In those years, we’ve shared our lives, our joys, our jokes, our stories, and our laughter. That’s our favorite thing- to be able to make you smile and laugh.
I’m just afraid right now that I may not be able to do that. If you notice that I sound a little different right now, it’s because my heart is broken.
My sweet little Hannah Baby died. In losing her, I feel like I lost a little piece of me, too. Even typing these words seems hard and speaking them right now is impossible. I just can’t. To say them out loud would make it all too real and I’m hoping, foolishly, that I can just wake up from this nightmare and find that it wasn’t real at all.
But it is. And it’s so unbelievably hard.
She was very sick and I know she is no longer suffering, but I don’t know how we’re supposed to carry on without her. Mr. Fuzzybottoms keeps going from room to room searching for her. Meanwhile, I just find myself sometimes sitting and staring off into space like a zombie. Then reality will hit again and I dry-heave cry until I just can’t physically produce anymore tears. Then back to a zombie.
I know the grieving process is just that- a process. But in all this, the show must go on. So please forgive me if I sound a little off. Because I am. More than just a little.
I know how sweet some of you are, but please don’t send flowers. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate any token of your kindness and sympathy. But if you feel the need- instead, make a donation to your local animal shelter, rescue, or humane society in her honor. That’s where we found each other in May of 2008. “Hannah” -as her nameplate read- had been at the humane society since January of that year after being found in a ditch in the frigid Wisconsin winter. The poor little thing spent the next 5 months waiting for a home and because it took so long, her adoption price was reduced. That was the best $20 I’ve ever spent in my whole life.
I remember the first day I brought her home. I didn’t know what I was going to name her yet but I thought to give her a fresh start- maybe a bath was a good idea (just in case of fleas). In hindsight, that’s really never a good idea to a cat, let alone the person trying to bathe her. I had scratches all over my arms and one mad, but clean, kitty.
After drying her off, she bolted straight under my bed. In that moment, I thought- this cat hates me and she may never come out from under my bed again.
I got myself a bath (and some peroxide and bandages) and tucked myself into bed with a book.
Before I knew it, I felt a little plop at the foot of my bed. I lowered my book to see this tiny little face staring back at me. Still soaked, she let out an even tinier meow.
I remember patting the spot beside me and saying, “Oh, Hannah. Baby, come here.” And that’s how she got her name. It fit. She was my little Hannah Baby.
She came right up beside my pillow, curled up next to my head, and purred herself to sleep. And for 10 years, she’s been right there by my side.
To say we’re lost without her is an understatement. It just doesn’t seem real. But it is.
I’m just so incredibly sad. So please be patient with me. If you hear my voice crack in the middle of the show, that’s why. But I’m trying. I’m trying my best to sound normal. I'm trying my best to act normal. I’m trying to pretend that my life is anywhere near normal.
Yet, I don’t know that we ever return to normal after the loss of a loved one- human or animal. I think we get a new normal. One that includes these little missing pieces and those holes stay with us each day.
I remember after my Grandma was gone (the Granny who gave the good underwear advice), I felt this same way. A little piece of me left then, too.
And maybe that’s exactly how this really works. We keep losing pieces until there’s nothing left to lose and then we go, too. Maybe then, all our pieces are put back together on the other side.
I like to think that anyway. It helps a little. But right now, I’d give anything to have that piece back for just one more day.
I loved you from the moment I saw you.
I’ll miss you until the moment I see you again.