Saturday, April 14, 2007

A hard Winter

Finally starting to come back on grid after Duncan's passing. Friday (and Thursday night, of course) I spent crying most of the time. It just wouldn't stop for long. That's my M.O. though -- hold back and keep a stiff upper lip until, at some point, something opens up the floodgates. The transition I am needing to make here is that the 11 years of memories of this little person (and it IS a person to me) need to begin to overpower the memory of the last half-hour spent with him.

I know that everything dies, everyone dies, but I am not so good at being physically close to the end process. I do not want to retain the memory of watching that part, even though I know it is natural and necessary. For the past 5 months, our little guy has been terminally ill, this we knew. We were occasionally given some false hope of his condition improving or stabilizing a bit through medications... barely a glimmer of hope... but basically for the last 5 months -- every morning, noon and night, I'd wonder if there would be one more day for him.

To add to this, another of our cats was seriously ill during this period, near death twice in fact, but I'm happy to report that he has seen some improvement and we are very happy with his progress (He can't be cured but right now he's not dying and his condition is being somewhat managed). However, it was just another thing in the pile-on of stressors: thousands of dollars to pay in real estate taxes, thousands of dollars in cat medical bills, thousands of dollars to Uncle Sam, MY medical bills, thousands for home repair, and half my customers not being able to pay me (or just forgetting!!), and generally being spread waaaay too thin trying to keep up with work responsibilities, working 7 days a week every week, medication schedules, and constant worry. One of my "people" doctors, when I told her about my stress and anxiety and how I had this really sick cat and not getting much sleep, etc., here's what she said: "Just stick him out in the garage or outside. It's only a cat." It's only a cat. Yeah. I guess having a stone for a heart would probably solve all my problems. Stop worrying = stop caring. It would probably work.

I suppose that I really do have one less worry... well, two, if you count his medical bills... but I still don't feel relieved or comforted. I don't believe that loved ones go to "heaven" to look down on us or wait for us. They are just simply gone. Gone except for the memories we have. That's how they live on. That's the "spirit" of the dead... it's what's conjured up in our minds and hearts when we think of the person, see their photo, look at their art or writings, or just read what someone has written about them in a blog post. I'm hoping that soon I can push that half-hour out of the way and look back on the rest of the 11 years that we had. That's when the healing will start. Love hurts. Always has and always will.


Progressive Texas Chicano said...

Dearest Blueberry,

I am not very good at grief. I lost my beloved, most favorite pet when I was in high school, my dog Rosie. She looked like Benji. I took off 2 days from school and it took me a long time to recover.

Our pets are the one thing that gives us unconditional love. And as humans,we need that. So I think that once you get past that point of the last 30 minutes you reflect upon, you will begin to have that warming feeling in your chest about the love and joy Duncan brought to you and your home.

And as for that doctor FUCK THAT! That made me slam my fist on my desk as I read that. How fucking dare she. A loss is a loss.

Like I said before, you cry as much as you want and mourn him. You seem like the kind of person who will, in your own good time, will be able to smile and be filled with happiness when u see or read anything about Duncan.

For now though, do whatcha gotta do sweetie.

Sending love and lotsa purrrring your way.

your adopted lib neph,

Nava said...

"the 11 years of memories of this little person . . . need to begin to overpower the memory of the last half-hour spent with him."

That is indeed a challenge but it will come.
I have never lost a pet. I "only" lost people, but I think the grief process is pretty much the same.

11 years are a long time - of course you are devastated.
Give yourself some time. If I have learned anything - it is that there are no shortcuts in grief.

Pam said...

So sorry for your loss. I remember losing the cat I grew up with when he was 18 years old and still healthy. A neighbors dogs escaped their fence and attacked him while he sleep on the patio. He died a couple of days later. It was a horrible, painful death.

I can't believe the insensitivity of that doctor. I wonder what her bedside manner is like.

Blueberry said...

Yeah, that doctor's comment pissed me off, but I'm not too happy with any of the doctors I'm seeing. All I am to any of them is $$$ and some numbers on lab work. I'm not a person, they don't care about me as a person so why would an animal be like a person to them. An animal is something that gets experiments done on it in research labs.

Sorry for the anti-doctor rant. If you are a doctor who doesn't fit the above description, and you are in Austin and take Blue Cross -- get in touch with me.

Thanks for the comments. It helps just to write about this stuff. That's what blogging is for sometimes, right?

ee said...

From the time Midnight was diagnosed with cancer in August until she died in January, my first waking thought every morning was whether she had made it throught the night. It was very hard knowing that she was going to die but not when or how. I even passed up a trip to Hawaii for a convention in September because I was afraid she'd die while I was gone. I do understand what it's like to live with that strain. She also did have to be taken to the vet to be euthanized for an acute worsening. She never showed fear of anything during her life so I don't want to remember her struggling in the end.

As for the doctor - I don't think I'd want to be taken care of by somebody who thought getting rid of a sick pet was a solution to my stress!

Blueberry said...

Yes, ee, that is about the same time period, 5 months. We knew that the "tough decision" was at hand, but then we ended up not having to make it. It's possible that it would have been his last trip to the vet anyway since his care level was getting to the point where, if he were a human, he would have been in the hospital.

I am glad that people are sharing their stories of their pets.

..and I'm quite sure that this doctor and I will never be "buddy-buddy". I'd like to find a new one, but actually SHE is a new one that I'm seeing in place of someone before her who was even less caring, even about my health. The state of health care, human or animal, is a sore point around this house right now.

Ptelea said...

I hope your pain is lessening a tiny bit. My Wiskerz is 15 and in good health although he takes medication daily. I have to live in Albuquerque for 10 weeks on a work detail (will be blogging on that soon). I was really worried about leaving Wiskerz under the care of my 18 year old son. He's a good kid but a little laid back in the care thing!! Now my sister who I will be staying with is going to let me bring Wiskerz - I am SO relieved!

Take Care

NinjaCat said...

I am so sorry for your loss. My condolences.

Brenda & Ninja