Grief

Just Me & Charlie

charlie

That’s my Charlie boy on the arm of the couch. He doesn’t like to be held, but loves for me to pet him. He will sit next to me at times. He will lay at my feet.

I miss my sweet Abi in my arms or next to me when I sleep. I try to hold Charlie and he fights me for some reason. I respect his needs.

It’s so quiet you could hear a pin drop.

Abi was such a talker. She was always saying something to me, telling me to cut her food up smaller, that she had thrown up in another room and wanted me to come and clean it up. She was so funny that way.

She had that goofy smile that everyone loved. Do you know when the vet and his assistant Christy got here Thursday that she lifted and cocked her head and smiled at them? Broke my heart.

Christy said: “Abi’s smiling.”

Abi smiled at them even though she was sick and so very weak and then she was gone.

The sounds now are the air conditioner coming on and going off, the birds chirping outside, and occasional traffic from the street down the way.

I just heard the ducks fly over and Charlie barked at their quacking.

Charlie is a barker though Abi was not. They were so different.

clematis

My clematis vine is putting on quite the show this year. Lots of flowers are blooming. With perennials it often takes a year or so to get fully established.

My mind flits around and doesn’t know where to land. I’m thinking about my flowers and then I’m remembering Abi’s last few moments and then I’m wondering what to eat because my body must go on.

I’ve always been hot natured. All my life. I rarely ever wear a coat or sweater.

But suddenly I’m cold and wrapped in a blanket. It’s as if my spirit lifted off with Abi’s and left behind a shell with nothing in it.

red cardinal

Spring was short here. Now we’re right to hot weather. I have to keep the blinds and curtains closed for the most part or it gets too hot in here from the lack of insulation and the thin windows.

Maybe that makes sense anyway. When you close your windows up, you’re essentially saying “Closed For Business.”

I guess that’s kind of where we right now, me and Charlie boy. We’re mourning and closed for business.

Loss of any kind is always hard. But death is the most piercing. It gets inside of you and takes over.

You are okay for a bit, then you’re sobbing. It hits when it hits. Ugly wracking sobs that shake your body until you’re weary. I’m about as tired when I wake up as when I go to sleep.

A day at a time, I know that’s the answer. First it was a minute at a time, then an hour at a time.

Just a day at a time. One foot in front of the other one.

I go outside and water and dead head the flowers on automatic. I tend and weed. I mother my garden like I’ve mothered everyone else. Like I mother Charlie.

I have tiny peppers. Everything is growing so fast.

zinnias

For some reason this old Hank Williams song comes to mind…

“I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”

Hear that lonesome whippoorwill
He sounds too blue to fly
The midnight train is whining low
I’m so lonesome I could cry
I’ve never seen a night so long
When time goes crawling by
The moon just went behind the clouds
To hide its face and cry
Did you ever see a robin weep
When leaves began to die?
Like me, he’s lost the will to live
I’m so lonesome I could cry

The silence of a falling star
Lights up a purple sky
And as I wonder where you are
I’m so lonesome I could cry

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43 Comments

  1. I have been a silent follower for a while, but I wanted you to know my heart is breaking for you and Charlie. I don’t care what anyone says, losing a pet is very tough. They are family. I am still not over my little Jack Russell Minnie I had to put down 2 years ago due to cancer. It really hurts and my heart hurts for you.

  2. It is interesting to read the differences between Abi and Charlie. Points out that each pet has its on personality just like friends. Each makes a different contribution to our life and can not be replaced. As life goes on, we add new friends/pets.

    You express your pain beautifully. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Dear Brenda
    Hello – my name is Kathy and I send my deepest and most sincere sympathy regarding your loss. I donot have a blog of my own but found yours about a year ago and so love your take on life, pets, book reviews, etc. I thoroughly love it all! Please take care of yourself and Charlie and know you are both in my prayers.

  4. I’m curious if Charlie tries to comfort you when you cry? My babies get upset when I’m upset and they try to comfort me. Molly licks me….Monkey cuddles me. Lily doesn’t know what’s going on really any more but she used to come over to me and push her head into me (that’s her way of hugging.)

  5. One day at a time Brenda and it will get better. Charlie is a good boy but shows you love and affection in his own way. My Molly isn’t a cuddler either but we are a team and that’s all that matters. Your flowers look beautiful! How is that grandson? One day at a time. Carol and Molly

  6. I think your song words draw a tear to many an eye.

    It is good to talk of your Abi, from the quirky little things she did to every single detail of what made her special to you. We may think of a dog as a simple creature but truth be told they are anything but simple.

    There are few places you can go in life where grief can truly flow but your readership seems highly compassionate, understanding and caring for you. Share your love of Abi with them because it is good for you …and them.

    If I were asked what made my boy so special to me, I could write pages and pages. I fear words would flow non stop and remarkably too given a creature of so called simplicity?

    My song has been certain lines in Through the Years by Kenny Rogers. Lines such as, “I knew I belonged right here with you” and “you turned my life around”.

    I read a line the other day that said, “you left but your forgot to tell my heart how to go on without you”. Yet, in the still of a moment or maybe when I’ve so exhausted myself with grief, despair, tears and yes anger too – I do indeed still hear him.

    In these quiet moments I tell him I love him, I tell him how much I miss him and I ask him to help his pathetic mom who’s heart is shattered in a million pieces.

    Abi will help you too Brenda. Give yourself time and allow the gift of Abi to flow. These experiences are about as real as it gets. Bless you …

  7. So very sorry to read about sweet little Abi, may she rest in peace and be remembered always as the sweet little personality she was.

  8. Your words bring tears to my eyes. I pray that your sorrow is eased. You are a strong brave lady and I know you’ll adapt and deal with this loss but tight now that doesn’t make it any easier. You are on my mind and in my prayers.

