I am deeply sad to share that my sweet Mountie passed away last Thursday evening, February 2. I have been attending to my grief mostly by crying and napping and rearranging furniture, but I did get out for a walk around Greenlake the other day with my friend Robyn, who reassured me that I could cry under my sunglasses and no one would notice. Walking, I have found, is quite helpful as grief can create a sort of glue for the body, mind, and heart — and it’s easy to feel stuck or at least sticky at the edges.
I am sure that I will have more Mountie posts and more posts about the ways I am processing such loss, but for now I am going to share a poem I wrote in 2010 in which Mountie appears. This poem reminds me of three things: 1) Loss is interconnected, 2) Beauty can happen even when you’re in the shower looking at the world through foggy glass, and 3) Mountie was 100% authentic, empathetic, sincere, and generous of spirit.
Through the shower’s foggy glass,
I spot my night self heaped in a pile—
my gray t-shirt and blue-striped pajama
bottoms crumpled like a winter flower—
and remember last night’s nightmare,
of my father dying all over again,
the adrenaline sweat’s sickly sweet
stain left on my clothes—
and then I spot my cat approaching,
sniffing the pajama puddle.
He circles twice before settling
in the center, then begins to knead
the little heap with his claws, rubs
his nose into my shirt’s armpit,
and sleeps right there, in the remnants
of my terror, content to be in it,
for I am somehow comfort and he can smell it –
beneath the taste of panic’s tang,
despite the nighttime tremors
that sometimes shake him right off the bed,
I am still the one who he adores,
I am still the one who smells of love.
Courtney Putnam, c. 2010