The heavy emptiness of grief…

I am here once again with my ever frequent companion of grief. It’s a heavy feeling, yet there is an emptiness in that heaviness….to yet another loss. My heart truly aches. My soul aches. I don’t understand death.

If you have read any of my previous posts (and thank you, if you have) you will have already read that I lost two kitties last year….both 17 years old…within 6 months of each other. Then this past January, even though I had not thought I would get another kitty or pet for a while, I adopted a 12 year old kitty named Squeaky whose owner had died and who needed a new home. I thought since we were both grieving, we may be able to offer each other some comfort. I live alone, and an animal companion offers me such solace, comfort, and a sense of not being alone in this world. We had a bumpy start – she was terrified and would hide up high in my closets (I would even feed her there just to make sure that she was eating) until she got more comfortable and came down to explore.

And then she got sick. Very sick. A multitude of medical problems that would be long term and very difficult….for both of us. The very kind vet at the emergency clinic talked me through this, and so this past Monday night …(driving to the clinic at midnight after getting yet another call from the vet about Squeaky’s condition not getting any better…. the fateful drive that no one wants to make happened…) we “put her down”. (I find that an interesting term to use for the process of ending her life, but that will most likely be another blog down the road). I held her, I talked with her, I petted her, I thanked her, I poured all the love that I could into her …..and I let her go. And the pain is so very deep.

I have quarantined myself yet again (not for any pandemic this time, but for my own personal need to isolate) and am deep in the grief process. I miss her so very much. To lose three kitties in one year is excruciating. I don’t want to compare my grief to others’ pain (and I know so many people have had such deep grief this past year) as I don’t want to minimize this. Loss of a pet (our furry companions are so much more than that) is very real and needs to be honored and respected as its own very unique form of grief. I am inconsolable at times, and I let the tears flow. I talk to her, should her spirit be around. I told her to go find her original mom and dad, and to go be with them. I knew that I could never take the place of them, but Squeaky and I grew to love each other, I think, in our brief time together. I firmly believe that her grief and loss was too deep for her to recover from. I believe this about my second kitty who died 6 months after his companion died – his health had been fine until the loss.. he was so sad and so missing his 17 year lifelong friend.

I wish I could offer words of wisdom here, but at the moment, all I can offer is my truth – my pain and grief and deep, deep sadness. This is where I am today. And it is where I need to be. I know that this will pass, and I will reach a different place inside me (although I know that I will always miss my furry friends and always hold them in my heart). I am not there yet. And I don’t need to rush to get there. I think that this is something that I am learning – that I need to be where I am right now, to feel what I do right now, to honor and respect the process and whatever time it may take, and to simply breathe my way through this. To befriend grief yet again….and say, “Sit down, here, beside me. I see you. I feel you. I accept you. I am listening. Teach me what you will.”

6 thoughts on “The heavy emptiness of grief…

  1. Oh, Josafat, I am so deeply sorry for your loss … yet again. While I know what’s it’s like to lose a pet, to lose three over such a short period of time is beyond my comprehension. I’m glad you wrote this post to share your grief, but it must have hurt like hell to do so. Take care of yourself. Grieve as you need to, and know my heart is with you ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so very sorry for your loss. Please accept my condolences. I lost my beloved 191/2 year old cat back in 2013, just weeks after losing one of my best friends. I grieved for my cat every bit as hard, if not harder, than my friend, and then I felt a lot of guilt about that. Like you, I wrote about that grief and it did help in some small ways. Time helps too. I wish you loving thoughts during your time of grieving and though I don’t know you, I will pray for you. I thought I would pass along that I read a book by Liz Eastwood called Soul Comfort for Cat Lovers: Coping Wisdom for Heart and Soul After the Loss of a Beloved Feline. I found it both comforting and helpful.

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