I’m in a moody, sad place right now.
My sweet yorkie, Princess, passed away this morning. Her passing comes at the heels of a lot of swirling thoughts in my head of how hectic my life has become, the choices I’ve made and pondering the paths I want to pursue. I’ve had to deal with a certain measure of guilt as I deal with her passing.
I love her.
But the last few weeks, I don’t think she felt it from me as much as she should have.
Her last night with us, I cradled her in my lap. Wrapped in a soft towel, I brushed her hair for the first time in weeks. I felt it soften and saw it get it’s gleam back as I worked on the tangles and smoothed out the strands. She was happy in those moments, turning her head towards the light and closing her eyes; submitting to the soft pat on her head from my 1 year old son.
It was a good night for her. Probably one of the best she’s had in a really long time.
She fell asleep that way. I placed her in her bed – snuggled in the corner of our laundry room instead of in the garage. I wanted her to hear the comforts of the home – the kids footsteps on the tiles or Maxim’s shuffling on the carpet. I wanted her to hear the creak in the floor as I stepped out of bed in the morning.
She did hear it.
I walked in on her at 6:30AM and I saw her tail wagging, pounding against the cushion of her bed. I smiled at her, picked her up and gave her a hug as she kissed me on the cheek. My heart lightened a bit, thinking that her spirits were up and she’d be okay – the cancer wasn’t going to take her yet. I placed her back into her bed, tucked the blanket around her and let her rest some more.
I made the morning coffee as the house started to stir and peeked in on her and she was gone.
In just those few minutes, she left us. She wagged her tail for me that one last time just to say goodbye. She waited for me one last time before she let me go. I found her there, nestled in her blankets, completely still and relaxed. My heart broke as I waited for her rib cage to rise and fall to her breathing but it wasn’t coming.
Since then I’ve let the tears flow when they come which was often and plenty. I’ve battered myself with guilt, regret and accusations for not being a better mom for her. She needed more walks, more cuddling, more photos taken of her. Looking through my photos, the earliest one I could find was from 2009. 2-0-0-9! WTF!
It took a long time for the grief to pass. When it did, I sat down to reflect on the joy she brought to me. I remembered the early years when she would bring me little discoveries from around the yard to lay at my feet – from flowers to birds. Yes birds. She was a cat in a previous life, I think. I thought of how she could play fetch for hours on end, running at full speed with her hair flowing behind her. I remembered how pretty her face was when her hair was pulled away from it. I loved seeing her napping on the top of the cushions of the couch, content to be in the presence of family. I will always miss her familiar bark as the garage doors open.
She gave our family unconditional love – always giving herself over completely for us to love her. I’ll miss her forever. See you at Rainbow Bridge my sweet little girl!