Joy and Bandit.
Joy, a purebred German Shepherd, rescued from a materialistic breeder, and Bandit, a Mother’s Day gift from my son. These two were so close I think when Joy died at the ripe old age of 16, Bandit, only 11, was lost without her and he passed just a few weeks later.
Their deaths were such a powerful thing in my life. Their passings would have been huge for me anyway as I loved these two beyond reason. But they died in the middle of the longest stretch of losses I have ever experienced.
During that 17 month period we lost 11 people in or very close to our family, in unrelated deaths…one after another after another.
We absolutely could not catch our breaths! No breaks. Just constant grief! And so many funerals.
And then our other cat, Surprise, was run over by our housemate in our own garage. “Surprise”, the miracle cat, named because she was the runt of her litter and born almost 2 hours after the others. We were constantly surprised that she survived. Surprise was 26 years old!
When I tell you the dates of this stretch, I will accept any empathy (or sympathy) you have to offer as I still reel from these memories at times and will appreciate any support.
July, 2000 through December 2001.
911 happened right in the middle of all of this loss, and though I did not personally know anyone who died that day, in my raw emotional condition I took that tragedy deep into my heart and soul. In my private therapy practice I had 15 clients who did lose friends because they worked for companies whose home offices were in one of the Towers. They had each been there before. We all grieved together for a very long time.
The direction of this post has taken me by surprise…no place for me to put my usual humor or well intentioned sarcasm.
But hey, this is what the word “Partners” brought up for me. And since, so far these topics have been so stimulating and thought provoking, tomorrow, I’m sure, will likely be a different story….loaded with irony, provocation and my brand of humor.
Thanks for reading.
9 thoughts on “Partners from ChosenPerspectives”
I can’t even imagine enduring that much loss in such a short period of time. I’m glad you wrote about it.
Is it time to open your hearts and home to new fur-babies? And for the humour you felt could not be expressed, I hope you took that housemate out the back and shot them for running over Suprise? (A little Australian humour!)
Don’t worry, we have plenty of fur around here now! My 2 best friends did an “animal intervention” with me a couple years after all of this. They got in my face and told me they didn’t much like me without pets. Then they dragged me to the local shelter and MADE me pick a kitten. Pretty smart of them because that kitten has turned out to be the animal “love of my life”. He (Zorro, the Gray Blade) is now 15 years old and I am treasuring every minute I have with him. And we keep adding other cats. A dog soon.
Thanks for your HUMOUR!!
Joy and Bandit are beautiful together! Who would expect a photo challenge to cause such feelings of loss to surface? You just never know when all that sorrow will well up. Thankful that you’ve added more animals to your life…what a wise friend you had, to let you know that you were a different person when you were without them!
What a kind way to reframe the “get-a-damn-pet intervention” my friends did on me. Now if I could just make myself get a dog to balance all these cats (and Giant Leaf Bugs).
One of my favorite quotes is something like
“An old woman with a dog is usually in much better shape than one with a cat…I’m just saying…”
Thanks for you sweet response Jules.
What a beautiful photo. It pained me to read of such loss- I found the loss of my pets so difficult, I still have trouble to this day when I think of it.
The period between 2001 and 2005, then again between 2010 and now have been similar for us. It coincided with a period of declining health for me, too.
Garry lost both parents and their siblings, plus maybe a dozen colleagues. I lost all the remaining members of my family on my mother’s side, my brother and my father, With the final loss of my eldest aunt, I’m getting a break until the next group — likely to my generation — begins to leave. I’m not ready for it and I hope it holds off for as long as possible.
For all that, I cannot bear the idea of NOT having dogs in our life. They bring so much pleasure and fun into our world and now, more than ever, WE need that. And they need us 🙂 You’ll get there too.
Gosh Marilyn, thank you so much for all of that. I feel very hopeful now!