It has been an especially tough 24 hours since we said goodbye to our furry girl.
Yesterday I spent the day completely alone because I just didn’t have anything left inside me to share the news with family and friends.
This photo was taken just a few hours before C.J. passed on and I hope you see what I do. I dug deeper than I have ever before, even deeper than the mortality punches that cancer has hit me with, and I poured it into my furbaby’s soul. Although I recognize my conflicting smile as both pure joy and gratefulness for fifteen years of companionship with this beautiful soul, I also recognize the forced smile masking my pain. I hope she doesn’t sense my pending grief and only feels my love and security and calmness. I see so much light radiating around her in this photo so I know my efforts are working. She is absolutley glowing, her blonde fur is more blonde and bright and I can see her puppy face again. I have no doubt that she will easily find her way to the Rainbow Bridge where we will once meet again.
It gives me a little comfort to be able to release these words and feelings from my mind. However, the physical part of this grieving process is also very difficult. My senses are so in tune to this house. This house that no longer breathes without you C.J., the quiet and stillness is so loud it is deafening at times. Not only do I see your blankets, your food, the dirty paw prints by the patio door, the little puffs of fur that you have left us, it’s what I don’t see that hurts the most. I don’t see you, but I feel you. I am grateful for this but what I need to learn is to not listen for you. It is so quiet here, yet the echoes are like thunder in my heavy heart. The sounds of your weak legs as they made when you tried to lift yourself from sleeping and the panting noises that followed because you worked them so hard, the sounds of you drinking and eating, the sounds of your dreams and most importantly the sounds of your breath. I know what we experienced together, I witnessed your last breath as you exhaled onto my hands that were holding your sweet face, yet here I am still anticipating more.
I promised you that I would take care of myself and I will. I will go to those that love us and when they don’t know it, I will gather their strength and re-ignite the spirit within me. This will be a slow process, but all great things are worth fighting for and worth the effort. I realize now that you helped me through to survive this cancer only to prepare me for this intense grief of parting ways with you. I am strong girl, I will survive this grief and pain and I look forward to the moments when I can only reflect on you running and playing at the beach, one of our shared happy places, your face and body covered in sand as you run across the shore line biting at the waves as they roll in and when you are tired out you head toward me to shake your wet fun all over me and lay beside me on the blanket with a big grin on your golden face.