Personal Reflections on Grief #1

Over the last 10 months I’ve suffered three big losses: My dear friend Marie-Chantal (August 27, 2014), whom I’ve accompanied through the last few weeks of her life; our family home back in Germany, the place I grew up in (it’s being sold as we speak); and now my beloved cat Mitzy (June 6, 2015), who was with me for the last 9 years of my life.

Without diminishing the importance or impact of the other two losses, saying goodbye to my beloved cat Mitzy is by far the hardest of the three. It’s especially hard because it’s so fresh. It’s been only 8 days since I had her put to sleep.

May 31: Mitzy on her favourite cushion

May 31, 2015: Mitzy on her favourite cushion

I still have the picture of her lifeless body in front of my eyes. I had taken Mitzy’s favourite cushion to the vet so that she would feel a little more at ease during her last few minutes on this earth. And there was this beautiful, warm little body, with that shiny soft black and white fur lying on the red cushion on my lap – looking so much alive, yet forever dead. That being that had cuddled up to me in my bed mere hours ago – gone now, and gone for good. It’s still unbelievable to me. One moment she was still alive and the next one she was gone, like the snap of a finger. I believe the picture of her lifeless body will stay with me forever, and I hope there will be a time when the memory of that moment will no longer squeeze my heart but fill me with joy and gratitude for the 9 years we’ve had and the love we’ve shared. For now it remains so hard to grasp, so hard to make sense of and – at least for now – so hard to accept.

I … Want … Mitzy … Back! … even if just for a few minutes. There have been moments over the last week when I wanted her back so badly that it physically hurt. If I could only have her back for a few minutes to pet her, to tell her how much I love her, to comfort her, to make her feel safe and share with her what a precious gift she is to me. One more time, pleeeeease! That’s really not too much to ask, is it?

The two of us a year ago

The two of us a year ago

Well, I have to come to terms with the fact that she will NOT come back, as much as I wish for it, ask for it, or plead for it. Mitzy is gone and she won’t come back…and that is the sad reality.

In all my sadness there are moments of forwardlooking reflection: What if Mitzy has left me at this point in time to give me freedom, to make room for something new? I could see that this little creature would have left me out of love, with the intention to free me up for something else. If that were the case, what did she make room for?

I can’t claim I have the answer – yet. However, I know I will keep pondering the question as I keep missing my beautiful little girl, who has forever blessed and changed me.

To be continued…