For the longest time, grief from a loss of life has been a concept that has eluded me.
For one who’s spent a huge part of her life being a sullen, dispirited character capable of spending days in recluse from a song or movie, I’ve somehow managed to find an understanding in the impermanence of time and life, enough for it not to ever keep me down. This, of course, could also be rooted from my unmindful selfishness of often being too self-absorbed to really care.
For the most part, though, I’d like to believe that this insight of mine stems from my grandfather as well as parents’ very healthy understanding of death. It has been ingrained in me from a young age that death is only the most natural thing in the world, that people die every day, and that the only certain thing in life – is death. While this has given my siblings the spirit to move on quickly post-grief, it has hardened me to a fault.
When my grandfather, the man whom as good as raised me passed on in 2013, I found myself unable to feel anything but guilt – Guilt for being unable to feel much. I questioned my virtues as a person and wondered if my inability to grief or cry made me a horrible grandchild to the man who spent countless hours over the years getting me versed with the notion that death is not just inevitable, but consequential.
Fast forward to last Sunday, I found myself once again in the very same stance. I was visiting home, having my usual round-table reacquaintance with my sister and folks’, when one of their four dogs began groaning and howling so loudly it sent us all racing to the backyard to inspect. Thinking she was having a nightmare we called out to her, to no avail. Realizing this dad rushed closer to her, and that’s when the howling stopped. She took two more gasps, and she was gone. All of this, from the time the howling began to her demise, lasted less than 30 seconds.
胖胖/Phung Phung (English translation : Fatty) was the family and especially my mom’s favorite. We found her on Facebook when a few previous owners gave her up for being hyperactive and destructive – Turns out she just needed attention and most of all space to grow, of which my folks have enough of. She was to turn three next month.
Because I don’t live at home I have even less of an attachment to the pups, but share the heartache of my family members who did.
Goodbye and RIP, 胖胖. I hope we gave you happy home you ADHD doggo.