Monday, December 10, 2012

The Full Process (or How to Not Worry by Yeonni)

I don't worry. It has to do with a childhood belief that either things work out, or you give way and find a different place. It has to do with an adult faith that everything is connected and everything is as it should be, as it will be, as it has always been. I can frown and think and stare into the dark of night, but it's theoretical, logical. It's thinking, not worrying. Not when my brother crashed with the bike, not when my dad had a heart attack, not when we stood before the possibility of being tossed out of the place we lived in three weeks time. I get angry and scared and frustrated, but I don't worry.

But it's cold. He's a silly little ball of fur, kind of stupid, often very annoying, and I don't even love him that much. But now I feel it. It's like the hand of death gently resting on my stomach. I feel it, and I keep seeing the image of him curling up in the snow under the window just after I convinced him to go outside for a bit to get some air and exercise, and I keep thinking, how do you live with this? How do people who worry survive? Maybe I'm just sensitive because I'm not used to it. But how do people do this?

Reality check. Worst case scenario: he's dead, and I'll never find the body. No, scratch that, worst case scenario: he's lying somewhere suffering for days and days before he dies, and I never find the body. But that makes no difference for me; I can't do anything about that. Boiled down, only four options exist (where "coming back" and "being found" are the same).

  1. He comes back. 
  2. He comes back wounded. 
  3. He doesn't come back and I find the body. 
  4. He doesn't come back and I don't find the body.

In a way, if I don't find a body I can imagine he's alive somewhere, but that's highly unrealistic, and I like knowing the truth more than having vain hopes, so they are ranked in that order. By likelihood of each outcome occurring  ranked by most likely first, I think they're somewhere like this:

  1. He comes back. 
  2. He doesn't come back and I don't find the body. 
  3. He comes back wounded. 
  4. He doesn't come back and I find the body.

So my most desired outcome is the most likely. Good. My least desired outcome is second. Okay.

Preparation. If he comes back he will be cold and hungry. Handled. Cat candy all stocked up. If he doesn't come back on his own I will have to try to find him, although it seems difficult. Go looking, put up pictures, post through social media. Not only to find him, but also to be able to say, if things go badly, that I did everything I could.

I was not wrong to let him out. I was wrong to not check on the window more frequently, but I must forgive myself that because it wasn't that cold, and as far as I could tell from the tracks in the snow he hadn't been back to the window anyway.

Possibilities for why he hasn't come back to the window are essentially far too many to handle. But for example:
  • Plausible reasons: He may have walked in somewhere and been locked in. He may have been in a fight and/or ran off somewhere.
  • Less plausible reasons: He may have wandered into the road and been ran over. He may have gotten stuck somewhere in the snow or woods.
  • Implausible but possible reasons: He may have been kidnapped. He may have been scraped up by a snow clearing machine and buried in snow. He may have crawled into a car that drove off with him.
  • Ridiculous reasons that for some reason insist on popping up in my head: He's hit his head and forgotten the way home. He's fallen in love with some other human. He's pissed and punishing me for tossing him out.
None of this prepares me emotionally for losing my friend and life partner. Hm.

Preparation 2.0. I don't want to get another cat immediately. That's not only disrespectful, it would also be painful. Being alone is also painful. Hm.

Preparation 3.0. People in situations they cannot control do many things. Like pray. People who lose their friends talk to their gravestones, or their pictures. There are rituals and ceremonies involved in handling grief and loss. It's more difficult if there is no definitive end; sending well wishes to the life after death is kinda odd if you don't know if the person is actually dead. 

I don't believe in the life after. I do believe in some sort of "pool" that what we are go back to, like our bodies decompose into dirt and the air in our lungs return to the air outside. But that doesn't deal with the question of whether the person is dead or not either.

People who are not there cannot hear things you say. People are not emotionally connected just because they want to be. Genetically similar people can react similarly to things, and therefore predict how other genetically similar people might feel or act (like twins), but there aren't that many genetic similarities between Asian girls and male cats. Mothers do not know if their children are dead. Thinking so seems to help them emotionally, but I am not his mother.

Loki is a cat. He doesn't know that I love him. He knows here is food and warmth and friendly protective aliens. He will most likely try to come back, and he may miss me, but he will not blame me if I don't find him, because he doesn't know that I love him. Because cats don't know what love means. I don't know what love means either. 

Loki will not know the difference between if I worry about him or not, or whether I miss him when he is not here or not. I do these things only for myself. Missing someone strengthens your bond to them, and makes you appreciate them. Worrying... doesn't help at all.

Conclusion: Worrying will not help Loki, will not increase his chances, will not make him happy if he returns, will not make me better prepared to face the emotional pain from losing him, will not make either of us understand love any better, and will only be painful. Except for looking for him, the only way to get to any of the options stated above is time passing. Passing that time in suffering changes absolutely nothing.

Preparation 4.0 Final. I'm going to watch some videos and play NDS-games in Korean (that I barely understand 1% of) because it makes me happy and eat tasty food.

Thanks for listening. Bye.

1 comment:

Riklurt said...

I have read and I have listened.