Sigh. How does one manage to write coherently about death? I want to write about our hedgehog, Yozhik, who died over two months ago. I want to commemorate him – and Oksana’s and my relationship with him – with eloquent language, but even two months after his death, painful emotions accompany the search for words.
Sometimes I think I would willingly abandon my memories of Yozhik, if given the choice. Oksana, without saying as much, would do the same. “I don’t ever want another pet,” she told me. “It’ll just remind me of hedgie, and that hurts too much.”
Wouldn’t it be easier to think about sometime else; to turn the mind away whenever thoughts of Yozhik materialized? Not that he’d care, but I don’t think that’s fair to the pet we loved and cared for for four years. (You see what I mean? “…for for four…?!” These are the words my brain supplies me with when I try to describe my feelings!)
Death affects us in such profound and personal ways that it’s hard to imagine that anyone else could ever have felt similar sorrow, anguish, and confusion. But that’s stupid. Practically everyone who has ever lived on this planet has lost someone close to them; it would be callous to think that they wouldn’t have experienced the same emotions. In that respect, what seems profound and personal is actually common and shared.
So even if you didn’t know Yozhik personally, perhaps the memorial video I put together will resonate with you as strongly as it did with Oksana and me.