Monday, February 2, 2009

Saying Goodbye

I've been staring at the screen for almost 10 minutes, trying to figure out a way to write about this without crying. It's not possible.

Emerson passed away the evening of January 24th.

When I woke up that morning, I knew that he wasn't going to make it to the next day. His eyes were different...spacey, not very aware. I brought him into the living room with me, and cuddled with him for a little while. At one point, he got up and jumped off the the chair. He wasn't able to walk, and ended up flopping down on the floor, in a space where the sun was shining.

He spent most of the day lying on the floor in the bathroom, staring into space. He did come out to the kitchen a few times to try and eat a little, and each time I found myself hoping I'd have one more day with him. I stayed in the bathroom with him, lying down on the floor next to him. I covered us up with a blanket, and just talked to him. Even though he didn't seem too aware, he did purr, and occasionally put his paw on my hand or arm.

Chad and I were supposed to go to a Burns Supper that night, but I decided to stay home with Emerson. Soon after Chad left, I decided to take a bubble bath and read. That way, I could keep an eye on Emerson but still give him some space. Around 9pm, I noticed that he was gasping for air. I got out of the tub, not even bothering to dry off, and sat by him. He continued to gasp for air, and his whiskers and legs began to twitch. A few minutes later, he took his last breath.

I've known for months that the end was coming. I'd spent the past several weeks spending as much time with him as possible, saying goodbye to him every night in case he died during the night. Emerson knew that he was loved, and I know that he loved me. Knowing all of that, though, didn't make the end any easier. It breaks my heart that the last thing he heard was his mother sobbing.

I'd decided long ago to have him cremated, and since he passed away on a weekend, I had to keep his body cold until I could take him to the vet's office. Putting him a box and petting him one final time was one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do. I couldn't bring myself to close the box. I realize that what was left was just a shell of a body. But that body, that fur, those eyes, had brought such joy and comfort to me. How could I say goodbye? I had to force myself to close the box, tape it up, and put it in the garage.

I have to keep busy, otherwise I think about him and just cry. Even though I have three other cats to love, and who love me, it's not the same. He was such an integral part of my life, that almost everything I do reminds me of him, or reminds me that he's gone.

I miss him.