Thursday, May 19, 2011

So much loss

I recently attended a viewing for a co-worker's father who had died suddenly. It's always interesting to me to see how differently each person acts around such events. It was quiet and somber but very few people walked up to the casket. Some wouldn't even stand in the same room. Yes, I did go up to pay my respects. Having never met the man, I was curious about him. His family had lots of photos around and his casket was adorned with flowers and badges and a beautiful walking cane was placed by his side. I whispered a little something and walked away.

It was such a contrast to my mother's viewing. We had singing, laughter, crying, kids running around and congregating at the casket. We touched her and spoke to her. And we took lots of photos, which I know isn't common. But that's how we roll. 
The whole experience just made me want to reflect on all the losses my husband, his family and I have experienced in the past month.

It started with Uncle Eddie. He had a sudden heart attack and was gone. There was no service. I'll remember him sitting in the background during family gatherings, making jokes.

The next week we lost Monkey. This whole situation makes me angry. He was a super friendly cat who discovered our porch and wouldn't leave. He was affectionate and docile and he just had to belong to someone who missed him. We bonded with him instantly, but wanted to do the right thing to reunite him with his people. The vet suggested animal control because they could scan for a microchip and would hold him the 10 days required by law before sending him to a no kill shelter. I called everyone missing a black cat on craigslist. I posted on the neighborhood blog. We both knew that if he wasn't reclaimed, we would bring him home. When they came to pick him up, he was sitting on my lap on the porch, so content. I cried. I didn't want him to go. My husband called to see if he could visit him and they said yes. The very next day, Charlie went to visit but they said he had died overnight of an apparent heart attack. What the fuck?!? Our guilt will never go away and I don't think I can ever trust the shelter again. 


Monkey chillin'

The next week got even harder. Charlie's beloved grandmother died. Mamita was loved by all and was the matriarch of his large family. She was funny as hell, with a sharp wit, and adored her grandkids almost as much as her pets. Actually, Charlie was her favorite. The first time we ever met, I was tagging along with Charlie to bring her a new dog from the shelter. Her joy was unmistakable. In the end, she lost her fight with Alzheimers.  We attended a mass at the nursing home where she died and Charlie gave a moving eulogy. I'll miss that woman. Rest in peace, my dahling.

Charlie and Mamita share a moment

Then, the very next week we met Blue. He was a sweet grey kitty who visited us every now and then. Last time we spotted him he looked healthy and had on a flea collar. Cool, someone was taking care of him. A month or so passed by and no sightings. Then he showed up at our door. He had on a different colored flea collar, but it was painfully obvious that he was neglected.  He was emaciated and had a terrible eye infection. But he was affectionate and allowed us to clean his eyes and apply ointment. He ate and hung out and was starting to talk to us. I called our trusted vet and dropped him off for a checkup. Bad news. He weighed a mere 5 lbs, had a fever and he had leukemia. Fuck. We discussed all our options and finally made the heartbreaking decision that euthanasia was the most humane option. Dammit. Dammit. 
I picked him up the following day and we buried him in our backyard. We picked a nice sunny spot for him and will plant some flowers at his grave. 

little boy Blue

little boy Blue enjoys some sun

Piper Rose paying her respects at  Blue's funeral

RIP little one