It took me a week, but I created an invitation card to invite friends and Spankee-sitters to a celebration of Spankee's life. It took me so long because doing this was one more realization that he is really gone.
I am holding a simple ceremony at my cabin on Sunday, February 20th at 5pm. I'll have some of his favorite foods: tuna and cheese. The four wonderful woman who cared for him: Emily, Darlene, Kathi and Aulikki will have the opportunity to take a bit of his ashes and spread them in the woods around the cabin. I look forward to hearing stories of their time with him.
I am still not able to let go enough to remove all of his food, toys and medical things out of the house. Not yet. And that's okay.
Every day, I am adding to my Sweetness of Spankee list. I started this list of memories of our times together, the things he did that made him such a special and unique cat. These include: drinking from the tap, hiding under the sheets when I made the bed, running down the driveway to meet me, growling when a dog came in the yard, and on and on and on. It is a wonderful gift to myself to recall and focus on these memories. They lift me, even momentarily, from my grief.
Each day I still feel such sadness and emptiness. I went camping for the weekend and wrote about how I now feel totally untethered. I put so many dreams and plans on hold to create a life that Spankee would love. Now that he is gone, the realization that my responsibility to him has come to an end, opens and closes me simultaneously. Opens me to the possibilities of recreating my life and taking those dreams that were on a shelf down and revisiting them. Closes me because I never saw Spankee as a burden or as limiting my life. I very happily chose to be still with him. No regrets on that one.
Still, this feeling is new. I sense a strong shift in my bearings; that is to say, this is a time when my grief can also move me towards a renewal of creating and recreating my life. This is both amazing and scary.