This time last year…

This time last year was a bad time for me.  I lost my grandmother and my cat in the same week.  I didn’t make it back to my home state for my grandmother’s funeral…and I buried my cat, my longtime buddy, in a blanket in the park.  My grandma died in a hospital after succumbing to injuries from a fall.  My beloved Neeners died in my lap on the way to the vet’s office for what was to be a second opinion.

I still have a strange feeling of unreality when it comes to my grandma’s passing; maybe it’s from lack of closure because of not being able to be at her funeral.  Most of the time, my grief is sort of a dull sadness that resides in the back of my mind.  The other day, I happened on a photo of her holding my daughter when J* was about three months old, and I suddenly felt the grief rear up, along with the familiar disbelief– denial– I’m really never going to see her again?

With Neeners, my grief is tainted by an unshakable guilt– why did I not do something for her sooner?  Even if I couldn’t save her, maybe I could have at least spared her pain.  What must she have thought of me when I had to give her the medicine that made her sick to her stomach?  Did she think I was torturing her and she didn’t know why?  I feel like I failed her somehow, even when I try to tell myself I did the best I could.  If we had had the money to get the tests she needed for a more accurate diagnosis, sooner…

It’s too late for me to do anything about any of this.  I could try to end this post with some wise thought or platitude about how time marches on and we all die sometime.  Really, my only point with this post was to sort of remember my lost loved ones on this sort of anniversary week of their passing… and hoping that “honoring” them somehow keeps them from being forgotten.

27 responses to “This time last year…

  1. ARQ, I feel for your two losses. It’s great that you wrote about them, and I enjoyed (if that’s the right word) reading this, but I don’t think you needed to write this not to forget these two beings who continue to mean so very much to you. And because they mean so very much to you, you don’t need a reason to talk about them other than that you love them.

    I’ve heard it said (and largely believe it) that guilt is a useless emotion. However, it’s easy to say that to another person, but so so hard to do yourself. And even though this makes me something of a hypocrite, it’s a good hypocrisy. Try to let go of your guilt, because you don’t deserve it. You’ve undoubtedly heard people say this before, but it bears repeating: how do you think your grandmother and Neeners (I can’t even write that name with a straight face; I take it back–husband & daughter or no, you ARE a cat lady!) would feel if they knew they had inadvertently caused you this guilt anxiety. Or imagine if, a million years from now, your own daughter–through no fault of her own–misses your funeral. What would you tell her? I’ll bet you’d say, “Honey, I knew you loved me when I was alive. You don’t have to watch me be put in the ground to prove that. I’ll be long-gone.”

    And do you really feel bad that Neeners (dear God!) didn’t die at the hands of strangers in that-most-hated-of-places, the vet’s office, rather than in the lap of the person she loved the most? When I go, in a million years or so, I want it to be like my mom and grandpa, in my own home and surrounded by the people who love me.

    And having said that, I see from the story that you’re from someplace else. So did you originally live in civilization? I’m figuring you must have, because the only places in the country more backwards are Mississippi, West Virginia, Alabama and American Samoa.

    • Thanks, Smak. I’ve heard that saying about guilt too. It’s odd. If no one had guilt (read: conscience) than we’d all be sociopaths… but there is many times that guilt is used as a method of control (religion) or is destructive (like my OCD.)

      And I don’t know if you read the original post about Neeners, but that name is a nickname for Evangeline so…that really doesn’t make me sound any less crazy-cat-lady, does it? lol

      • Well, guilt is an “after” thing. If your conscience prevents you from doing a thing, that’s a useful function. But unless guilt prevents you from doing that thing again (and I think it very rarely does) then it’s just something that makes you feel bad.

        Regarding your cat–well, Evangeline is a lovely name, and much more dignified than what you called the poor creature (and if you want to feel guilty about something, how about that?). However, if anything, it is more catladyesque in that you’re giving the animal a human name. Man, when your girl goes off to college, your husband’s gonna have to buy a pit bull or something to keep you from turning the house into a shelter.

        And what state do you originally hail from? Seriously I’m curious, and if I must, I promise I won’t make fun of wherever it is. Unless I already did.

        • I named her after a character in a Clive Barker book. :p
          Also… bite me.
          You think “neeners” is bad? We also used to call her “Princess Putter Pants.”
          And… I like pit bulls too. 😀

  2. Is your cat really dead? Didn’t you try some old indian burial-ground? They then tend to come alive again, though not quit as sparkly…

  3. Is your cat really dead? Didn’t you try some old indian burial-ground? They then tend to come alive again, though not quite as sparkly…

  4. Thank you my Queen. And i never meant to defile the memory of your poor kitty! I only wanted to help and hope that your other kitty is still very much alive! (Not in the Superunknown of course!)

  5. I’m glad to hear that they are alright. I’m gonna watch a movie now, it’s evening here in The Netherlands, and a tropical heatwave… For some reason thinking about you and all your kitties doesn’t cool me off! My Queen…

  6. I’m taking a break right now! I probably should be watching “Alien”, i don’t think Signora Weaver is so hot, but instead i’m watching “Aeonflux” where Charlize Theron is walking, jumping and crawling around in all sorts of sexy outfits. I can’t take it anymore! I don’t think i will make it through the movie! My Queen…

  7. Don’t be disappointed with “Prometheus” my Queen! Isn’t it better to have just one human for breakfast than none at all?

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