We had to let one of our furry companions go. Holly had been with us for about 11 years. She found her way to my grandma’s house one afternoon and I just had to let her move in with me. She was a very sweet cat and loved people (especially our pet sitter who would always brush her and give her extra attention).
It was a further reminder that nothing will ever be the same after losing Zoey. We’ve had to let pets go before. I’m an animal person, adore my critters and it’s always been extremely difficult to say goodbye. And I’m not comparing the loss of my pets to the loss of my child– it’s not even close. But the experience at the vet took me back to the day we lost Zoey. Holding what you love as they take their last breath. Heart-breaking. And where I needed to be.
We knew our time with Zoey was limited so I just held her that day. I wanted the sound of my heart beating to comfort her. It was one of the first things she heard. It felt right that it should also be the last.
I held Holly the same way as she left us.
They told us we could stay with her as long as we wanted. But I had to give her to the vet almost right away. Because I couldn’t do it again. I was holding my cat, but remembering holding my daughter after she died. I’m tortured by the memories of holding her body. Cold. Stiff. Gone. I’m tortured by the memory of handing her body over.
I try so hard not to focus on those parts. On the last day. I choose to remember the sparkle in those bright blue eyes. And the little coos. And her fists punching the air. But you can’t stop grief. And you can’t stop memories. And losing Holly forced me back there.
And then the house. When we moved here we were supposed to fill it. But instead we lost another. Another bedroom (yes, Holly had her own bedroom) will sit empty. All of this space for just the two of us (and our two remaining cats). This isn’t how things were supposed to be.
I spent the weekend feeling like the universe is against us. I’ve really struggled lately with our infertility issues. I feel like we’re getting close to the end of the road. I know there are still things left to try, but I’m growing tired. I’m spent. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. Wondering if it just isn’t meant to be. I’ve often wished for a giant sign. One that either says “Hang in there, more is yet to come” or “Stop. Go rest your weary soul by the sea”. But that isn’t how life works. We plug along. Take it day by day. Try to make the best decisions. And grapple with so many unknowns.
I know I will get through. I know we will eventually find our way to whatever life is meant to look like for us. Some days are just harder than others.