Today I lost someone I loved.

*This is going to be a non-bookish post.

Today I lost someone I loved.  Someone that came the closest I will ever have to an actual child.  Someone that was my best friend.  I woke to find my cat Attilla, Tilla for short, paralyzed from the waist down.  I knew it wasn’t good.  Called the vet and then made my husband drive us because I knew I wouldn’t be safe to operate a vehicle.  Arrived at the vet and of course it wasn’t good news.  She had a heart condition, a coronary thrombosis broke loose early this morning and she had an embolism.  As he explained all that had happen to my baby I knew it meant one thing.  Today I lose my best friend.  I interrupted him and said “I have to put her down don’t I.”  “It would be best” he replied, “She was in a tremendous amount of pain and there would be little or no recovering.” I scooped her up and clung to her as they made preparations. Sign the paperwork, no I want to take her home, I don’t need a box and I will remain in the room.  I sent my husband out to pay the bill and held my girl as they took her from me. Carried her home and buried her in the pasture where she loved to hunt.  I haven’t stopped crying since.

I’m sitting here in shock because it was so sudden.  I need to processes this fast because life goes on.  It isn’t fair to the animals that remain to suffer while I mourn.  I still need to go to work and next week I am going to my  college’s homecoming, its my classes honor year celebration 20 years.  I sit here typing this with kittens on my lap because I don’t want to be alone, yet I don’t want to be around people.  I know she was a cat, and I have lost many before and there will be plenty to come.  Tilla was special.  Tilla was my favorite.  She truly was my best friend.  The one being on this planet that I know loved me above all others.  My cuddle kitty, who always went to sleep curled up under my arm.  She would insist.  Pawing at me if I didn’t let her in, under the covers of course.  I dread tonight when I go to sleep alone…  I’ve known many pets and loved them all in some way or another but every once in a while there is a special bond.  That one soul that connects with you on a deeper level.  The ones that can’t be replaced.  Today I lost someone who I had that special bond with and it broke my heart.  I will eventually be able to function again but I will never get over Tilla.

She has been in my life since she was four weeks old.  My brother brought her and her two siblings, only her sister remains, to come be barn cats after their mother was killed by a car.  I raised them and when her sister was hit by a car and had her leg in a cast I moved them both into the house (I had already lost their brother) and they became house cats.  Tilla chose me.   I didn’t stand a chance, she wormed her way into my heart and today she took a piece of it with her.

So today I say good-bye and know I did the right thing.  It wasn’t easy or fair, but it was compassionate.  I found the strength to say good-bye instead of holding on for selfish reasons out of love.  She is not in pain.  She is free.  I will move on all the while crying at everything that reminds me of her.  I will let love in again I can’t help it, even if it means more days like this in my future.  Because this is one painful day and all the days of joy she brought me so vastly out-weigh it in the end.  Love is worth the price.

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Monday Morning Check-In: Happy Fourth of July

Monday Morning Check-In

Good Monday Morning everyone and a Happy Fourth of July to all of my followers that live in the United States.  I hope you all have a wonderful holiday spent with the ones you love!  Try to get some reading in between the BBQ and fireworks.  My husband and I usually spend the evening sitting on the side of the road reading waiting for a fireworks show.   This is such a complicated holiday for me, some years are good, some bad.  This year feels like it is going to be a weepy one…

This Fourth marks the 29 year since my mother’s death.  Losing someone you love is never easy or fair, but when it happens on a national holiday you never get to escape it.  Every year there is this huge celebration that reminds you ‘hey, remember what happen today…”. I’ve lost most of my family already and my mother’s death is still the one that hits the hardest.  Of course, that might have to do with the fact that I liked her best, but I think it has a bit to do with every year is marked by fireworks.  The other losses are permitted to pass unnoticed and unmarked because they took place on a normal day of the year.  So this year, I will attend the fireworks in the town where I grew up, where I used to watch the display in our front yard with my mom (dad and brother too…) and our neighbors.  I will walk by our house and up to her grave where I will visit my family with the current center of my universe.  Then we will return to our car and enjoy the show for another year as I remember what life was like once before I was set adrift.

everything I did for the rest of my life—would only separate us more and more- days she was no longer a part of, an ever-growing distance between us. Every single day for the rest of my life, she would only be further

ARC: The Grief Recovery Handbook for Pet Loss – 4 Stars

Grief Recovery Handbook for Pet Loss
Cover art thanks to Goodreads, click on it to visit book’s page there.

Publication date: December 9, 2014

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley for an honest review.

Book Synopsis:

If you’ve found yourself almost inconsolable after your pet died, please know that you re normal. If you’ve found that your family and friends don t seem to understand the level of your grief, please know that, too, is normal. Without comparing our relationships with our pets to those with people, we know that, because of the unique emotional relationships we have with our pets, their deaths produce a level of pain that is difficult to describe. If you relate to any or all of these sentences, this book is for you. We have been there, and most probably will be there again. We will be with you on this journey to help your heart deal with the absence of your cherished companion. Russell, Cole, and John Your relationship with your pet is special it s a bond that is very different than those that human beings share with each other. When a beloved pet passes away, people often resort to incorrect mechanisms to deal with the grief, such as trying to move too quickly past the loss (dismissing the real impact), or even attempting to replace the pet immediately. However, these are merely two myths out of six that the authors discuss and dismantle in The Grief Recovery Handbook for Pet Loss. Based on the authors Grief Recovery Method(r), this book addresses how losing a pet is different from losing a human loved one, and ultimately, how to move on with life.

My Review:

I was browsing through the new books for request over at Net Galley and came across this title and new I needed to request it.  I am a huge animal lover and the only point in my life that didn’t include one or many companion animals was the years I spent in college, even then I had a fish for a few months (the only pet allowed in dorm).  If you have pets it is natural that you are going to lose pets; be it to death, surrendering, re-homing or other reason.  This loss that we feel over the absence of our friend, no family member is just as devastating as any other sort of loss one can experience.  I’ve lost many good friends over the years and with sharing my life with a group of rapidly aging pet now, I know loss is going to be in my near future as well.  I needed to read this book.

There is a lot of good advice in this book, and I am inclined to look into their other titles on the topic of loss and grief they have available.  Readers need to come to this book with an open mind and be ready to put aside some of the cultural stereo types as to what is acceptable and appropriate behavior when it comes to the loss of a pet.  Some of the ideas made me a little uncomfortable, or perhaps I felt foolish when I thought of putting them into practice, but I realized that was just me coming to this from the idea of how we ‘should’ grieve a pet.  While I didn’t do all the work they suggested right then, I think I will give it a try next time I have to come to terms with letting a pet go and processing  their death.  Perhaps it will help.

I liked how the authors of this book respected the bond between pet, of any type, and their owner.  It felt that they truly wished to honor those connections that become so important in our lives.  Many of the ideas in these pages helped me to understand much of my past behavior and reactions to loss.  I am seeing some of the events of my past with a different light and I think I will also be a more compassionate person the next time I go to comfort someone else over their loss as well.

I liked how the book was structured as well.  It started the reader off slowly, encouraging them to re-read and take the process slowly.  The exercises start off rather analytic at first, which gives the griever a safe zone to start exploring the death and loss, and then the text moves into the deeper issues and has the reader face some of their stronger emotions in non-judgmental way.  The personal examples provided helped a lot as well, it gave the reader a way to see that the authors had themselves experienced a similar loss and had taken these steps too.  I think it helped the reader empathize and appreciate the advice being given better.

This is a helpful and thoughtful book.  I’m glad I read it and will draw upon what I learned the next time I am facing a loss of a furred or feathered friend.  Thank you.