Departure Day


My dog joined our family in 1994 when we were stationed at Ft. Hood. He's been with us for over twelve years. Today, we were informed that our *child* has four cancerous tumors. It's incredibly difficult. I have no children, only furry ones. My husband hasn't always been with me through the years due to TDY, deployment, etc., but my dog has always been there, and he's provided an enormous amount of comfort and companionship throughout the years.

This episode reminds me of departure day, the day our spouses deploy. I hate that day. We all handle it differently, but I want to be left alone for a while. My close friends and family know this, but it doesn't stop them from calling. Of course, it wouldn't stop me from calling either, they mean well and they want me to know they are there for me. The phone rings constantly on departure day. I don't pick it up. Though I'm generally an optimist and usually upbeat, I need a day or two to mourn the temporary loss of my husband, my best friend.

I wander around the house and the slightest thing can unnerve me. Things like not seeing his clutter strewn about. When my husband is home, I nag about clutter. When my husband leaves, I long for clutter. Clutter means he's nearby.

Laundry is always another sore spot. I try to get the last bit of his laundry done and put away. I'm not sure what it is, but finding a sock in the laundry that doesn't belong to me is upsetting. By putting the laundry away, I'm getting on with my life and am one step closer to building my new routine.

So today, I don't want to *talk* about my dog. Today is exactly like departure day. The phone is ringing off the hook. My dog's grandparents/aunts/uncles/friends are inquiring. How did the appointment go? They mean well, but I can't really talk without breaking down. I know my dog is dying, but I need a day or two to deal with it. Just like departure day, I need some time and space. Time to come to terms with a new reality, a reality that means I am going to have to live without someone I love.

How do you handle departure day?


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