Ah Yes, Life Goes On (And Mini Plans…)
Pre-Post Note: Thank you so much to everyone who commented on my last post about Taggart’s passing for your thoughtful, loving, supportive thoughts. I read each and every comment multiple times, cried through many them and kept them all close to my heart. Many of you shared your own losses which touched me deeply too. It means so much to share these things and know that we are not alone.
It’s only been a few weeks since Taggart became an angel, so admittedly she is still very much on our minds. The house doesn’t feel the same without her, and I see her in all the places that she used to be, a fleeting angel yet so very real in my mind. It’s surreal how that works, after someone you love dies.
Ah Yes, Life Goes On
Surprisingly life goes on. At least that’s always been the surprising bit to me.
We’ve experienced death of people close to us multiple times in the past few years; my mom, Paul’s mom, and now Taggart. With every passing it feel likes life should stop, like a part of us should die right there too. And yet the next morning the sun still rises, people go about their business and everything moves on while you still feel stuck in that moment when it ended. It makes no sense, yet that’s how it works.
This time of year that whole experience is particularly poignant as Spring is in the air. It’s early this year, much too early thanks to an overly warm winter, but for us it seems to have come at the perfect time. Spring is the ultimate expression of life after death. And I can’t deny that hits particularly deep right now.
The day after Taggart passed I noticed the first daffodils pop up. A flash of neon yellow against the dark browns of winter, the first color we’d seen in months. Then crocus sprung out, deep and rich purple like teeny gems in the ground. This was followed by the almond trees that exploded in a blanket of brilliant white and the first green buds all over the garden. It’s nature’s process, the miracle of life from death, and it never ceases to amaze me.
Seeing all that beauty, really does bring joy.
But Rand Is Hurting
Taggart’s passing has been hard for us humans, but it’s been especially tough for her sister, Rand. The two of them were inseparable for 18 years, a lifetime spent together, sleeping and grooming , the strength and brashness of Taggart always the Yang to the timidness and shyness of Rand.
Now that her sister is gone, Rand is lost.
The first few nights after Taggart’s passing Rand howled with a heartbroken cry practically all through the night. And for 5 days after her sister’s death she refused to leave the bathroom where Taggart had last laid beside her. We had to resort to sitting in there on the tile floor, finger-feeding her (the only way she would eat) and petting her constantly to soothe her anxiety.
I tell you folks. Anyone who says pets don’t experience grief, just have never seen it for themselves.
Of course we took Rand for a vet check-up, just in case. She has kidney disease just like her sister (we knew this), but it’s still in a somewhat manageable stage and hasn’t advanced too much since her last check-up. We’ve made a few modifications to her diet & meds/supplements, but really the focus has been on her mental state. We’ve been spending much more time with her, calming her, taking her outside for walks, talking to her, encouraging her, giving her flower remedies (I’ve been using Bach’s Star of Bethlehem, which is supposed to work particularly well on grief) and generally just trying to help her out of her grief.
Slowly, but surely all of it is working.
She slept through the night for the first time two night ago (thank the cat gods!!), and has finally started to venture beyond the bathroom. Even for her, life eventually goes on.
We’re Finally Planning Again (Tentatively)
These past few months have been super intense, I’m not going to lie.
We’ve been caring for Taggart, and have not really been able to plan or imagine anything beyond that. As usual, focusing entirely on the paws….
But now it seems the Universe has given us a little break. I’ve no idea how long it’s going to last (there’s never any guarantee), but while we have it we’re going to take advantage of it.
Which means LMB is out and getting prepped for travel!
We’ll be loading her up over the next week and then, paws & fingers crossed, her wheels are gonna roll slowly but surely towards Spain. No plans, no reservations, and no real itinerary other than heading South towards the beach and the healing ocean. We’ll see how Rand does alone in the RV, we’ll see how we do and we’ll basically just play it by ear…..
And Taggart Is Coming With Us
We got our girl back a few days ago, in a pretty little copper urn.
We’ve placed her next to a little remembrance that we’ve set-up for her, a Buddhist tradition that we’ve adopted to help our girl move on to her next life. Every day we light a candle here for her, and make our wishes, an act we’ll continue for around 40 days or so. It’s our way to honor her life, and also an aide to help us say goodbye.
When we go away in a week or so the remembrance will stay with dad, and the urn will come with us. That way we’ll both have a little piece of Taggart with us.
So that’s our update….chugging along, taking baby steps, and heading to Spain (fingers and paws crossed). Hope to see you there next….