I got my hair cut today. It’s a good cut in a style I really like, but I always feel so shorn afterwards. Going from a fuller head of hair to a lesser one makes me look, at least in my eyes, like I’ve a pinhead balanced on my body. The feeling goes away after a day or two, but it’s strong for a bit.
It may sound foolish, but a haircut always makes me think of Mr. Thomas, the Royal Standard poodle my family had when I was in college.
Mr. Thomas was a rescue, a sweet dog who got his annual haircut every spring. By the time he got his coif, topknot and all, he resembled a large gray throw rug of the shag carpet variety. My mother would get out her dog grooming tools and set to work.
When she was finished, Mr. Thomas was always upset. Rather than strut around proudly with his new haircut, he was embarrassed. He’d slink away and hide. It didn’t matter that we told him he was beautiful in voices geared to encourage him. Apparently he felt naked without his voluminous coat. Perhaps he even felt cold.
That’s sort of how being a widow feels. I’m shorn. I’ve lost that warmth of love that filled my life and heart. I want to slink off and be alone as I struggle with the discomfort and pain of missing what had been a part of me, as vital to me as my own breath.
Unlike Mr. Thomas who was back to his normal self in a day or two, I know I won’t recover quickly and I know I won’t experience “normal” in the same way ever again.
How I long for the months gone by,
for the days when God watched over me,
when his lamp shone upon my head
and by his light I walked through darkness.
But you are a shield around me, O Lord,
my Glorious One, who lifts up my head.
To the Lord I cry aloud,
and he answers me from his holy hill.
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