I am sure that many of you caught the update that on Sunday, October 27th, 2013, I put Clayton to sleep. Just mere weeks after writing a post about his awesomeness and my dependency on him, he lost his battle with kidney failure. He could not eat, or drink, and he was losing weight and growing weaker and weaker.
There is nothing that can prepare you to lose those you love (I am sure that many of our readers know this firsthand). I am still reeling from losing my grandfather, and it was well over three years ago.
This week, I decided to try to prepare a step-by-step guide on how to lose your pet. I want to celebrate his life and my love for him while bringing this chapter to a close. It is time to move forward while remembering the wonderful things about him. I will also have new pictures of his predecessor when he arrives home this week.
Know that you are facing the end. I mourned for a week before I made the final decision. The previous diagnosis of kidney failure and the absence of the cat already set up the frame of mind that Clayton would not be much longer for this world. I was already missing him and the process started weeks before the final decision came. He was sleeping in the bathroom next to his water bowl and never came out to greet me. I needed time to know that I was facing a hard and painful decision, and coming to terms with the fact that I was losing him every day.
Plan on wearing no mascara on the vet trip. I never had to put down an animal. I lived in the country, and a majority of animals ran away when it was their time to go. I took better care of my animals as I grew. I worked in the vet field before, so euthanasia was nothing new to me. However, putting down your own pet is hard and traumatizing, but I had people who loved me help me through it. I hope everyone has a loving vet. The staff was very nice and very understanding, and they did discuss options to help.
Share your pain. I usually go through everything alone, but this time, I understood that I could not survive this alone. I reached out on Twitter, on text, and on Facebook. The pain was HORRIBLE. However, the support and the love was so overwhelming and beautiful. People sent the sweetest messages. People cried with me. Friends and peers checked up on me. Other bloggers were understanding. I am behind on commenting, but I do not feel the level of guilt that usually accompany the knowledge that I am slacking because everyone is like my rock at the moment.
Know that you are going to be a wreck. I’m still a wreck. Going to work was a disaster. Talking to my mother was painful (the same mother that bought the cat a birthday present but never got to give it to the boy, then cried about it over the weekend). Putting together a blog giveaway was depressing. Trying to act okay killed me. I feel that someone carved something out of my chest, and the wound is still bleeding every day. The pain lessens, but it is still there.
Do what you can to recover. I put up a memorial on petloss.com. I ordered jewelry to hold the ashes of my best friend. I let others cry and I cried with them. I tried to get rid of the toys, but I couldn’t. I threw away the litter box. I laughed at videos of the cat. I lit a candle. The most important thing, however, is that I let myself be sad and angry and emotional. For once, I let go of the worry and I was just THIS.
I couldn’t have made it through without the love and support of everyone. My Twitter feed was lovely and heartbreaking, but it was touching. It felt like everyone was offering to pour rubbing alcohol on the wound. It hurt hurt hurt, but it was a necessity. I cried when I read that you all were crying, but it made me feel that Clayton mattered, because all of you made him just as important in your heart as he was in mine.
I never responded back to the Tweets, and I do apologize, but that does not mean I did not appreciate them. Thank you for loving him, even from afar. Thank you for understanding that I disappeared for a week and fumbled our Halloween Giveaway (that is still happening now). Thank you for letting me type up some depressing updates. And thank you for your kind words when everything came to a close when I picked up the remains of the best cat I ever owned on Sunday.
This community is not just a blogsphere. For better and worse, we’re family.