A few days ago I noticed a big change in how I'm grieving over losing Gideon and Mena. Things suddenly got a lot easier to deal with, and I could look at pictures of the dogs' final days without being overcome with sadness. It's like my memories of the dogs had been in 3-D, and now they've become 2-D. The pictures even look different to me. I have them as screensavers on my Kindle, and until a few days ago they seemed to practically leap off of the page when I looked at them. Every whisker looked so real, almost like Gideon and Mena were going to lean out and lick me.
A few days ago they started looking like pictures.
I guess it's easier having my memories flattened out. I don't have the constant feeling of sadness whenever I think about them (although occasionally things flare up). I don't constantly - and accidentally - look out in the back yard to see what they're doing. I've gotten used to the squirrels and birds poking around the yard instead of running with fear to the nearest tree. I've gotten used to being able to leave the gates open.
I'm a little sad to have gotten to this point.
Of course, there are still emotional times. I haven't had the heart to bring Gideon's tennis balls inside from the back yard - I like looking at them when I go out there. Even though Matthew has seen them practically every day since Gideon died, he's always ignored them. But a couple of days ago he picked one up and said, "Gideon's ball? Throw it?" He threw it a few times, and I got sad thinking about how much I wanted Gideon to be there with us. Even Matthew's short throws were frustrating for Gideon (running a distance less than his own body length isn't what Gideon wanted), he'd always bring the ball back. I'd make Gideon drop it, and Matthew would keep throwing it until somebody got bored. I'm going to really miss watching Matthew get better at throwing the ball for Gideon.