Day 4

The feeling of loss is duller. It’s just a new awareness that travels with me. A constant buzzing that’s more annoying than painful. At times it feels on the cusp of overwhelming, but it rarely spills over. I feel higher functioning today.
I have her photo as my home screen and lock screen wallpapers. I look at her often. It's a coping mechanism, but I'm not sure to what end. Sometimes it feels as if I am trying to convince myself she was always a memory. Sometimes it feels like flagellation- penance for allowing this to occur- trying to keep the wound open.
I realize now that I did a weird and probably cruel thing when I got the call reporting her gone.
I asked if he was sure.
I wanted to believe this was some sort of bizarre joke. Or a mark of his stupidity that he couldn't tell. Or maybe there was still time to save her. I wanted to believe that last one until I picked her up and was alarmed at how rigid the thing I was holding was. I was explaining to a friend last night that the whole concept of death until that point was theoretical. Sure, it was a possibility, but it was highly improbable that anything I really loved would die. So, the idea that her cells would no longer cooperate to make soft, moving, muscle was shocking. I immediately understood there would be no bargaining.
I still want to believe in the first one. Perhaps not a joke of my ex's...maybe Isis herself had long aspired to be a prankster and decided this was the time. Amid so much change, when everything already felt so fragile, she felt now was the perfect moment to strike. Maximum impact for maximum reward.
She'll reveal the illusion any day now.
That bitch at the mortuary was in on it.

I realize now the cruelty of having asked him that question as I come away from days of being asked, "what?! How?!" as though I have time to explain the existential complexity of death after giving my cat away to be turned to ash. Yes, we always want to know how. We always want to know because we want to know it can't happen to us. We want to know it can't happen to the things we love. We want to know for the cruel novelty. But it just shouldn't be asked.
I don't know how. It hurts that I don't know how. It hurts that I wasn't there. I don't know how long I will worry about how it happened and whether she suffered. I hope this is something that fades, but I also feel like a complete jerk for hoping for that relief, because if she suffered that's on me. It doesn't matter if there are large unseen forces in the universe that act their will upon us- her suffering would have been on me. Her care was on me. I loved her the most and so her well being was my responsibility and I failed to keep her alive forever. I now know that death is real and everything I love is susceptible. Nothing is safe.
So I try to appreciate the kitten.
She hides while I am away. Spends all day in under the kitchen sink.
I doubt this is the reality. I am sure she just runs under it when I open the door and waits for the all-clear of my finger-snapping and tching at her to coax her out.
She's a fine and unobstructive companion.
She alerted me last night to the presence of a roach that was far too large for my liberal heart to allow to coexist. However, as I went to kill it I alarmed myself: I considered whether it might be Isis. I briefly toyed with a Kafkaesque afterlife in which our souls all become roaches at first. The measure of what your next reincarnation will be is dependent on being able to communicate effectively with the ones that loved you, and the length of time you are able to survive. So, after sweeping the insect from my ceiling and crushing it, I whispered a little prayer into the napkin as I carried it to the garbage.
"Please don't be Isis, please don't be Isis"
Which is the same thing I wished for on Saturday.


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