We went out for comfort food at our favorite family run restaurant after we were done at the vet and stuffed ourselves pretty much silly. Once we got home J was able to get in a fitful nap, but I was too restless to sleep. Called J's parents to let them know our sad news while J napped. J's Mom is such a great lady! Always knows exactly what to say. Once I got off the phone with her I double checked my phone to make sure I texted everyone who isn't on social media who should know about what happened today; I had. What else did I need to do?

Sat and aimlessly tried to browse through my social feeds (twitter, LJ, facebook, tumblr) but that wasn't "right" either. Got up and decided to put Jazz's med bottles in the basket where her other mostly unused but saved meds are kept--later on I'm sure we'll stash it out of sight somewhere or throw them away entirely. I cannot wait to get rid of the half used bag of lactated ringers we still have hanging up in the kitchen, nor can I wait to take down the hooks from which we hung both Jazz's and Diva's fluid bags. A bad memory to be out of sight at last...

That wasn't "right" either, so I sat back down at my desk and fluttered around youtube for awhile, then went back to trying to read my social feeds and listen to my iTunes. This still doesn't feel "right", but it'll do for right now because it doesn't take a whole helluva lot of concentration like reading a book would, and I'm not in the mood to watch teevee right now, either.

I was planning on leaving Jazz's cat bed in the office for Ra to use, as a sort of comfort thing, but J wasn't so sure he could take looking at it right now, so he took Jazz's old bed out of the office and replaced it with the brand new spare bed we got from a friend from at the shelter (Laurel Burch designs FTW) and put it where Jazz's bed used to be. Ra is a bit confused by the new edition and lays on the floor along side it instead. ;/

I'm just so...restless and bereft...largely from wondering what I'm going to do to fill my days now that they don't involve the intense care taking of a sickly, very elderly cat. It mostly involved small, frequent feedings; monitoring of her toilet habits; keeping track of her med schedule; and making sure to plan week day appointments around J's ability to work from home so he could feed her while I was gone. That and logging most of her activities for vet purposes if she got sicker, which was actually a bit time consuming sometimes. I also won't be making weekly trips to the vet's clinic for supplies and food. I don't have to do any of that any more. While that's guiltily somewhat freeing, especially for my pocketbook, it's also, again, leaving me feeling a bit adrift and bereft.

I grieved hard for Diva cat when we lost her back in July, but because I still had Jazz to care for I didn't have this weird restless and as distinctly adrift and bereft feeling. I know we just lost her, that it'll take time to adjust to her being gone, especially since I had her as part of my life for 17 years. That I shouldn't be so hard on myself wondering why I feel as I do. What I'm going through is perfectly natural and "right" and I just need to "feel it in order to heal it." I need to accept that my role as care giver is now extremely diminished--Ra's got chronic issues that require pills in the AM and PM, but nothing that major where he can't be left alone for a day without one of us here. Lars is a completely healthy four year old; he, too, can be left alone for a day or night if the urge comes to us. That's something we haven't been able to experience for over four years since Jazz first fell ill with her renal failure. And that's a WEIRD feeling!

As for how the cats are doing...Ra seems to be alright, though he's hanging out nearby in the doorway to the office, but Lars is definitely picking up on the stress and grief in the house. He looks worried and spent some time sitting on J's lap here in the office. I'm sure we'll notice more bewilderment in the coming days as they realize Jazz isn't coming home again. I'm prepared for the boys to act out with each other, and for Lars to perhaps "think outside the box" a time or two as well. We'll love on them extra much in the coming days to comfort them; I believe animals grieve the loss of their peers, so...yeah...

It's the little things that'll "get" us in the coming days--a stray sparkle ball or mouse she used to play with, her food bowl on the floor (which J just tripped over and decided to hide in the cabinet under the kitchen sink), stuff like that. I won't have my sleeping buddy anymore--she would always end up camped on my side of the bed at night after J rolled over on his side. I'll have to temporarily substitute for awhile with my stuffed dog. Maybe now Lars will attempt to sleep on the bed more--we were both pretty sure Jazz intimidated him with her alpha cat status and that kept him from coming to sleep with us on the bed. We shall see.

I think it's going to take me a long while to adjust to a life without Jazz. Can't be with some living thing for 17 years and one week (I got her the week before Thanksgiving in 1996) and not have an adjustment period when they've left you. I've got J and all my friends (both in real life and cyber) to lean on and a good therapist, LOL. I've been to this rodeo before--I should come out of this just fine...I hope! :/
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Once J got home around 1235ish we sat down for a talk. I told him what was going on with Jazz and what Dr. Bajwa's recommendations were. We pondered bringing Jazz home for one more night with us, but decided she was in too bad of shape to risk bringing her home only to have her life end at an emergency vet in the middle of the night like Diva's did.

