When Death Comes Near


Today one of our dogs came close to death.  Or maybe it was death that came close to him.  Either way, it was not comfortable.  It seemed like one minute our Cody was okay, and the next he was whining in pain and trying and trying (and failing) to vomit.  Within a half hour we had him at the vet; in another hour he was undergoing major abdominal surgery for bloat

He could have died.  He still might die.  Nothing is certain, although we are hopeful.  He really is the best snuggler.

Throughout the day, as we waited (and waited...) for news of Cody's condition, it was interesting to note my reactions to the situation.  Because I had two, and they were quite distinct, and also familiar.

The first was anger.  I was mad.  Mad.  A pessimistic mantra of f*ck you, life, f*ck you, life ran through my head like a cadence more than a few times.

The other was -- well, I'm not sure what label to put on it.  Faith?  Prayer?  Brokenness (the good kind, that points toward the Holy)?  All I know is that I lay myself face down on our living room floor after I put our son down for the night, words failing.  I felt like I was tugging at the hem of God's robe -- are you there?  do you see all this mess?  please see.  please care.

And these two states are familiar.  Excruciatingly so.  Because I think they are largely how I've handled Eve's death -- either stiffing-arming God, or folding myself into Him (or trying to).

Eve's birthday is coming up fast.  In about a week, it will have been two years.  Two years.  Two years that feel like nothing, no time at all, and that are everything.  And to have death stalk close again during a season when it pressed close before and did not leave without taking such a precious someone with it?  It's hard, and it feels unfair.  It feels like being kicked when my knees are already bloody against the pavement. 

All day today, as I tried to prepare myself for the very real possibility of having to say goodbye to Cody, flashbacks to our few hours with Eve kept slipping in.  It's strange how close her memory is when all of who she is that matters is so far away. 

I have nothing more to say.  I am processing out loud here (again) (as usual).  Cody comes home tomorrow afternoon if all is well, and we should know within a few days if the surgery is a success. 

(I will tell you this, though: I am tired of thrashing, of wrestling with God, of trying to get to the bottom of me and what I believe and why.  I am exhausted.  Life feels heavy these days, even before Cody's emergency.  I want to stop, to take off my wrestling belt, go back to when everything was easy. 

(But not really.  There's too much at stake, and I won't put myself and my God back into a too-small box.  I just need a bit of a breather.  God, come near enough that I can feel you and see you and smell you?)   

Cody pondering

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