You can live, take in air, eat, go to the bathroom, physically healthy on the outside and dying inside of a broken heart too weak to fight depression
When you die, you die, no air, no food, at times a final bathroom break, sick on the outside all while the heart fights desperately to live on the inside
It’s so easy to live and so easy to die
Living is a struggle, learning and navigating through a ‘new normal’ one did not ask to have. I want the old normal where stuff happened the way it should, predictable and expected
Dying is a struggle, learning and navigating through a final stage of life you did not ask to have. Death had no right to disrupt all that was normal, true and kind
It’s so easy to live and so easy to die
Life is a given.
We live our lives day to day, hour to hour, not thinking once about what it means to live. We take life for granted until we realize it’s gone
Death is a given.
For after the life we’ve taken for granted is gone the aftershocks of raw emotions will be unpredictable, coarse, sneeringly painful and at times forgetful until you wake up in the morning and realize death is not bringing back the one it took recently or those in the past. Your mom, tobias and pi patel are never coming back
It’s not so easy to live when the ones you so loved have died
I ran it on the mean streets, oops, the gentrified streets of Brooklyn.
The race started on the sidewalk of the cosmetically altered Botox on concrete gone wrong Brooklyn Museum and ended on the newly reinstalled wood weather treated planks of the boardwalk in the now Russian enclave of Coney Island.
It was raining.
Not the drizzly refreshing kinda rain but the giant pouring rain drops slapping your head and oozing down your face kinda rain. The drizzly refreshing came towards the end but as soon as I crossed that finish line the slapping drops returned! My glorious finish was photographed in the arms of Peter Ciaccia, president of NYRR running events and a big supporter of those who are referred to as the ‘back of the packers’. In other words, back of the packers are the ones who finish the race long after the after post-race party has ended and the disgruntled looks from volunteers who had been out in the elements since 4am want to go home to a hot shower but are stuck out there waiting for your ass to cross the line, so they can break it down and cart the shit back to storage and finally…go home.
My first time running in the rain.
A brutal lesson in feeling downright accomplished at making it through the course then feeling soaking wet cold and miserable enough to forgo that Nathan’s hot dog and beer. All week leading up to running the half visions of hotdogs in buns slathered in sauerkraut and mustard danced in my head. Twirling round and round the hotdogs danced moving towards my mouth where slowly, they would be decimated, eaten and conquered.
The vision of hot dogs was fleeting.
It was replaced by my yearning to get my soaking, wet butt home to stay under a hot shower until eternity or the hot water heater gave out.
I ate pizza.
It wasn’t the same satisfaction of eating a dancing hot dog but it had to do. Two slices, plain, nothing fancy and it landed in my gut with a thud and stayed for two days.
So much for running in the rain…or Bling desperation.
Tobias, Toba, Tub of lard, Mr. Tobes, Mr. T, Tobester, Tobadia, Mr Tobadia.
Toby, for me
YOU will always be…just Toby.
I want to write down the words that tell my feelings about
When I think of
USTED, I get all mamba jamba boogied up tight lip and my chest hurts, missing your bunny hopping days through Ppark.
The pain is so real and so there…as
TÚ is no longer here, and neither is Pi and I long to touch and smell
USTED as I do him.
Although, stink, Pi did, as did
YOU, and it did not matter because being all mine, all the time, unconditionally, lovingly far surpassed the dirty dog, musty stink after swimming at the doggy beach in Ppark brought into the house.
USTED passed into shadow on Monday evening, October 9, 2017, licking peanut butter from my finger as Propofol made its way through the vein that would eventually connect with other veins on a path to your heart-unstoppable as your personality and love was.
TÚ paused in the peanut butter licking, confused somewhat and before I could acknowledge what was taking place, the ER vet plunged Euthasol into that same vein, which stopped, and ended the pumping of your sweet heart that held mi alma intact and made me realize that yes,
YOU and your love were stoppable.
Pi took my heart…
TÚ my dear first fur baby, the oldest of the pack, took my soul (mi alma).
Beat on…run on…free at last from the arthritis, the crippling of the joints, the senioritis which left you at times confused looking for our house on return walks the sometimes incontinence, the sometimes-foggy vision, free at last, thank HIM almighty you are free.
