Friday, 16 October 2009

Mourning sickness

Does it get any better? This mourning stuff?
No. Not yet.

He cries. I cry. We set eachother off. We find photos of Bob-chan around the house and show eachother.
It's one week now since we rushed to the emergency vets in a post-typhoon storm. We sat with Bob at the ICU box for 4 hours. At that time he did know we were there, he could focus in one our faces and hear our voices. That was all a week ago.
By Friday night...and into Saturday I don't think he knew we were there.

I've been thinking a lot about bereavement. Levels of bereavement.
Should you/can you mourn the death of a cat more than a man?

Of course I know that my Dad is more important in my life than Bob-chan.
And I know that leaving England and the house to come back to my life in Japan was a convenient way of blocking out a whole slew of memories and emotion about Dad.
And all those emotions have been inevitably reactivated by Bob's death last week.

I know.

But. Still. I've felt so much sorrow over Bob's death.

Mourning is I guess a BIG missing of someone and however much I loved Dad he wasn't HERE in my daily life. He was a phone call or a letter away. I have a whole life which he isn't part of. 
But this small tabby cat was here and now. And now he isn't. So MY feelings of missing are greater. Mourning is quite a lot of selfish feeling: what I had in my life isn't here and won't be again.

It's not that the cat is more important than the father - but that the cat's death leaves a bigger gap in MY daily life.

It will get less accute. All things pass yadda yadda. But for now it hurts a lot. Students and friends with pets know the pain and are supportive. But after so much stuff with Dad I feel all-washed out.
I slept until 8.30 am today. Probably a good thing.

And step-mum? Still in the big city hospital I think. I didn't get any news since Monday from step-aunt. So I don't know. THAT situation all seems so distant. I love my step-mum, but there is nothing I can do from here and she has a big loving family of her I feel as if I am on an outter-ring of involvement with her sister and brother and their children on the inner-ring.

Meanwhile....Okaasan is pickling vegetables like crazy. I think she'd like a bigger pot for them. But Yujiro walks away from her after a couple of rounds of I-know-but-we-don't-have-a-bigger-pot conversation. So Okaasan stands there in the kitchen with lots of cut up vegetables and looks puzzled. I'm afraid to go into the kitchen in case it sets her off again.

*  Someone asked me if Okaasan felt sad about Bob's death. Well, not really I think. She had no emotional connection to him. He was just a cat. She comes from a generation of Japanese for whom cats are not pets. Just street animals. Of course she felt regret that a life had ended - she is sensitive to things like that - but when Yujiro told her about Bob and asked if she wanted to see the body or anything she said "No thankyou". And that's fair enough.

It's us who are left with a big gaping hole in our hearts.

And. The black cat was hanging round the garden a lot this morning. He even sat out under our car. I am trying not to talk about him too much to Yujiro, because I think he is not ready.


  1. I'm so sorry that you are feeling so sad over the loss of your cat. I can understand why though, and it's probably impossible to totally separate the sadness over your dad and the sadness over Bob.

    I don't think you should worry about whether feeling so much is good or not. It is what it is and you have enough to do just getting through the misery. I do hope though that you will find a little peace soon. You have had too much to deal with this year and it's not fair.

  2. Hi Vicky,


    It is all wrapped up...Dad/Step-mum/Bob/My leg...

    I don't believe in bad luck I don't have a faith in a higher power...I believe that these things just happen and as a middle aged person with old parents and an old cat it was all BOUND to happen sometime - just as a ski intructor man is more likely to get a broken leg and someone who hasn't exercised for ages is likely to get caritlage problems...

    it is all more likely.

    But it all seems to have come along at once!

    I AM fed up with being stoic and putting on a cheerful face and being the object of sympathy.

    But so many people have worse worse stoic and cheerful is all I can be!

    Take pleasure in the love of people who are around you and take pleasure in the small things of life.