The effects of the passage of time on grief are both good and bad.
The good is that the more time passes since the tragedy, the less you think of it.
The bad is that the more time passes, the less you remember the good things.
While being reminded of Kobe caused a twinge of sadness every time, sometimes I worry that not being reminded of Kobe is even worse.
That’s why I’ve been keeping a list of the random parts of my daily life that remind me of her:
- The kitchen table (which she would sit under, making it inconvenient to push in the chairs)
- Coming in the front door (she’d come running out to greet us)
- Exiting the front door (she’d come running over to go outside)
- The chimes on on the front door (which are forever associated with Kobe’s clicking paws)
- Lying in bed (and waiting for Kobe’s clicking walk)
- Lying in bed with the kids (and waiting for Kobe to come over and paw me to get let out)
- Washing dishes in the kitchen (she would come over and sit in the middle of the kitchen floor, lying on her side)
- Any time everyone was in the bathroom (she would come in because she didn’t want to get left out)
- The way she would want to jump in the car any time we had suitcases or bags, for fear of being left behind)
- The way she would lie in the middle of the floor in the worst possible locations
- Kobe’s corner of the couch
- The top of the couch where she would crouch, which still bears her claw marks
- Any time I look over at the couch and catch a flash of black (Marissa’s head; the iPad case) and for an instant I think it’s her
- The sound of her claws running on our porch and the cobblestones
- The front door, where we kept her leash and collar
- The sound of the front gate, which I heard every time I took her for a walk
- The strange urge to go outside for a walk at certain times of day (8 AM, 7 PM)
- Every time I talk with TK in the morning, which I’ve done while walking Kobe for over a decade
- The front porch in front of our home office, where Kobe would lie down while outside
- Kobe turning the corner towards the back yard, which she would do a
dead run, pretty much every time, often accompanied by squealing
- The fact that Kobe would use the holes in our fence to go roaming in
the neighbors’ yards. She’d take a long time to come back when called,
and have a satisfied and unrepentant look when she returned.
- Brushing my teeth, then looking over at Kobe sleeping in the hallway
- For Alisha: Sitting in her chair, reading, and then reaching down instinctively to pet Kobe.
- Kobe greeting Alisha every morning when she got up, usually with a downward-facing-dog and a grunt.
- Kobe’s absurdly loud yawns, which ended in a high-pitched squeal.
- Driving past Ohlone School, where I would take her for off-leash romps once the construction was done.
- The sound of Kobe’s paws scratching on the glass of the front door to come in.
- The way she would loom over me in bed, breathing on my face, to slyly wake me up.
- Any time food falls on the floor, I realize I actually need to pick it up.
- Any time we have gristle, fat, and other table treats left over. Now we just have to throw them away.
- Turning on the heat and getting ready for bed–I automatically
glance around to make sure that Kobe’s inside (a precaution we started
taking after she was attacked by raccoons one night).
- When I make Marissa’s sandwiches for her school lunch, I always cut
off the crusts. Now I find myself going to where Kobe’s bowl used to
be, then remembering and going to the garbage can.
By writing down all these reminders, I hope I’ll have a key to continue unlocking many years of memories, even years or decades in the future.