It has been a week and a half since Ivan died. I don’t have such a huge hole in my chest now, but at times things still stop me cold: the rubber chicken laying in the yard, his empty spot on the couch, other dogs running around playing, and of course all the room my feet now have in bed. No more foot warmer. You get used to sleeping with a 100 pound dog, and it is weird now to sleep without him. He was such a pain in the ass to sleep with . . . but like I said, you get used to it after nearly 6 years. Sally, my Miniature Pinscher, immediately moved down into Ivan’s spot in the bed and has kept it pretty much every night. Since she weighs in at a titanic 7 pounds she just sort of gets lost down there. It’s not the same.
I haven’t been able to listen to Tom Petty this week. It just makes me sad. This morning it seems somehow appropriate though.
I am never sad. Ever. I never feel bad for some unknown reason, rarely even feel out of sorts. So it has been unusual for me to feel that way now. Of course it has a reason, but at times I find myself overcome with emotion–sadness, anger, a sense of utter loss, devastation. I haven’t felt this disconnected before, not even when family members died.
I realize now, after thinking about it every day, that Ivan was more to me than another human could possibly be. Maybe more and something different at the same time. My wife and I are closer than anything, but she, as a human, doesn’t jump up and follow me around the house at all times, keeping an eye on me. She doesn’t have this absolute need to always be with me, every moment of the day, to watch me. And nor would I want her to. She is a person with more of an independent self. She exists apart from, yet close to, me.
Ivan, for better or worse, had become part of me, an extension of my self. I realize now that I always knew where he was, what he was doing, always kept a close eye on him too. I mean, if I didn’t, how would I keep him from getting up on the counter to snatch a loaf of bread or to gobble up the butter? He was my soul beast, my goofy little brother.