Monday, November 3, 2008

A Week of Grief

A week has gone by and I am numb.

I just wanted to thank everyone for their kind comments and emails. All of them have touched me deeply and I am grateful for the kindness of all of you.

Tonight I am joining in the candle ceremony at the Rainbow Bridge. I have my three candles prepared and I have put Dolly’s name on the Bridgelist. I know that Dolly and Deeb are going to be waiting for The Man and myself when we can finally join them.

Some of you might say – all this over a pet?

I say – No. It’s just not a pet.

It’s the loss of an unconditional love that I had for 16 years.

Anyone who has loved a pet knows what I am talking about. The love you get back from an animal is unconditional. They don’t have to love us. They could just be animals. But if they do – then you are blessed.

And I was blessed. Believe me.

After years of abuse and illness – to have this kind of love was a gift to my heart.

Today my brother arrives to take home his 3 cats that I have been babysitting. I know that tomorrow the silence will stretch out and hammer home the emptiness of this house and of my heart. In a way I am looking forward to it. Then I can perhaps deal with this loss. Maybe not.

Every night I have gone to bed and looked for Dolly. I’ve caught myself listening for her footsteps and I’ve had to stop myself from getting out of bed and going to get her. I have a small clump of her fur that I hold in my hand when I go to sleep. I often wake up still holding it or it is under my pillow. It gives me a tiny bit of peace as I stare into the darkness.

So what is grief?

Grief is what I see when I look in the mirror - green eyes awash in watery seas of sadness.
Grief are the lines on my face and the way my mouth droops at the corners.
Grief is my heart – aching – yet still beating - reminding me every second of loss.
Grief is being suicidal and then stepping back from the abyss – but remembering the aching to take that step and have the grief go away.
Grief is realizing that forever is just the doorstep to eternity.
Grief is tomorrow. Grief is me.

I know it will get better. I do know that.

35 comments:

Junebug said...

After grief, comes acceptance. I wish you strength and courage to get through this. You will get through this. You will.

Dusty Spider said...

Know what you are feeling. It's not the same as losing a person but it is just as painful. Hugs to you. Flick xx

softinthehead said...

Oh aims - I know it will get better - be strong!

Maggie May said...

Aims....... I feel for you. I have lost so many pets over the years.
It is a personal thing and only you know how you feel. Whether human or animal, grief is grief and it is very real.
You really will get through this and become a stronger person. Every tragedy that we face, moulds us and if nothing else we can use that empathy to help other people. You do that all the time. XX

TSannie said...

One foot in front of the other....

Leatherdykeuk said...

I know how important a beloved pet is. *hugs*

rosiero said...

I have been nervous to contact you in case it rubbed salt in your wound, but have been thinking of you a lot and hoping you are coping. I hope the candle ceremony will comfort you and help. Love R x

Akelamalu said...

It does get easier, I can tell you from experience, but the love you had for Dolly will never diminish and she'll be waiting for you on the other side of Rainbow Bridge. xx

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Hugs dear girl. X

Biddie said...

Oh, I know what you mean.
I lost my Poodle on June 18th. 2005. It was the worst time of my life, after losing my Dad and my son. That may sound extreme, but like you said, her love was 100% unconditional.
One year later, exactly, we got Ruby.(It was also the day that I lost my beloved aunt). It just happened that way.
I wasn't sure if I was ready for another pup or not, but we took the chance.
She is a brat, and spoiled and the light of my life.
No dog can ever take the place of my Poodle. Just was one of a kind, loyal and wonderful. Ruby has her own place.
It will get easier, Aims. :)

CrazyCath said...

After 15½ faithful years, I lost a beloved pet. Not an animal, a part of my family. At that time, I had known her longer than I had my children. I know that pain Aims. But it does ease. The thing is, we have to let it. Sometimes, not always, but sometimes we inadvertantly hold onto the grief for fear of losing the friend.

You will never lose her. I am now almost six years on, and after two separate vows never to have another cat as none could replace her, I now have six cats. The first two came within weeks of losing my friend. They have blessed me and healed me far more than anything I know could have.

Think about it. It is not a replacement. It is a new friend to help you heal. You don't have to be as mad as me and end up with six!!

(((Hugs)))

Daryl said...

One day at a time .. one hour if necessary and then open your eyes and heart and find a new kit who needs you to love him/her ...

:-Daryl

dND said...

Hugs from here too aims.

Like you I was devastated when my last long term cat died. I'd had her and another cat for 15 years and lost both of them within a year or so of each other. I saw them sitting in the half hidden places they always used to sit, I heard them and always turned to look for them. I decided not to have another cat because I found the hurt of losing them unbearable.

I managed about 6 months; I missed the comfort my cats gave me. I had to get more, not to replace the ones that had died for they are all special and can never be replaced but to fill the void of unconditional love that I wanted to give to and receive from these lovely creatures.

