My apologies for my sketchy appearance here on the blog the last few weeks. I’ve been processing loss. Y’all, I had my heart ripped out two weeks ago today and I haven’t wanted to talk about it. It probably seemed like I was being callous, not bringing up the passing of Flash and Patches, not discussing it at all. But it has been one of the toughest things I’ve ever done.
Going through cancer last year was hard. But there’s something about going through an illness like that which makes a person stronger. And it was ME. It was my own body. I got to make the decisions for me. The results were either directly or indirectly known and felt by me because of my decisions. Not so with dogs.
Loss Comes in Many Forms
Granted, I’ve had to process the loss of many things for myself as a result of cancer. I wear a permanent bag. My feet don’t work like they should. I’m physically so weak. I basically lost an entire year of my life. But my babies were there with me through all of it. Chewy and Gadget, my warm little lap dogs, often went to my mom’s for a few days at a time. Flash and Patches never left my side. Thank God. I don’t think I could have handled their loss while going through chemo.
Last year and this I also lost, to a degree, my boys. We’ve become empty nesters. Our sons have moved out on their own, with one of them moving to Alaska recently. So there have been a lot of changes in this house of late. Through it all, Flash and Patches have been a constant. Soon we’ll be moving on to the next chapter, a house on acres in the country, with farm animals. In their younger years, Flash and Patches would have loved all that space to run.
Dogs Are Silent Partners
Nearly eleven years ago our family moved here from Orlando, Florida. We moved away from family and friends and started a new life in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Flash and Patches moved with us. They made me feel safe in this new place. They made me smile and laugh as they’d race around the back yard. They were home with me while the kids went to school. They were my silent partners. Sometimes that’s easy to take for granted.
And Now They’re Gone
So as I’ve been processing loss, I wait, every night, to hear them panting. I shift my feet as I get out of bed so as not to step on Flash, who always had to be RIGHT THERE. I listen for Patches’ clicking nails in the hallway. Gone. Now they’re gone.
Hunny and I went together to help them cross the Rainbow Bridge. Our vet brought in a big blanket for the floor. She sedated each of them. And they went peacefully, laying side by side as they always had in life. It was horrible and beautiful at once. They’re no longer in pain. We sobbed and sobbed. I still cry like a baby (like right now) when I think of the two of them laying there together.
Now they’re gone.
So love on your babies. Human and fur. Life happens. Crap happens. Eventually endings happen. Sometimes, like with my kids, those endings are joyful and hopeful. Sometimes, like with chemo, those endings are a relief, while still holding the unknown. Sometimes, like with Flash and Patches. those ending break your heart. But I believe that there is still hope. I’m just seeing dimly right now. So forgive me if I sign off. I think I have something in my eye.