Gracias me perrito que vivir en mi vida por catorce años.
Gracias for choosing me.
I want to say to
YOU all that wasn’t said while this earth was lucky to have your soul in its presence, it’s concrete jungle, pseudo Ppark in the woods landscape with me by your side. Gracias a
TÚ for finding and choosing me to spend time in your life. Pi was not part of
the package, pero
USTED accepted him or better yet, tolerated him on your own terms.
The residents at the now defunct Bishop Hulces nursing home would also join in this thanks to
YOU, the certified therapy dog who strutted through the dementia ward bringing the gift of words to those who would not normally speak.
USTED, my sweet baby boy would allow the locked words to flow in their gibberish, unstoppable, accepted and not challenged or corrected way.
I remember the young teenage girl who was placed in the nursing home due to her disability of severed legs sacrificed from her attempted suicide gone wrong pact with an MTA train. Mother and father were at her bedside during our visits and the tension and awkwardness were too real to ignore. They spoke no English and who knows what if they knew what to make of you grizzly Adams appearance.
YOU jumped on me, and unto her bed, snuggled up to a hip that no longer had an extension. She in turn was happy to pet your fur which brought forth a smile easing the tensions from the parents who now mirar a
USTED at what I perceived to be respect and admiration. The visits to her room always brought out the best in the soul that resided en
TÚ and el alma that took my own away.
Bereavement is not so acceptable when it comes to fur babies because for many they are insignificant, easily discarded as the wrapper on a wad of gum. Going into shadow is as irrelevant as swatting a mosquito of an arm.
But guess what…
For me not having
YOU, the job of life can be done but trust me, it will be half assed done, for your unconditional no judgement love does not await me when I return home and I’m left with no defense to put the day’s sucking vampires behind me.
I go to work, forced to converse in conversations when I’d rather be home licking my wounds and thinking of you. Grieving for your lil bro was much easier-I was unemployed.
To pick up your ashes, I must return to the place your last breath was drawn and I will bring
Which is where you are now, my sweet Toby boy.
** TÚ, USTED = You. Mirar=look. Gracias a tú=thanks to you. en= in. pero=but. Gracias me perrito que vivir en mi vida por catorce años=Thank you my doggy who lived in my life for 14 years.
Today, this day, the sky is grey and rain comes down. Sometimes slow, sometimes fast, sometimes taking a break and sometimes…still waiting for the next sometime to write.
In November I posted my blog piece, ‘I No Longer have a heart…’ on an animal mourning website. Not sure what prompt me to do so but at the time felt a need to release my mourning by whatever means necessary. Forgot about the post, months passed and then Tuesday came.
I received an email from a pet owner. She lost her fur baby two days prior and was on her 18th hour of crying, screaming, lashing out and not knowing how to deal with the pain.
Like me, she had to make the decision to end her dog’s life and wanted to know how I was doing after six months had passed.
Floored I was.
Did not expect this.
Came out of nowhere into my email which I was checking via Iphone while sitting in Fairway’s parking lot.
Started crying in the parking lot.
Cried, when I got home.
Cried touching his ashes.
So f*****g sick of crying.
I responded to her email to let her know it does get better. Memories and pictures guide you through. Allowing grief to take its course is a given.
And it does get better.
I’ve surrounded myself with so many memories of him. His leash hangs on my coat rack, his collar on a peg in my bedroom where his ashes also rest. I live in the place, Brooklyn and in the house, Berkeley where the memories began. I run in the park he so cherished, especially on Monday mornings after the weekend barbeque garbage lays waiting.
So here I sit in my lonely room
Lookin’ for my sunshine
But all I’ve got is two cigarettes
And this broken heart of mine
Cigarettes I no longer crave. I stopped smoking years ago.
I spend allot of time sitting around trying to figure out which way to go while feeling lonely for Pi. Yes, my heart is still broken but not the broken of being just broken as on October 24 when he passed. It’s a broken of what was fragile, now gone and can’t be put together again.
It’s been 17 days since he passed and 17 days since a drop of wine has touched my mouth. Grief took place with no escape from reality brought on by a bottle of wine. In order for my grief to form, grow and dissipate to where it is comfortable to live with, my mind and body had to be completely clear. It’s working and for that I thank Pi.