Since then my 'new' cats have been my lifeline through my breakdown and calmed me through many other periods of stress. So what I suppose I'm saying is grieve for the time being but hold your heart open for others to follow.

Deborah x

Mean Mom said...

So sorry about your sadness. Thinking of you and I know that you are strong!

laurie said...

16 years is a lifetime. i know what you're feeling, and no, they are not just pets. not at all.

i remember being sick to my stomach for a week after Toby died. i am so sorry for your loss.

KatduGers said...

I am so sorry about your Dolly. I know how you feel - when my 14 year old labrador died I felt like a part of me was missing. That was 8 years ago and, although we have had other pets since, I still miss him every day. It does get easier though eventually, but you will always remember them and love them.

A lot of poeple (not the commentors on here btw!) don't understand what it is like to lose a pet - to you she wasn't just a pet, she was a part of your family, and you grieve accordingly.

I hope you get through this ok - I am sure you will eventually, with the help of The Man.

Big hugs.
xx

MZUNGU CHICK said...

Aims - I am so sorry. Losing a true friend like that is so so hard. I went down that road last year with my German Shepherd who was 14 and had been with me through it all. No-one will ever be able to replace her but I will live with her memories forever, and you will too. xxx

Brett said...

With our worry over Kep i know how you must be feeling right now, be content at what you shared over those many years, most don't even get that and as you say she'll be waiting for you some day.

Lane said...

They're not just pets. They're family. They're best friends. I'm so sorry Aims and I know you're hurting.

Cling to your last sentence.

rosiero said...

Hi, aims. How did the candle ceremony go?

A Spot of T said...

I think it's the only one good thing about grief....it does get better as time goes on.

I'm thinking of you. Much love and lots of hugs.

Nunhead Mum of One said...

Aims, I'm sending you lots of love and hugs....losing an unconditional love is hard to get over but you will.....dolly will always be with you, looking out for you. If it's any consolation to you, I still see my cat Cindy who died 18 years ago - she sits on the windowledge in the kitchen where she always ate her dinner in my childhood home. She followed me to my own home and is with me forever.

Nunhead Mum xxx

beth at aunties said...

Oh Aims,

My heart breaks for you and your lost.
I just saw your comment over at Melanie's place and thought I'd drop in.
Bless you heart, I am sooo sorry for the lost of your beloved pet.

Blessings,
Beth

Mima said...

Aims, grief is so horrible, and a pet becomes a part of our family, very close to our hearts, hugely cherished, and in return you get the unconditional love that you talk about.

Just remember that she had a good life with you.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

You need to grieve though in your own way and at your own pace. Dolly was part of your heart.

You will get stronger.
CJ xx

Melanie said...

Hia Aims, Dolly was family. You always will have a Dolly shaped scar, all I can promise is that with time the wound will hurt less. When you've had trauma, you have scars there already and as everyone knows scar tissue takes longer to heal. You will heal Aims. Honest it's will just take time.

BT said...

What can I say Aims apart from I'm thinking of you in your grief.

Love and hugs
x

bermudabluez said...

You are in my thoughts and prayers aims.....sending you strength....baby steps my friend, baby steps...

San said...

Aims, I'm so sorry for your loss. You are right about the unconditional love of pets. Our dog Trudy is like that. Once, many years ago I was in the midst of a family crisis involving in-laws. I had spoken out against what I felt was some cruel words from a relative, cruel words towards my children. Suddenly the entire family turned on me. Except Trudy. She came over and stood beside my chair, rubbing against me, an unexpected comforting presence. I realized then that she somehow knew my heart was in the right place and wanted to make me know that too.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Grief doesn't go away, it just lessens, and sometimes it almost seems gone...

Good luck,
Pigx

rosiero said...

Hi Aims. How are you coping? Do hope you feel a bit better. Still thinking of you. By the way, I have an award for you.

DogLover said...

So sorry, aims. I know just what you're going through.

[Dogs in my case, but they're pets, too]

bermudabluez said...

Hey aims, I'm so sorry that you're not feeling any better. But I do know that it takes time. I felt awful....absolutely awful after I read your comment on my blog. Please know that I apologize and I didn't post that to hurt you in any way. Maybe it would help if you went and found a new friend to leave warm spots? When you are ready...

CC said...

I just finished a memory of my dog Sandy I lost last year October 30, 2008. I am still hurting and I completely understand your grief. I too was abused as a child, physicaly, mentally and sexually. It was hell and the only saving grace during that time of hell was my dog who was my best friend, my companion, and what kept me alive during it all just so I would be there to take care and watch over her. May you find peace with your grief and I will light a candle in memory of your Dolly. Take care.

dawn said...

I hope the grief lessons with time. Take care of yourself and feel better.