Missing Hoofy


I was blessed with an enormous outpouring of sympathy and support in the first few weeks after Patti’s death. Equally mercifully, that tide pulled back in the ensuing months and now most people have receded from my sphere. It was all too heavy, seeing a look of deep concern on the faces of  every person who I ran into on the street, and I felt like a sponge absorbing everyone’s grief over and again. That sounds sort of shitty and selfish but it’s been tough enough sorting out my own feelings.

The grieving process is a hard one to unravel or predict. Kubler-Ross’s stages of grief aren’t terribly helpful, too orderly and well-defined;  there’s just no rhyme or reason to how I feel most of the time. Denial is an easy refuge, just getting on with life until the dam breaks and I am forced to deal with my emotions. I also worry at times that I am too okay, that I am too level-headed, but then my deeper feelings find a way to worm to the surface and reassert the enormity of what’s happened.Yuk.

An aside: One of Patti’s many nicknames was ‘Hoofy’ for her occasionally clumsy ways. This is a drawing of a necklace I gave her years ago, a collection of silver feet and hoofs. She loved it and wore it a lot. It makes me wonder: will I ever know anyone else whose tastes, weird and particular, are so in tune with mine? Who else could appreciate and encourage my taxidermy collecting, my medical textbooks, my love of sardines on toast? How do you replace a one-of-a-kind treasure?

22 Comments

  1. Lu

    Everyday Does Matter

  2. Carol C.

    I don’t think you DO replace a one of a kind treasure. But that doesn’t mean you won’t have treasures of another kind during the rest of your life……

  3. Kathleen

    Well said, Carol. You took the words right out of my mouth….there will be other treasures….Time. Time is your friend…..and from proverbs #?….”God is close to those whose hearts are broken.”….

  4. Nita

    You’ll never the the same; you’re slowly making a new you. One that loved and lost, and will go on to new pathways. The hardest part is always wishing P were here to share the new ways, too. But staying stuck in pain is not a tribute or proof of your love for her.

    Just one step in front of the other most of the time is good enough.

  5. Serena

    A one of a kind treasure that has been lost will always remain a sweet and precious memory in our hearts. Other treasures will come to light and, at first, we will still long for our lost treasure but, gradually, we come to love and appreciate what we have in the here and now. We are all resilient and have hidden strength that sees us through. Wonderful sketch, Danny!

  6. Chris F

    Tough days…no one can walk it with you and no one knows quite what to say at this point….keep drawing and moving forward. You are honoring your wife in a million little ways every day and healing yourself as well. Glad you are brave enough to share this process with us all.

  7. Clare

    I am so sorry for you loss. You are such an inspiration to me and your words…I have all of your books…have given me the courage to draw, paint and be myself…for myself. Thank you.
    My thoughts are with you.

  8. Melly

    You don’t. You can’t. Just breathe. She will always be a part of you. Grand supportive, available and enigmatic. Life goes on, it will continue to hurt and it will feel better or different too. Much love to you.

  9. AutumnLeaves

    You simply can’t replace a one-of-a-kind treasure, Dan. You reshift and readjust, refocus and resettle in the only way you can…one moment at a time. You also continue to grow and to mold yourself and your son, cherish the small joys in each day.

  10. Annde

    (((((((((Big Hugs))))))))))))))
    A one of a kind can’t be replaced
    May the memories of Patti comfort you
    She will always be near you

    Love Annde

  11. Annde

    (((((((((Big Hugs))))))))))))))
    A one of a kind can’t be replaced
    May the memories of Patti comfort you
    She will always be near you

    Love Annde

  12. Sandy

    One of a kind she will always be, but there are many one of a kinds, As impossible as it seems there are joys ahead and wonderful treasures to find, and yes as Lu said, Every Day Matters.

  13. Sandy

    One of a kind she will always be, but there are many one of a kinds, As impossible as it seems there are joys ahead and wonderful treasures to find, and yes as Lu said, Every Day Matters.

  14. Jolene

    You don’t. you give thanks for your time with her and remember the good times. You talk to her, it helps. You look around you and remember your not alone, and your situation thrown into a pile of other peoples woes, you would take yours back. It is never easy, or pretty. The thing that helps me is the memories and the legacy they leave behind, there imprint for us and the world they left it a gift of grace. Good luck, I feel for you.

  15. suzanne

    Beautiful. Simply beautiful.

  16. Jim

    I started a blog a while back. My sister sent your website address to me, saying that you reminded her of me and she thought I would like it. I do. Thanks for sharing. JIM

  17. Eileen

    You can never replace a treasure. That is why we call them treasures – they are unique and one of a kind. I found as time goes on you cry a little less and laugh a little more. They will always hold a special place in your heart. But for me personally my special one taught me that life is to be lived. I think they open us to receive love. Maybe in time we will be ready to share our lives with another treasure.

  18. Pam UK

    Carol C is right – just believe it. Keep an open eye for other treasures of all kinds. P.

  19. Pam UK

    Carol C is right – just believe it. Keep an open eye for other treasures of all kinds. Pam.

  20. Diana

    One just gets used to missing. Others come along and add to life.

  21. Patrick

    A few years ago, when I dropped this necklace off at the jeweler to be repaired for Patti, she said, “Just have them soder it closed.” “I keep thinking I am not going to break the clasp this time, but I am too clumbsy for that.” Hoofy she was.

  22. Carolyn

    The pulling back, finding your equilibrium makes sense.

    And sardines on toast, taxidermy collection, medical textbooks? Those make total sense, too! Much to appreciate there.

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