A death in the family is one of the most bizarre, difficult, surreal, humbling experiences that a person can go through, I think.
Candice's goat, Penny, died in our back yard some time Monday night. She stayed with us while Candice and Eric went on vacation. She was the sweetest baby of the three, I think.
I can't imagine how sad, how sad, it must be to come home from a week's vacation to that kind of news, to wake up to a phone call full of "I'm sorry" and "She's gone". There are people who don't own pets, and who just don't understand how fully you come to view them as your children. There are also people who do own pets, but just never seem to get past the it's-just-an-animal, pet/owner kind of relationship. And there's nothing wrong with that. But there is a third breed of person, the pet owner who takes completely seriously her duty to protect, love, and cherish her little friend, who just loves her little beast-child with all her heart, who is totally devastated when that little thing has to go away. I think that Candice and I have in common being that third kind of pet owner, and I am just so completely sorry for what she's having to deal with right now.
After I discovered what had happened, I went inside the house, and I thought, "Okay, we have to sell our goats. And maybe the cats. And probably the kids for good measure." Because how can I do this over and over again? A panic set in that I don't think I can accurately describe, in which I realized that I am no longer the child who comes home from school to bad news; I am the adult now who has to actually deal with the deceased animal, as well as the emotional turmoil of the passing of the loved one. Penny is Candice's child to tend to, but the tragedy made me realize that with Dudley, Pierre, Shu Shu, Ida, and Petey, I will have to bare up and find a box of the appropriate size. And I'm totally not convinced that I am, in any way, prepared to fill that role. As sad as I am over the death of Penny, how will I feel when it's one of my own? How will I take that tiny little body, that innocent little thing that I have fed and cuddled, and bury it away? How will I get rid of this feeling, this ache, these little flashes in my head that read, "Was she scared? I should have been with her. I hope she wasn't scared. I hope she didn't suffer. Even though I know that this is not my fault, I know that this is my fault."
And so, after agonizing over it for most of the night, I have decided to move to Siberia. There's not really anything in Siberia, right? I have to leave everyone that I love behind, because I don't think I can possibly deal with the possibility of losing them in some way. I just really can't be that kind of adult. I am not ready to NOT be the one who hears the news, then throws herself onto her bed and cries the whole afternoon, then lets her momma make her some soup when she manages to get herself under control. Who's going to make my soup? I NEED THE SOUP, PEOPLE!