Thursday, January 6, 2011
June 12, 2010
The last day she was alive is a day that hovers over me like a lingering cloud.
Pepe, it’s been three months and it feels three hours. My heart pours. I am strangled by guilt in how I could’ve better served you in your last hours. Those hours linger to my current hour. I am there. I am holding you, but not enough. I am comforting you, but not enough. If I could only tell you now how scared I was. I didn’t want you to feel my fear. I played brave- a little distant. Told you to not be scared, to know it was ok. I kissed you but not enough. I didn’t want you to freak out. I left my rationale and went to the freezer for a drink. I left my rationale again and went to the freezer for another drink. I left my rationale and went the freezer for a third. I was not drunk, but dosed. I was not 100% there for you because I couldn’t handle my own fear. I pretended everything was going to be ok, I spoke calmly with you, told you stories in my regular voice, wanted to keep you safe and calm. Didn’t want you to feel my fear, my freaked out freak out of loosing my baby. It was storming outside and I put my hand out to catch rain. I blessed you with the water. I was always by your side, but I feel that wasn’t enough. I should have kept you in my arms the entire time. I wanted to give you space too. My love, I don’t know what I was doing other than faking not freaking out. I was in denial. I was in shock. I was trapped. I was inside. You, still breathing, as if you would always breathe. I knew it was your last day once I saw you walk, the way you missed the corner and stumbled, the way you walked up the step, and slipped. I saw your deterioration in front of me. I knew it was the day. My heart slowed. I went into a mode of support while I also needed to be supported. But no one was there to support me. You could no longer walk as the day moved on. I brought you to your litter box, and you used it as I held you up. I brought you again later, and you used it as I held you by your little body. I did the same when you needed to eat. You finished your food as I held you up so your head didn’t fall in the plate. And I knew it would be your last. I didn’t give you chicken after because it required two hands which I no longer had, they were yours. I wouldn’t have given you medication that morning had I known it would be your last day. I would’ve woken up sooner just to have a few extra hours with you. I would’ve held you in bed after I picked you up from falling, rather than just place you back in the bed. I wouldn’t have spent an hour on the phone had I known it would be your last day. I would have stared into your eyes a little longer. There was the moment you could no longer look at me. You could no longer focus. You were going. I remember your last purrr. It meant the world to me. I didn’t want to smother you. I wanted to do the right thing, also, and made the decision to stay in from the storm, to not take you to the vet’s needle. This is a decision I have been regretting. I could have taken you in at 5, when I was certain it was your end. And certain it was soon. The hours, how they haunt. I decided to keep you home, to be home, to die at home. To not go into the vicious storm, in a taxi, in the ultraviolet lights of the vet. Even though it would have facilitated your death, made it quicker, come sooner. I am not sure if this is a decision that was wrong or right. I still have doubts. I think of the what ifs. You would have been gone by 6pm, artificially. I would have not known what to do with you, your body. Bring you back home? And do what? I’d have been puzzled under the fluorescent lights. I’d have asked for the needle for me too. No, I stayed home. It seemed the thing to do. But was I guided by denial, by keeping with comfort, by intuition, by stubbornness, by angels or by undeniable fear? What kept me home, exactly? What stopped me from taking you in to put you to death? The thought of it? Was it me I was protecting? Was it you? Was it both of us? Why did I stay home and let this happen naturally? Was it the Indian in me? The one who loves the dirt, and not the steel, the one who needed warmth and not sudden cold, the part of me that wanted you to stay forever, even longer, than in quick minutes? Was I merciless or merciful to keep you home? To eventually see you gasp for air, to eventually have your heart beat hard into my hand as I held you in complete fear and sadness as you lost your bowels, as I tried to give you the comfort and dignity you needed, walking to your litter box, holding you over it, thinking this is your final moment, over a litter box. Not how I’d imagined. But no. little Pep, after that stressful moment on your little body, you held on. Little sweet girl, you still were breathing. Tender girl, limp from most your life out of you. I held you I held you I held you. I cleaned you. I took my soiled pants off and laid down with you. You on my chest, laying in bed. I recorded your breath. I wanted your memory, your noise. I found it impossible to think of tomorrow. Only now, only now, and let now live on for as long as possible. It was midnight and I closed my eyes. A couple minutes passed and when I opened my eyes you left life already. I couldn’t believe it. How I cried. But I cried even harder in days and weeks after, as in today, how I cry. I held you up in disbelief. No life left. No. I kept you on my chest for several minutes. I held you. I held you. I felt so alone. I couldn’t imagine life without you. No, you were not gone. This couldn’t be happening. No no no. you were coming back. No you were not dead. No.
I’m certain I prolonged your death. This is my regret. Because in this prolonging I shudder to think of any silent pain you might have been experiencing. The fear of this thought, it keeps me away and back again. I chase it away then sink in it. I swirl in it. I remember getting up to blow out the candle. I didn’t want to move you, as I knew it was now very very close. But I had to blow out the fucking candle. You made a faint moan. This is the moan that haunts me. I realize I make this moan all the time under my breath, it’s a sort of hum, a sort of sigh, a sound of a bit of effort. I feel I disturbed you in your dying moment. After all you went through in your life Pepe, I’m not sure if this was an easy or difficult death. I’m not sure. You ate that morning. You were jumping in and out of bed. You had strength, and then bam… gone.
I was out of my mind Pepe, out of my mind.