Taz and I took Spankee up the road yesterday, with him on my lap the entire trip. It was so hard to leave him behind. As we got closer to home, I found myself talking and talking and talking, and quickly realized that this was my way of talking over top of my impending feelings of fear at being back in my house, surrounded by Spankee's things, without him. I have lived in this cabin for eleven years, and not had one night without Spankee with me.
I stood in the entryway of my cabin for a long time, crying with Taz, unable to turn around and face the rooms filled with the physical connections to him: his toys, his medical supplies, his food, his litter box, the window sill he sat on, the chair and couch he snuggled in, the countertop he jumped on, the pot of water he drank from...
Taz encouraged me to spend the night at his house instead; to give myself time away from the emotional weight of and emptiness of what was my home with Spankee for so long. I had to go to the loft to get some of my things, and this is where I broke apart completely. The loft is where Spankee and I spent most of our time hanging out. And it is where he spent the last twelve days of his life. And it is where he died.
How do I begin to let go? How do I begin to say goodbye to him, when all I want to do is cry and scream and moan? I want him back. It is unfathomable to me that I will never feel him in my arms again, never hear him talking, never see his face in the window, never has his body snuggled up against mine under the covers, never hear him scratching at the door to come in, never hear him growl at an approaching dog, cat or person...
When we got Taz's, I cried and cried for a long while. And then I was overcome with guilt and anger. I feel so badly that I left him for 21 days at Christmas. I know my reasons were that he was doing so well, that the Vet said that he seemed fine, that I made the best arrangements for him to be cared for on a daily basis... But still, I have to live with the knowledge that I LEFT HIM. Did he feel abandoned? Some people don't believe that animals can feel or think or have these qualities of time or space or emotion, but I believe otherwise. I believe in my deepest heart that part of Spankee's failing in December/January was from the lonliness and separation from me. Part of me thinks that this is egotistical, like narcissistic to think that he would die without me, and yet a larger part of me believes that he spent a great deal of his time waiting for me, wondering where I was, why I left, and when I was coming home.
Regardless, I will never know what he went through while I was away. It is enough for me to ackonwledge that I was away, and that he declined drastically during this time. I am angry. I have been expressing this anger through tears, but what I really yearn to do is scream from the top of my lungs until I lose my voice. The only reprieve that I have right now is to sleep. When asleep, I lose all illusions of control, I can dream that Spankee is still with me, and I do not have to face this painful reality.
I am very grateful to have a wonderful partner who is understanding and patient. He gets that I am sad and angry, and he does not take it personally when I am short with him. I do not take his being this way for granted, and I also do not expect that he should feel the brunt of all of my emotions. So I am trying to keep a connection with him, while I feel completely empty inside and have nothing to give to him right now.
Today was a cool day of rain, wind and stormy seas. And I found this comforting and went out seeking solace it in, relieved to be in a space that echoed the storm lurking just below the surface within myself.
Tomorrow begins a work week that I can't avoid. It is probably a good thing to be busy, to have a schedule and to be forced to pull myself, even briefly, from all of this unrest.