We got to the clinic around 1310 or so. Dr. B showed us the x-rays he'd taken earlier, explained where the fluid was congregating at and what he thought it probably meant--some sort of cancer. We told him we thought Jazz should be taken out of her misery. He agreed we were making the right choice. He asked if we wanted to take her home for one last time, but explained how she very well might crash at any time. We thought about it, looked at each other, and shook our heads no at the same time.

Dr. B brought Jazz to us in one of the exam rooms so we could take some time to sit with her and give her pettins and lovins. We loved on her as much as we could, taking turns holding her on our laps snuggled in her blankie from her cat bed from home. She purred a lot, but was so very tired looking and her breathing labored. Around 1405 we summoned Dr. B into the room--we were ready to send her over The Bridge...It was a two-tiered process: first a strong sedative to relax her and attempt to put her into unconsciousness, then the final shot that would stop her heart. He gave her the sedative and left us to say our final goodbyes. We stroked her and told her how very much we loved her, to go to sleep and that she'd feel better later. Stubborn ol' broad fought the sedative and tried to sit up! We were amazed because before that she's seemed so weak and unsure of herself sitting up. About 20 minutes later, Dr. B came in with the final shot; shaving a spot on her hind leg to make sure he got a good vein. It only took a minute or two for her to be still. He confirmed what we already knew--she was gone.

She goes over The Rainbow Bridge to meet up with her sisters Smudge and Diva, and countless "cousins" from when I was growing up. No doubt pets you've sent over the Bridge will have met her by now and she's got a slew of new friends. She's healthy and whole again, able to run free and watch over us until we meet again...

Our Jazz was a fighter. Chronic renal disease barely slowed her down most of the time--she fought it since March of 09. She would've kept trying to fight had we let her, but we both knew she was too tired to go on...Her body gave up on her, but her spirit never did. That makes me smile through my tears...

Rest well, Jazz baby. Mama and Daddy love you, so do your brothers Ra and Lars. You're leaving a vast gaping hole in our hearts that nothing or no other cat will ever refill. You are loved more than we can express. Be free, honey...be free...
( Jul. 21st, 2013 09:13 pm)
The grief level is high right now, so is the depression. I find myself sleeping more than I should, which isn't a great idea when trying to keep depression under control. I've had a tension headache on and off since Wednesday morning when I woke up. On top of everything else death wise there was the first death anniversary of my good friend and bowling teammate Linda, who died of breast cancer on 19 July 2012. All and all, not the best of weeks...

Diva's passing was hard enough, but I found myself grieving my parents' loss all over again, though not to an incredibly strong degree. Regardless, it's there and I acknowledge it. I emptied the kibble out of Diva's food bowl, but I've yet to bring myself to thoroughly clean it or her water bowl from her former hidey hole in the guest bedroom where she took all her meals. Her urn came on Wednesday and we put her cremains bag in it and put her to rest on the top of my bookshelf next to her sister Smudge. That made both J and I get all teary. :( It's going to be so weird without her presence for a long while. She was our chaperone kitty--she liked to sleep between the space between our pillows on our bed at night. That on its own is a huge thing missing, as neither of the other two kitties have taken her place there. The whole routine of her extensive care is now a thing of the past, which means more free time for me during the day and J at night and fewer trips out to the cat clinic for vet appointments and supplies. She's not sitting on the armrest of my or J's recliners anymore at night when we're watching TV. She's no longer a lump under the covers on the bed to meep at us we come and go during the day. No more kidneys/health to worry about any more. Just a huge presence in our house--gone forever...

Then there's Terry's passing. While not completely shocked by it all, it has knocked me for an emotional loop, which has left me somewhat surprised. We weren't all that close, only communicating via the occasional LJ post comment in each other's journals, but...yeah. We friended each other just over ten years ago--way back when I first came to LJ in late '02. He was one of my first LJ friends. We weathered many a storm together via our journals--his trials and tribulations over the years along with mine. Sometimes we counseled each other, other times just read and commiserated without a word. There were good times, and lots of funny and witty posts from both sides. :) That's what I find myself missing terribly--the good stuff he used to post all the time with the convenient "share" button at the bottom of most of the posts. ;) He was just always "there", and now he's gone forever. By his own hand, which makes it exponentially more horrible. I feel so many emotions when I think about him--sadness for sure, some anger, guilt for not being able to see how bad things must have gotten for him, love for a long-time friend...Just so much, and so intense. So much for online friends not meaning as much to a person as IRL friends, eh?

I've been to this rodeo before on all fronts--both cat loss and friend loss to suicide and disease. I know it's hard, especially at first, when things are so new and raw. I know it gets easier over time, that I should take it as it comes, cry it out if I can, try not to sleep too much, try to keep busy to keep my mind off of things. The standard grief management stuff...

I dunno...At the relatively young age of 44, I find myself feeling like I'm getting too old for this shit. At the same time, though, I realize there's a lot more of this death stuff to come in my life as I get older. It's the circle of life, all rot. Great...If anything, I'll get "better" at grieving, right? One can only hope...
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