Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Beloved

You died on a Tuesday afternoon. And we are making plans for the garden where your ashes will be spread. The house feels so empty without you. The energy is so different without you here and my body aches with the knowledge it won't feel your softness pressed against it. 



Almost 18 years ago, you can into my life. No more than 3 lbs and missing fur on your nose after a day spent in a cage, watching all your siblings be adopted while you were left behind. My heart ached from the recent loss of one of my other cats and I didn't think I was ready to love again. But when you threw your paws around my neck, I knew I had to take you home. Your chaotic nature reminded both Grey and me that life was continuing and we needed to continue with living it while honoring what was lost. A year late when Daisy came home and after a traumatic introduction, you two bonded and we all became a family. You brought the light of life with you.


I never expected the journey we would have together; surviving graduate school and all the change that came from that process. Then there were the darkest years of my life of living through infertility, repeat losses, and having "family" turn its back. Those moments when the only lifeline I had was having you curl up beside me. I never thanked you for saving me during that time, reminding me that I was loved and that life was still worth living, even if it looked different than what I had planned for.

You shifted with me again when the kids arrived, ending one chapter and opening a new one. Reluctant at first to welcome these two odd creatures,  you quickly claimed them both, watching over them navigating this world. You were the calm during the storm of two major moves for our family, first to the East Coast and later back West, working in tandem with Daisy to turn whatever space we occupied into a home. 


I miss your facial expressions. Being greeted by you every morning with a meow that was uniquely yours. Spending evenings with you on my lap, insisting on being pet. During this past year, doing all my teaching with you close by, routinely putting a paw on me to let me know that you were there and all would be alright in a world that most certainly wasn't.



I knew the end was coming. After finding that growth on your body, it was only a matter of when. Still, I wasn't ready for the news that the cancer had spread throughout your body. I didn't want to let you go despite all the signs you were giving me that it was time.


Yesterday, you woke me at 4 am to go outside to watch the sunrise one last time. Daisy joined you, which was unusual for her, so I knew you both understood what was happening. You then taught with me one last time, pressing your head to my leg during the moments I felt less sure. Giving me that look I know so well that was telling me everything would be alright.

Your parting gift to me was you allowed me to hold you as you died. You trusted that I would let you go, even though I desperately didn't want to. Despite snarling at the vet, making it clear you would happily bite them, you allowed me to put my arms around you and touch you while they administered the drugs that would stop your heart. You breathed your last breath while I stroked your body; a sigh that released your soul and allowed you to be free. 

You've left behind so many beautiful memories of a life well-lived. A life where you brought so much love, comedy, adventure, and grit. I can't begin to tell you how much you are missed already. Daisy is visibly heartbroken not to have you here, Maddy and Teddy swing between laughing about the memories of you and crying because you are gone. Grey and I are physically numb.  My being hurts from the knowledge that you're no longer here.  


I don't know how to live my life without you in it, my beloved. This next chapter without you in it terrifies me. But I also know that you expect me to continue living and living in the manner you taught me to. That doing anything less is not an option as your lessons are firmly engrained.

I love you so much Jaxson; I always will. Thank you for choosing me. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for pointing me to the light. 


4 comments:

  1. I am so sorry. This made me weepy, both for you and with you. Sending a hug.

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  2. Oh, Cristy. I'm so sorry for all you've been through with the loss of your beloved Jaxson. He was with you through so much! Hugging you as well. xoxo

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  3. Oh Cristy, big, big (((hugs))). I am so sorry. :(

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  4. Oh Cristy, I'm so so sorry. Our cats are such an important member of our families, when they go, they leave a huge hole. Your Jaxson reminds me so much of my Cleo. What a gift they were for us. Grieving with you.

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