hi friends, it took me almost 8 weeks to write this post and i finally understand why... the story was unfinished, there was more to say, it wasn't the end of the story. it is the end of the story now, so i'm sharing and the feelings are bittersweet.
we said goodbye to our cats, buddha and hermes, almost two months ago and i am still sad. one, because its just sad, to say goodbye to members of your family, and two, because it was the beginning of a series of really crazy, sad events in our life that we are struggling with, more to come on that (maybe). the intention was for them to be rehomed but it didn't end that way for both of them, and so if you are struggling and don't want to read sad stuff, don't read this one.
i wrote them a letter, here it is:
dear buddha and hermes,
for 6 years, you were our family. this part is what makes me so sad - thinking of every moment that we've shared as a family that will become memories of the past rather than a future. after adopting you, we lived together at four different homes, and survived all of those moves (SOMEHOW!?). we celebrated me and papa's engagement, our wedding, you even told me i was pregnant before i knew it myself, and then we introduced you to theo, when he came along. you were with us for holidays and late nights, quiet mornings, and netflix binges. you supported us and comforted us through arguments, and loss, and starting and selling businesses. you were there for snuggles and were my co-workers when i started working from home. remember when we tried to take you outside on leashes, but you hated it? you were content in the windows , and we always made sure every place we lived had lots of them for you to perch in. you two brought me so much joy and comfort over the years we were a family. i hope we made you happy too.
when we had theo, and covid happened, our priorities changed. theo went from a quiet, stationary newborn, to a joyful and loud, fast moving toddler, growing way too quickly. you were both so good with theo, so gentle with him, and so loving, and papa and i will forever be grateful for that first year with him, where we had all of you.
even though we tried really hard, papa and i struggled to keep up with our jobs, and theo, and the house, and provide for your needs too. after breastfeeding, and having a clingy theo for the last few months, i was touched out. even the idea of cuddling you was overwhelming. i just wanted to go to the bathroom or shower alone. some days, when you would knock over one thing, i could feel myself losing it, since it was the only thing i needed to go right that day. and the crying was making me crazy because it wasn't just you crying, it was theo and i, too. with covid, we were home alot, and realized a lot of the accommodations we made for you, were becoming hard. we bought a new bed, finally, after all of these years, but we didn't cut your nails enough, and it became a scratching post. i tripped on you while cooking, or rocking theo at midnight, more times than i can count, and our place was just feeling like it was closing in around me. being here all the time, with 5 of us, in our small place, I felt trapped. there is no wildlife here to look at out the window, and because of covid, no one comes to visit and give you extra cuddles.
so much changed this past year that i couldn't have anticipated. and i'm sorry that you both had to go because of it. i'm sorry that papa and i couldn't give you the attention you deserved and needed, and what we promised we'd give you when we first adopted you years ago. i hope you know i tried so hard to love you the best way i could during this adjustment period, but ultimately, it would have been unfair to you, to keep you here, seeking attention and love we couldn't provide, just to say we had you. this was such a hard decision. i wanted, so badly, to just keep you, and find a way to make it work. but we had already been doing that for a few months, and it just wasn't working. everyone grew miserable, and sad, and our relationships with each other were being affected.
i feel shame and guilt and this is really hard. i know you will find love from another couple, or a family, or someone is lonely and needs you as much as you need them. i know you will make others very happy with your gentle presence, and playful spirits. we will remember our time as a family fondly, and try to move on from the sadness, and shame and guilt, and remember all of the moments of joy that you brought us along our journey to this point.
i know this decision doesn't make me a bad person, despite how much i feel it. and i know i tried my best, for a long time, to make it work, despite not being happy with the ending. you know, our parents raise us to believe doing the right thing feels good, and the reality is that sometimes, it doesn't. i promise to teach this reality to theo. good things, the right things, the hard decisions, sometimes feel hard and shameful and guilt ridden, but it doesn't make them any less important or right.
miss you baby worm and booboo, my first babies.
since then, since i wrote this letter, and since they went to the rescue, good things and crappy things have both happened.
buddha and hermes were only at the rescue for a short time until the lockdown was lifted and families could visit the shelter to meet them. they were rehomed to an amazing family. mike and i were so grateful and so happy that they were rehomed quickly, and hopefully were happy in their new space. we were happy with this and thinking "ok great, we miss them but are glad they are safe and with another family to love".... but.....
a few days later, the rescue called and let us know hermes got sick. he had stopped eating and developed liver damage to which he couldn't survive. he was going to be euthanized and they wanted to know if we wanted to be there and/or if we wanted his ashes. we said we couldn't be there but wanted his ashes. .... we were devastated. this made me re-think everything that happened so far, and made me really doubt our decision, and ultimately made me grieve all over again.
the next day, the rescue called again and said the family had grown so attached to hermes, and the teenage daughter they had, had fallen in love with him and really needed closure to say goodbye and the family wanted to know if they could have some of his ashes, just some, to remember him. mike and i are adults, and we are really lucky for all of the blessings we have, especially that an amazing family adopted our cats who we loved so much. we of course, said they could have them... and now this is finally the end of the story.
this happened a few weeks ago, and i'm finally not sad everyday about it, there are bigger things happening that require more of my energy right now, but to write this story has been therapeutic to grieve them being gone, and to celebrate the ways mike, theo, and i can move forward.