}

Sunday, March 08, 2020

Life in the alternate universe

Every morning I wake up disappointed that I woke up—coming back to consciousness in a different universe I don’t recognise or understand, one where the life I had and loved exists only in memory—or was it just something I dreamed? And then I feel Leo sleeping up against me, the other furbabies nearby, maybe even snoring. And I join the day in that alternate universe I woke up in. I carry on.

I knew that this year would be, at the very least, extremely challenging for me, and it’s pretty much been—well, worse than I expected, actually. Because while I knew I’d miss Nigel and my heart would ache without him in my life (or universe…), nothing prepared me for how empty this new universe would be. And yet, I carry on.

Every day I do the things I must do, though the only true “must do” on my list is looking after my furbabies, because they need me. Other than that, I try to remember some of the language spoken in this alternate universe, and what their customs are so I might fit in better. But something’s always a bit off, it doesn’t quite mesh, so I travel through this new universe without connecting with it. Even so, I carry on.

And through it all, the furbabies keep me grounded, demanding attention, affection, food, to go outside, anything and everything they did in our old universe, because they came from there with me. We carry on.

And I have friends and family who are quite a lot like the ones in my old universe, but the fact I sometimes forget how to communicate in this universe is an obstacle. Still, we all carry on.

This is all because those of us who knew and loved Nigel are existing in our own alternate universes, struggling to make sense of it when nothing makes sense in it. We can’t, any of us, quite work out how things are supposed to be here, where we now exist, so we all do the only thing we can: We carry on.

Every morning when I wake up disappointed that I woke up, I know that this different universe is where I now exist, together with my furbabies and family and friends—but without Nigel. There’s nothing any of us can do about it but carry on.

And then I get up, give the dogs their morning snack, and make myself a coffee. This universe is similar to my own, but it’s not my universe. Still, I carry on.

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