Tuesday, November 25, 2008
This is a new blog. I'm blogging. Look at me blog! Who the hell is going to read this?
So I will write. Not blog. Blog. What a word.
It rhymes with Dog.
I recently lost my dog. Not, he's "lost". But, you know, lost. As in..."yes, Dr. Vet. it's time".
He was 14. A German Shepherd. He was a good boy, him was. And it was time. And just so we're all on the same page, as far as the kids know, his "heart gave out" at the Vet's office. Ok?
Got it? oh-nay ention-may of-ay ot-shay. okay? Euthanasia is not on our kid's Atlas, if you get my meaning...
It sucked...I got him when I was 19, living in Chicago...potty trained him on my fire escape...
He went with me to Phoenix....and then to Indy...he welcomed my kids into the world..he liked to play ball..liked to have his ears scratched..liked to walk around with dead squirrels in his mouth. I can't tell you more about him right now...talking about him is too much. So, I'll talk about his death.
He grew old, and his hips grew old and sore. He couldn't walk....I didn't want him to suffer, or struggle to get up on my account. So I brought him in to the Vet. The vet, who I see at the Petsmart...who I still, in my head, label "Dr. Death", which isn't fair, I know, because, I did, ask him to do it...and I signed a paper, and my husband paid for it...but in my immature part of my brain, it screams "Dr. Death" over and over and over...but anyhoo..
We discussed pain medicines..but I knew..my boy deserved relief. And dignity. He had other issues....he was also deaf...had potty problems. Oh man, my heart is clenching as I type..
So we did it...he died in my arms.
We cremated him. Or rather, you know, someone else did. My husband paid some (unknown to me) expense to insure that we got JUST his ashes...not some communal cremation..consisting of turtle, gerbil, Siamese, labradoodle potpourri mix..and I was faced with some questions from the kids.
Them : "What did they do with his body?"
Me : "We'll get his ashes"
Them : "How do we get the ashes?"
Me : "We just do"
And then I walk out of the room. Quickly.
Not the most mature, motherly sort of thing. But, I'm pretty sure I never had the big "sit down and talk about cremation" talk with my parents. I just figured it out somewhere along the way, and I turned out just fine. I mean, what do you say? "Well, kids, they take your ruffkins, and throw his body into an oven".
So, I just had to keep changing rooms as they followed me around going.."but how do they?" Eventually, they just gave up.
I cried for 3 days straight. In the past year and a half, I had held my grandfather's hand, and then my grandmother's hand, nine months later, in my hand as they had died. My brother...is lost to me too, but in a different way than described earlier. I've lost a lot this year. My dog going was the last straw. Kind of like, really? The dog too? Seriously?
No one answered back. God didn't take my dog...or my grandparents...or make my brother an addict...
God just sat there with me while I cried. And God's hanging out with my dog. And my grandparents....all good things to hang with..and God is watching my brother, even if he doesn't know it..
So, eventually, I stopped the crying.
Until, the ashes came. I had to have my husband pick them up..I hadn't been able to go back to Petsmart since the incident..(the Vet's office is in the Petsmart) and so he'd even been on cricket purchase duty (we also have a gecko, named Danny), husband has been a champ through this...So the ashes came, in a really amazing box, in a gift bag, with a really amazing card, WITH scripture, FROM the Bible..it was all, so meaningful. I wanted it to be meaningful for the kids. I was trying to be sensitive...afraid I would arouse strong, sad emotions....like, "honey, guys?? I have something to show you, you need to be strong" all the while, I'm sniffing, and teary eyed..yet with a stiff upper lip..
So, this is the boy's response :
Boy : "what's in the box?"
Me : "sniff...Zack"
Boy : (smiling) "can we open it???"
Me : "NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" (running out of the room crying)
Girl : "what's in the box?"
Me : "sniff..Zack"
Girl : "can we open it?" (she's older, more mature, she knows better than to smile)
Me : "OH to HELL WITH IT!! MICHAEL, Come let them open the DAMN Box!!, I'm NOT going to be a part of it!!!"
I wasn't sure what was in the box. Maybe I imagined a poof of dust...I don't know, really. All I can tell you is that I did not want to be around for the unveiling. At. All.
So. They did it. They got it out of their system. Weeks later, it all hit them. Late at night, when your kid says "why can't God just send Zack back to us?" and he's really really crying. Like, real pain, tears, it just sucks. And I remind the boy that Zack deserves to be where he is..and that God isn't doing anything bad to us, and that God will help his pain, and...and...
man....really? I just let him cry it out. He needed to cry. And then I got that awesome box of ashes, and let him hold onto it, and sleep with it..
I could do this, because I found out, it was all wrapped in plastic, so even if the lid popped off in the middle of the night, I wouldn't have to be doing laundry in the morning........................
Love you Zack...run fast.....