Have you ever felt like life is so tough that you simply can’t cope?
Life is life. And at times, it doesn’t go the way we planned.
It took me weeks to be able to write this post. However, I want you to learn from my experiences. So I’m going to tough it out.
To make a long story short, my beloved cat cat had surgery in November. Anyone who knows me well will tell you she was my rock.
While the surgery went well, she acted strangely right after.
Not eating, Lethargic. Calling it quits on using the litter box.
I knew something wasn’t right when the vet said we needed to have “a talk.” Talks like that are never good.
He did an ultrasound and found my worst fear. Her liver enlarged and filled with fluid.
“Give it to me straight,” I begged. The response confirmed my greatest fear.
She’s sick. Most likely cancer. And whether or not she’ll live is yet to be determined.
I took her to the esteemed University of Illinois Small Animal Hospital. Unfortunately, test after test confirmed an even greater fear.
She was going to die.
They gave her 24 hours to live. Panic gave way to fear, sadness and shear disbelief.
I cancelled everything that I could and stayed home. I prayed and prayed that she would live through Thanksgiving.
The day after Thanksgiving, she took her last breath. I was without my best friend.
I simply couldn’t write about this because it was too painful. But then I realized that this was an extension of the concept that I’ve been trying to digest for over a year.
We can’t control everything — no matter how we try.
Loved ones will die or leave us; life will take turns that we don’t want; and we will find ourselves in great pain.
However, it is in these times that we must allow growth to occur. We have no other choice.
It’s that or get swallowed up by the black hole of depression and despair.
In this time, I am again reminded of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s famous quote. “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”
The pain is real, but I’m living proof that you can survive loss WITH anxiety in tow. The key is to feel pain and allow it to surface. Burying it will only make anxiety worse.
Love is eternal. In times of loss, we must remember this. The experiences, joy and laughter that you have lived through will always be with you.
So no, my kitty is no longer with me in physical form. But the unconditional love that she gave me lives in my heart every single day.
In closing this post, I want to leave you with the poetic words of Rupi Kaur.
“How can our love die if it’s written in these pages?”
It can’t. And knowing that is the most important key to surviving loss WITH anxiety in tow.