After someone dies, I prefer to think of them as temporarily unavailable.
My dog hasn’t died, he’s outside. My grandmother is in the nursing home. My aunt is in Boston. They can be fixed like that, to me, permanently suspended in their previous states.
I’m sorry, my friend from college can’t come to the phone right now. He’s writing a paper about that time he shot himself in the head.
What is most disturbing about this trend of mine (as if pretending my dead dog is happily sniffing through garbage cans on a cul-de-sac upstate isn’t disturbing enough) is that my denial will hijack my dreams. I am well aware of the loss. I have gone through all the accounted stages of grief with all the accounted shrinks. But when the sleeping pills kick in, I see you all.