The results of the 2016 Presidential election brings fear, trepidation, uncertainty and longing to be in the frame of mind I was in on Nov 7 before the shit let lose.
No regressing, the present is fleeting and the future ‘is not ours to see’ (Que Sera, Sera).
I miss Pi Patel.
(Although, I told HIM, I’d drink three bottles of wine a day to have him back.)
As a dog parent friend posted on my FB on Nov 12, “Showing up for life when we don’t feel like it is very healing”.
It is healing.
And although I’d like to stay in bed, sorting through pics of my fur baby, it’s not possible.
October 24, 2016 at 12:30am Pi Patel, at the age of 12 passed on.
He took his last breath, in my arms wrapped in a towel after receiving Propofol followed by Euthosol. He went quietly and at peace. The laboured breathing became soft and even and the discomfort/pain dissipated as his body shut down.
On the third day of his pass, I still grieve. Not as hard as day one when I returned home with Pi’s leash and harness but no Pi. The tears and physical stress were non-stop, to the point where my eyelashes turned inward and prick at my eyeballs. I learnt on that first day at 3am, it’s better to cry standing up rather than lying down, for the phlegm building up in the sinus’ does not drain in rhythm with the tears streaming down the face. Too painful to lie down so I stood in the kitchen and cried.
The steps of grief are making their appearance against my will.
It starts with…
I bargained with HIM to bring Pi back and of course he has yet to do so. I stopped drinking wine a couple of days prior to Pi’s passing because the consumption was becoming excessive. I blame HIM because I feel the help given to stop drinking came with a cost-Pi’s Life! Please, please, please bring Pi back and I’ll return to drinking and consume three bottles a day!!!!
Bargaining TO Anger
For a vet nurse the signs leading up to Pi’s critical status should have been obvious. WHY didn’t I see it! Too busy drinking wine to notice? He was lethargic, did not want to walk, had loose stools, relieved himself on the kitchen tile.
That’s normal for Pi, except the relieving part. That’s it. Didn’t pay attention to relieving himself in the kitchen. I WAS NOT OBSERVANT ENOUGH! I LET MY OWN DOG DIE AND DID NOTHING TO SAVE HIM!. Should have questioned his doctors more, more testing, more bloodwork, more and more and more…and it still would not have saved Pi.
Anger TO Depression
I miss him so. The pain and longing is unbearable. Prior to the euthanasia, I rubbed Pi’s head, inhaled his scent, over, over, over and felt his breath short and shallow on my cheek, over, over, and over. DID NOT WANT TO LET GO. He shivered and I held him tighter, trying to feel the little bit of warmth left in him. He was cold, weak and terribly uncomfortable. He needed to go, to get away from pain and I had to let him go.
Depression TO Acceptance
He’s not here at home with me and in two weeks time he will be home again-this time in an urn.
Ashes to Ashes…
It’s easy to accept, yes, my dog is dead. Cold, heartless, steel, jagged edges=DEAD. My dog is dead and that’s that, over and finished. All that’s left in this house right now are his bed, bowls, leash, harness, tags, shampoo, medications, vitamins, lentil food sitting in the fridge, full bag of kibble, towels, winter clothing, booties…and his SCENT. I sniff his bed as much as possible. I miss him so and so and I’m so…
ANGRY, ANGRY, ANGRY.
So Angry I could scream!!!
I CRY in the supermarket
I CRY walking Toby
I CRY looking at his pictures
I CRY, CRY, CRY…
I no longer have a heart because Pi took it with him.
I would do anything for the love of Tobias, my first fur baby!
Tobias, 13 yrs of age and plague with many illnesses. Some breed specific: dermatology issues with yeast, cataracts, possibly Cushing’s disease . Other illnesses linked to old age: arthritis, vestibular disease , and lipomas galore.
I would do anything…for Tobias.
Mulberry Model-who did double walk-way struts when Pi Patel grew bored of the scenery
The guardian of mom when she was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. Tobias did not leave her side before the diagnosis, during the procedures following the diagnosis and the ensuing chemo treatments
Tobias, the therapy dog, who frequented Bishop Hulces Episcopal Nursing Home where he greeted all residents with long petting sessions.. Most especially, affecting the residents of the dementia floor who were non-verbal but spoke during a visit with Tobias
This stops here…lists are boring…but pictures, yes pictures, visually tell more.
