Loss and grief

Author: Gabriella Tagliapietra   Date Posted:26 May 2019 

'Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened'...

- Anatole France -

I wrote those words when I lost my beautiful cat Jed in July 2011 and write them again now with the passing of my beautiful cat Max. I am in the depths of grief and will be out of the loop for a while as I sit with this loss and allow the passing of time to ease the physical ache I feel from his absence.

I sleep, I wake, how wide the bed with none beside [Kaga no Chiyo].

As I wrote for Jed back then I can almost use the same words for Max - it wasn't meant to go like this... we were supposed to have at least another 4 to 6 years together. I miss you more than I can bear and my heart is full of love for you but there is a huge hole in my daily life.

You were such a bundle of joy... and fitted your full name of Max. E. Mumjoy to the letter. The joy has literally disappeared from my life. You were so animated, you didn't just turn around you danced around, raising your front legs in the air in the most joyful way, like everything was a game. Such a happy boy. The most beautiful soul I ever had the privilege of knowing. Like Jed you were my greatest teacher ever and made me want to be the best version of myself. In the 14 years of having you in my life I gave you my heart as well as the love, security and dignity you deserved... not to mention the cuddles - oh how you loved your cuddles. My constant companion, always there for me, loving me unconditionally and never judging. You made me laugh on a daily basis with all your silly antics, and filled my heart with joy from our conversations. I miss all the ways you had of communicating with me, you were such a talker. You always had a way of letting me know exactly what you wanted or needed and the way you rattled the bell on your collar to let me know where you were... such a clever boy.

I miss seeing you on our bed, in the loft, in the garden - all your favourite places, and will feel the pain when I drive in the driveway after work and you are not there to greet me.

I will never forget you, I will never stop loving you and I will never stop missing you. You are buried in such a divine spot, in the sun surrounded by nature with the birds there to keep you company and where I can see you every day.

Rest in peace my beautiful angel, and I know Jed is with you, looking out for you as he always did.

I am no stranger to loss and grief - loss is loss and grief is grief whether it is the loss of a loved one, a beloved pet, a home, a cherished job, a friendship, a lifestyle... I know it is a process and only time will ease the pain but at the moment the pain is crushing me. I also know not everyone is going to understand this grief, only other animal lovers will. Jed and Max were here for me through some of the most difficult and challenging years of my life. I guess I just thought they would both be with me for a very long time to come.

Jed was euthanised on Friday 1 July 2011. After becoming very sick very suddenly and was diagnosed with Stage IV feline lymphoma, possibly Stage V if they would have tested his bone marrow. He had no chance at survival. Max was ethanised yesterday, Saturday 25 May, 2019 after being diagnosed with early stage kidney failure around 18 months ago. He had no chance at survival. I couldn't let him suffer even though making the decision was the hardest one I've had to make.

I'm out out of the loop as far as any creative activities are concerned, and am simply going to acknowledge my grief and give myself the time I need to process this huge loss.