Realistically, though, I suspect it's the sheer immediacy that's doing me in. Death has always been a bit distant and remote for me. I've been to a number of Lodge funerals, but they've never been for people I was really close to. And my only relatives who have died were three of my four grandparents, all of which happened "off-stage" as it were, when I was nowhere near. Even the two funerals I attended were closed-casket, providing a real barrier to confronting the reality. I have a nasty feeling that I'm still slightly in denial on a subconscious level, and that I've never properly grieved.
This time, though, it's right in my face, with a cat who has shared our living space for 17 years. Indeed, it's far worse because I have to be the grownup. Comet isn't wretchedly unhappy -- yet. He's weak, getting thinner by the day, and has basically stopped eating. He could probably survive a few more days, but they wouldn't be good ones.
So I made the call to ladysprite this morning; she's going to come over tonight. It was the hardest phone call I've ever made -- it took me fifteen minutes just to steel my nerve to say the words, and after I hung up I had the most uncontrolled cry I've had in years. Even now, after a few hours of work to distract me, I keep tearing up when I even think about it.
I'm a bit startled by the depth of my own feelings. This isn't the numb sadness of depression -- instead, it's vivid and raw and a bit overpowering. I suddenly have both more respect and sympathy for my father, who had to arrange both his parents' funerals a few years back; it's a little hard to imagine this feeling magnified by that degree of closeness and responsibility. And even moreso for my maternal grandfather, who spent a couple of years watching my grandmother slipping painfully away; at least msmemory and I have some intellectual comfort that we're doing the right thing here, and the final decline has been relatively quick.
All right -- back to work. Responsibilities and deadlines aside, I need to distract myself for a while again, and ASP.NET makes a satisfyingly evil opponent to take my mind off realer things...