The Puppy years. (L) First grooming (R) First day home. .
Toby being a good sport when mom is bored
Toby’s surgery-never again will I be in surgery with my fur babies…well maybe
Toby just being, The Tobes, Tobadiah, Mr T, Mr Tobes, Chunky monkey, Tobias, Tub of Lard (mom’s nickname, not mine)…
Toby and I say, “THANK YOU” to everyone who reached out to us during his bout with vestibular disease. Words of concern and encouragement are so dear when one feels alone going through this. Once again, “THANK YOU!”
Walking the fur babies this morning led to a wonderful quote from a woman I greeted with, “How are you?”
“Too blessed to be stressed”, she replied and smiled a smile that competed with the brilliance of the sun’s rays on the sidewalk
What a positive way to begin one’s day. A new day, without the anger and disappointment carried over from yesterday or the worries and fretfulness of tomorrows ‘what’s to come’.
Too blessed to be stressed.
Those words remind me to heed and acknowledge the power of Gratitude.
Gratitude often ignored, often forgotten while one concentrates on the wants of what to have, and not of what one already has.
Life gets in the way and ruins all the good thoughts.
I don’t have a shower with cold water-at least I have a shower.
I don’t like the food I’m forced to buy due to finances-at least I have food.
I don’t like the apartment I live in as it’s overheated, too humid and needs new flooring and tiles-at least I have an apartment to call my own and it keeps me warm, with a floor to walk on.
I don’t have enough money-at least I have some money.
I don’t like having to make my own lotion and shampoo because I can’t afford to buy the ‘good stuff’-at least you have the ingredients and the stove and fridge to make the lotion and the shampoo.
I don’t like Fios or Time Warner service and can’t afford the full package deal-at least I got cable and a tv to watch it on.
I can bathe, cook, clean myself up, wake up from sleeping in a comfortable bed, have fur babies whom I love ( and where my salary goes to), a salary of some sort, food (okay it’s not all organic and vegan as I’d like it to be), once again FOOD, clothing (okay most of it’s from Sears)-so I need to shut up, get my butt back into volunteering and going to church to ease my mind and get the balance right in my head.
I returned to General Practice Veterinary Medicine after four months of working 12-14 overnight shifts in Veterinary Emergency care. Time spent in ER was incredible in terms of experience gained and processing death from trauma. I truly miss the doctors and eager vet students I was fortunate to work with. Their love of medicine and the desire to save all God’s creatures from injuries was unprecedented. I realize the privilege to work with this crew and although BP misplaced me in terms of job title and where I truly needed to be, which inevitably led to my failure-I forgive. Nothing can replace what I saw, did, treated, prayed over, held as the last breath was released, can ever measure up to the experiences gained in working overnight emergency.
BP will accept me back.
More time spent in GP.
Yes. I miss ER.
My body and emotional mindset is exhausted.
I no longer shed tears at PTS’s (put to sleep).
Not in front of clients.
Not in the bathroom.
Not on the train going home.
At night, when I stare at the ceiling at bedtime.
I guess it’s all good in some sick way for I can now concentrate on the owners and offer more support from mi alma which no longer feels.
My blog on transitioning to this career has ended. My thoughts on the continuance in this career as well as school is now questionable.
The other side of this business is still present and for that matter, will always be. As long as there are insecure, unstable nurses-the Mean Girls , in this field the drama will thrive.
Don’t want to end up on NY1 so I’ve grown thick skin, a thick heart an emotional void and most importantly the desire to have only working relationship with them.
No, you are not my friend or close confident.
No, I do not need your approval to validate how I do my job.
No, I will not gossip about other co-workers, maliciously or even constructively with you.
No. No. No.
Accusing me of not cleaning?
Please watch the video.
2016 is in full string and transitions seem to be lining up. I’ve thought about leaving the state in search of Tech Nursing work. My mind is working, talking to others who have relocated and gauging if this is a necessary transition to make.
Time will tell. Actually the Fall will tell.
I’m biting at the bit and I love an adventure.
Cali, Georgia, one of the Carolina’s. Florida? Virginia, Washington, Seattle?