one day at a time.

 sometimes things seem better.
sometimes they seem much worse.
i fluctuate between passably happy and achingly depressed.
i know that eventually, the times where i feel content
will return, become longer, and slowly overpower
the sadness, the regret, the anger.
but right now, those feelings are so strong, so real.
they feel like they will never go away.

my friends remark that i am different...
you are always so optimistic, they say.
how can that have changed?
i see my optimism, but right now i can't reach it.
i'm sure it will come back to me,
but maybe not all at once,
and maybe i'll never fully have it back again.

i was worried that people would say
"he was just a cat"
and i tried to be strong in fear of those judging words.
but he wasn't just a cat.
he was a companion on rainy days,
a playmate,
a cuddler,
a confidante.
i feel that we let him down,
and that is the worst part of all.

my strength and brave face
seemed to dissolve as the week ended
and i became acquainted with the dark parts of my soul,
the parts that hold bitterness, longing, heartache.
i am not comfortable down here, and yet it seems i cannot leave.
i am offered brief reprieves,
but those things that once brought me joy
(shopping for locally-grown veggies at the farmer's market,
solving a problem at work,
spending time with my love on the couch watching something delightful)
seem dulled, discolored, tainted.
i shy away from them now,
not wanting these two sides of my soul,
the light and the dark,
to crash into one another
lest they become forever entwined.

i plan to put the dark half back
when i am done with it,
and return to the sunshine of the rest of my life.
for now, it hangs over me
as i try to live my days
in the best spirits i can,
for i know mort wouldn't want us to stay sad.
he would want us to move on,
to have new adventures.
to keep his memory alive by telling each other funny stories
about the way he used to get so excited when we'd put the dishwasher on,
or how he knew that us donning coats & shoes meant he'd have
an opportunity to dash into the hall to explore.

until i return to my life
without this cloud of darkness over me,
i'm trying to live one moment, one day at a time
and i remember...

"smile, breathe, and go slowly."
~~thich nat hanh~~


  1. those who would say, "he was just a cat" have never had pets of their own with whom they connected. being able to cross the boundary of species and connect on such a deep level is a gift and an honour that each animal and person gives/shares. your days will get brighter, but take the time to grieve. it's a normal part of loss and there's no need to rush through it.

    lots of love (and see you soon)!

  2. i cried for 3 yrs for my little doggie. they get right into your heart. i also felt we let him down, that added to the pain. guilt i guess.

    it has lessened, that great pain, but it has taken work. i've had to remind myself over and over how i'm not helping him, myself, the world with the guilt. letting go of that has helped heal the grief.

  3. I'm so sorry for your loss. Those who truly love their pets know that they are not "just a cat." They become part of your family. I can still tear up about my cat who ran away in 2008 because I'm afraid of what happened to him. :/ I hope you start to feel better soon, know u are not alone!

    I changed my blog url p.s.: www.phatjill.blogspot.com

  4. I am so sorry for your loss. I hope no one has told you that he was just a pet. He was so much more. I hope the heartache starts to ease soon for you. I hope that you begin to enjoy moments again.

  5. I am so sorry to hear for your loss, I cried reading your posts, I have 2 cats, they are my very special friends, so I totally know how you must be feeling. I am so glad mortimer had a happy 16 months and that you have so many happy memories of him. You will enjoy life again...but all in your own good time x


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