising it has happened. It is incredibly painful, as you say, to have this realisation. This is not to say I have accepted – I don’t think I ever will – but I am not waiting in that hideous limbo like I was. The dog has been hugely ‘medicinal’. As has my daughter and my incredible family and friends. XXX

    • Thanks Caz. XX. I was pretty knotted up writing this one actually. Hadn’t realised how I felt until it all came spilling out onto the page. It is a big acknowledgement, and a very painful one too. Thanks for the support. XXX

  2. Indeed it sucks to know that you’re really not going to see that fantasy come true. It really, really, really friggin’ STINKS!
    The struggle to get to a “start” point is incredible and the heck does somebody just “move on?” That is the enigma in my questioning mind.

    • You are right. Where is the start and where is the end? Both concepts are fluid in this game of grief. I think this realisation today has made me see that one doesn’t ‘move on’. One moves, slowly, very slowly, into another phase. I hadn’t noticed it happening. I haven’t accepted – don’t think I ever will – but I know I am not ‘waiting’ like I was. The key, I think, is filling up life with other things, continual distraction. The dog is one, my girl is another. Work etc. Thanks CJ – your virtual voice is so supportive. X

      • I only hope to be supportive. Did you ever look into James Van Praagh? Too bad you are my next door neighbor, or even 50 miles away…I’d happily share my books of his. They are fascinating and very soothing for a little calm and peace in a grief-stricken survivor. I believe HE has very real ability in what he does. I have seen others do readings and they don’t convince me they are talented or gifted at all. They may be, but James is very unique. At least go and Google him, and sign up for his free monthly newsletter? I put “Part 1” of my personal thoughts regarding that question you asked about, earlier today. I was later than promised, but there it is…and Part 2 ready to put up but I thought I’d wait a day.
        As for distracting oneself with myriad activities … you can do that all you like, but this loss is always going to hurt, that void will still be ‘there.’

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