This is the Hard Stuff
For years, I used to cry myself to sleep worrying about when one of my beloveds might be called home. I dreaded the days, I worried and fretted. I found myself pre-thinking the inevitable.
When we lost our first pup, Pooka, in May of 2003, it was hard. It was impossibly hard. But, at the age of 15 (almost 16), we'd known that her health was declining; so it became a heartbreak that Pooky helped us decide. We could no longer bear to watch her health decline. Her life had lost its lustre, had lost the joy, and had even become burdensome for her. We knew the time had come, but it still took us weeks to finally speak of the decision. Ms. Pooky had lost almost 1/2 of what had been her youthful body-weight. That, in itself, told us that we had been in denial.
Then, we lost Snickers in May 2005. Again, little Snicks was 17-1/2 years old. Such a joy, such a little bundle of fluff and fun, as she had been for forever. Forever. And then, one day, it occurred to us that she was not so okay any more. Sure, she'd been mostly deaf and blind for more than a year. But suddenly, things had gone pretty dramatically downhill. She appeared to be in pain or, at best, severely suddenly mentally afflicted. When we made that hardest of hard phone calls to make THE APPOINTMENT, and when we took her in for her blessed relief, it was to our amazement that our vet determined that she had a rapidly-spreading cancerous tumor on her cheekbone. Snickers would not have made it but another couple of months -- and that would be with aggressive treatment. We could not have asked her to do that. We were blessed once again, that she led us to the decision.
Then we come to Checkers. September 3, 2005. I can't bear to go into it again, but you can read about the tragedy of his young death (seven years, and three days old), and the joy and exuberance of his life by visiting his pages here. Checkers was my baby boy, my beloved, my little 'un, my soul-mate, my very very very special friend. He was a part of me. I'll never recover from his sudden loss. And -- still -- every time I speak of him, write about him, or think of him, I cannot even fathom when I might recover sufficiently to rediscover the wonder of his life; or to begin to accept life without him.
So, The Tributes and Poems
I've discovered a few poems and thoughts that help me to at least begin to file the pain in my heart. For some, I have recreated them as graphical tributes. For others, just simple postings of words. As I find more, I'll post them.