I'm not sure I can write about yesterday and what I have poetically referred to as our cat Mr. P entering immortality. Maybe someday, if and when I need to. Suffice it to say, we were all there and we were all able to say goodbye in the ways we needed, including Mr. P's original owner. And it happened quickly, painlessly, and peacefully. We are very sad but also grateful not only to have known Mr. P but also to have been able to let him go when the time came.
Luckily, it's our school's winter break starting today so we can spend some days grieving and recuperating. Our mantra is "be gentle" to ourselves and each other, because we know grief can cause all sorts of emotions and behaviors--anger, sadness, listlessness, forgetfulness, regret, nostalgia, and then just moments of being really quite normal. Everyone seems to compare it to waves--one that sucks you down and you have to swim back to the surface (Pema Chodron) or a succession of waves which you have to float between until the next one (and the peaks get lower or the distances greater and you see them coming.) And so we go up and down. We're also trying to "stay with it" (also Pema Chodron), stay with the grief, instead of staving it off and avoiding it with shopping, food, endless video games, or whatever. Similarly, also from Pema (Mama is listening to some of the Buddhist nun's sermons in her car), we are trying not to "escalate our suffering" with anger, meanness, avoidance, etc.; it's bad enough without our making it worse. And we know that soon, we'll be able to remember Mr. P with more happiness than pain. For now, though, there are tears and quiet pauses.
So, today, we're home. (The kids and Mama got haircuts.) Tomorrow we have an outing we planned a couple of weeks ago (after canceling our big trip to DC and Williamsburg which was supposed to be now; we didn't want to board a sick and anxious Mr. P.) Saturday, the kids have a ROLLER-skating birthday party which is novel; neither has rollerskated. Sunday, we might have another outing planned (we'll keep it hush-hush until it goes through, but it promises to be pretty exciting.) And Monday will be more R&R before work and school.
We are grateful to friends and family who have called, emailed, posted, and even dropped by with cards and a beautiful plant (though thankfully not the kitten that the girl thought would cheer us up!) We're okay and we'll be better soon.