When Alice Zunay awoke on Saturday morning she felt like heavy duty motor oil was flowing through her veins. As her conscious thought became clearer the emotional pain and exhaustion of Daisy’s death, felt primarily in grief and mourning, and the mental exhaustion of mid-terms colluded in her body and spirit.
She looked at her roommate’s bed that sat still and made and wished that Melissa was here. The two had not talked since Wednesday night and with Melissa’s last class coming early in the afternoon, she had left for weekend to go home. It would be Sunday night before Alice would share her grief with her someone who would understand as Melissa had lost her dog before college started.
Sitting up with the sunlight stream on to her face she thought, “I need some fresh air. Exercise time.”
Shaking the stiffness off she jumped into her running clothes, took the elevator down to the main floor out the front door.
The fall colors brightened the fresh fall morning air and Alice settled into a steady pace that helped to take the motor oil out. But finally she stopped for few moments to catch her breath. Grief struck.
“Hi, I’m Greg, are you okay?”
“No, my dog died.”
“Wow. I’m sorry. When did it die?”
“Thursday night,” Alice began. When she finished, a half-hour had gone by.
“I’m sorry for talking your head off.”
“Grief needs to be felt and talked out.”
“Really? I never thought about that.”
“Have you grieved before?”
Searching her muddled memory, she thoughtful said, “No, I don’t think so.”
“Well, you will have a ride for while. Grief can be like a bucking horse.”
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to discourage you,” Greg replied.
“It’s okay, it hurts though.”
After a silent pause in which both of them felt increasingly self-conscious Greg said, “Well take care. I am sorry.”
Startled back into the present, Alice turned to say “Thank you” but no one was around.