I’m Not Ready But You Are: PYL In-Flight: Jan 24, 2022
Welcome Back My Perfectly Timed Passengers:
Today we said goodbye to our lovely Violet. We think she was 9 1/2 years old but she’s a rescue (failed foster) so we don’t know for sure. What we do know is that she was ready to go but we weren’t ready to say goodbye.
We found out on Friday that she had invasive cancer in her liver and spleen and her abdominal cavity was filled with fluid. Zeke picked her up from the vet at 1 PM and we proceeded to spoil her with some last little adventures (a trip to the beach and the pet store), gave her lots of love, and waited for her to give us the sign that she was ready to go.
She let me know about 3:30 this morning as I was sleeping next to her on the big bean bag in the living room (pic is from today). She couldn’t get comfortable and kept groaning. This morning she wouldn’t eat bacon or brie, two of her favorites. She struggled to stand up and was really tired and she gave me the look. I knew exactly what that look meant: Mama, it’s time. My heart broke.
Yesterday we had Finn’s graduation party with friends. I didn’t take a single picture which really bums me out. It’s a big deal to finish high school, especially six months early. Fortunately, Finn will be walking in June with the Woodside High School class of 2022 and I will get lots of pictures then. Violet got to attend her last front yard party and several people came by to say goodbye to her.
As I sobbed over the loss of Violet over the weekend, I realized I was grieving for more than just my lost puppy shown here on her gotcha day on April 30, 2014. While Zeke and I are doing great as a couple, we are letting go of our children and our role as parents and shifting into another phase of our lives. There’s so much that will never be again. This is hard, especially since it’s not on our timeline.
We are in the position of responding to the timelines of others leaving us with little to no control with anything other than our responses.
Finn (pictured here with Violet from yesterday), chose to finish high school six months early and attend a three-month outdoor program through NOLS in Wyoming and Utah starting on March 5th. On paper, this seemed like a perfectly good idea but as we rapidly approach March, I am feeling another tear in my heart as my youngest heads into the mountains and we may or may not get to talk to them at all for 87 days.
I am not prepared for this. But Finn is.
As Zeke and I were doing our daily yoga this morning and I set my intention for the day (peace), and then sobbed through the meditation on acceptance, I went through the questions that are plaguing me right now with both of these big changes.
- Did Violet feel loved enough?
- Do my kids feel loved enough and did they always?
- Did they get enough attention and support?
- Did I work too much?
- Was I (and am I) a good mom?
It hurts to write these down, but I know I am not alone and wondering these things.
So many regrets start to bubble up when I am in these vulnerable spots. I know it’s not helpful and other than to fuel my desire to be better, every damn day. I am human and therefore not perfect (despite my ridiculous expectations). But today, being human, hurts a lot. I am leaning into the feelings and have been all weekend. It sucks.
It’s interesting that when we got Violet, I had made a unilateral decision to get her. I had one too many glasses of wine one night when i stumbled into a Facebook post, filled out the Humane Society paperwork, and told Zeke we were picking up a dog in Sacramento the next day. She was supposed to be with us for a few weeks. We had her for nearly eight years.
I didn’t consult with Zeke. There was no ‘we’ or ‘us’ in the decision.
Today, Zeke and I went to our local emergency vet (Sage) and said goodbye to her together. She meant a lot to both of us but in very different ways.
She was my shadow, constantly needing to be near me or know where I was. For the last two years, she slept under my desk as I worked from home. Zeke took her for long walks on a regular basis, picked up her poops, and took her to the vet.
While I feel tremendous loss today, both from Violet and from Finn aging out of the house, I am so grateful for the love that Zeke and I share and how we teamed up to make Violet’s last weekend fantastic and Finn’s grad party a success.
This may be hard, but we are in this together and there’s no one I would rather have by my side, for better or for worse.
May you find peace, acceptance, and love today as you navigate being human.
With much love and gratitude,
P.S. Take the controls and be the pilot in your own life. It’s a beautiful day to fly, and you are cleared for takeoff.
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