Buddy, our cat, died the other day. Although he had been really, really ill for a few days and was staying at the vet’s to be rehydrated and treated, it was still unexpected. Death always is for me. It catches me off guard every damn time and never fails to piss me off.
He was his sweet old self one night, begging for treats, waiting for us to get in bed, hissing and growling if T dared to put his arm outside the covers, etc. The next morning he was seriously ill, lying under our bed with the look of death about him. Even with our vet’s best efforts, he never rebounded. Based on his symptoms, it could have been any number of causes.
The night after he died I had a dream about change. First I dreamed I saw his dead body. Then suddenly Buddy the Cat was alive again and with my Mom, his original owner. We took him in 2008 when she went into assisted living where they did not allow pets. I remember we had to pull him out from under her bed and he clawed T’s arm open. Buddy was always a bit anxious and neurotic, as I am. We shared the same mother.
Then, in my dream of change, I was suddenly in my old workplace. There was no one there I knew. All had changed. All was different. I was alone and it was disconcerting. And like dreams always are, I remembered that dreams are about the dreamer. This was a message to me from my self. I had to think about it hard.
Change has always been a trigger for me. Even if I try to ignore my fear of change, my discomfort with loss, they are always there. They do not go away from refusing to feel. I know, I've tried.
Unresolved emotional themes have a life of their own. They come back to haunt us, to try and get our attention in the form of nameless anxiety, depression, and also in archetypal dream figures.
It is odd, this particular fear, since change is the stuff of life. Do we all ultimately fight the same fight? Is it the nature of being human to fear change? Do I have to become a "*&!@#" zen master to achieve some peace of mind? 'Cause I don't think I have the stamina for it and I certainly do not have the attention span.
|Our lost boy, Buddy the Cat, on our deck in NYS overlooking one of our equally lost perennial beds|