  9. Hi Brenda,
    I have enjoyed reading your blog since you started it. I am so sorry about Abi and know how much it hurts. I lost my special girl a few years ago and still miss her every day. Charlie will miss her too and may get depressed. Abi knew how much you loved her. If Charlie isn’t happy being an only dog, Yorkie Rescue can help find him a new friend.
    I am so sorry for your loss of little Abi.

  10. I have lost so many pets down through the years and it is never easy. I even cry over the deaths of one of my chickens. But life would not be the same without them. So, I bury them, remember them and then, one day I get another to love because that is what it’s all about. Love. Your precious Abi gave you so much joy. Grieve over her loss and one day maybe a new furry friend will enter your life and bring you joy once again.

  11. Brenda,

    Be gentle with yourself. I know for me during times of great stress such as loss, I get really cold and cannot get warm. Please take extra care of yourself.

  12. Brenda, it hurts so much to lose a fur baby. They are family and God’s sweet innocent creatures. Part of the grief process is when you feel the need to cry, you must do that. You also have Charlie and he needs you.
    I must say that I love your photos.

  13. One day at a time is all we can do. Be gentle with yourself and Charlie. If you can think of some special treat Charlie likes maybe you could get it for him. Also for yourself. Find some way to pamper yourself. You deserve it. Rest, heal and do only what you feel like doing. Please know you have many in blogland that care.

  14. My heart goes out to you, Brenda. I’m so sorry that you have lost Abi. So sorry that you must travel through all this pain.

  15. I hate coming home after the loss of one of my pets and looking for him in the house. And going to sleep without them around you is bad. My Ziggy is like Charlie, he does not want to be held at all. He will curl up next to me or lie on me but no cuddles. Give Charlie lots of back rubs. Thinking of you dear friend?

  16. My heart breaks for you and your loss of your little girl. I’m so sorry Brenda. Sending hugs to you. One day at a time, yes. The pain is awful but we’d never trade freedom from pain for a life without our babies.

  17. that song always resonates with me. too many losses. too soon.
    and it says exactly how it feels.
    i can still remember Tom Hanks in the movie … Sleepless in Seattle.
    ” you put one foot in front of the other. ”
    xo
    we’re here.

  18. I was afraid to leave my house after Lucy died last October. So much dread of returning to an empty house. I missed my cats the same way. They never failed to greet me at the door when I returned home. After awhile, I prepared myself to ignore that loss at the door and moved on to the coat closet where I hung her leash. For a while, I left my coat on the banister so I didn’t have to open the closet. Finally, I knew I had to put the reminders away in order to stop triggering the pain. It helps in a way for me to do this and helped me move forward. I used to have two dogs and because I still had one dog who needed me and all of those doggie supplies all around the house, I felt like a had that comfort for myself yet I needed to give her comfort for the loss of her buddy. It’s different when there are no more fur babies. This is how I cope. Everyone has their way and process. No matter what, it’s hard.

  19. We’re Charlie and Ability litter mates?
    I’m sure he’s feeling lost and sad too.
    There’s a song,you can pull up on You tube called Knowing What I Know About Heaven by Guy Penrod,please listen to it,it’s a beautiful song and hopefully you will get comfort from it.
    XOXOXOXOXO

  20. I know it’s to early now but in a few months consider another dog to keep you and Charlie company. It will do you both good.

  21. If I could give you one gift, I would fill a large box full of hugs, and send it on to you. Remember we are thinking of you each day, and many many people feel your pain, and LOVE you!!! Bonnie in WI

  22. Brenda, I’m praying in this time of deep sorrow you will feel the sweet presence of God and a peace that passes ALL understanding. The greatest comfort is to be wrapped in His peace. God bless you my friend.

  23. I love that old Hank Williams song and I had forgotten many of the words until reading this post today. Your post today is so expressive and beautiful. You and Charlie are in my thoughts.

  24. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I feel your pain and selfishly, your words make me feel better. Charlie, familiar sounds, you’re patio and flowers-Abi is there.
    She will always be a part of you.

  25. Brenda, I am so sorry. Many of us understand the loss of a beloved family member. Time is the only healer. Hugs!

  26. KNOW THAT YOU ARE LOVED BY MANY AND IN OUR OWN WAY, WE SHARE YOUR TERRIBLE LOSS. I CRY JUST TO THINK OF SWEET ABI, AND CHARLIE WHAT HE’S GOING THROUGH ( dogs do grieve ) AND YOU DEAR SWEET WOMAN. FIND COMFORT WHERE YOU CAN, LET THE TEARS FLOW, AND TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. CHARLIE NEEDS YOU, YOUR PRESENCE ASSURES HIM THAT HE’S LOST, BUT NOT ALONE.
    THANK YOU FOR SHARING !

  27. Hi Brenda
    I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s so hard to lose our animals. They are our children. I’m home most the time so they are such a part of my life in daily living. Thinking and praying for your broken heart. Yes one day at a time. That Hank Williams song is beautiful but so sad…

  28. We had 3 beloved cats die. They all came back afterwards. It seemed like a loving good bye. Death, even for an animal, is not the end. I know that a certain cat sits in heaven as a reward for what he did and was. Do not despair, she may be romping in green fields and playing with friends.

  29. Hi Brenda,
    So very sorry for your loss of little Abi. I know how hard is must be. I will say a prayer for you.
    Give Charlie Boy kisses.

  30. Brenda, you are absolutely right to take it one day at a time. When my Muchen was put to sleep on a Thursday, I did nothing for 4 days, except get up to take my other pups out to the bathroom. I would sob and sleep and let the dogs out the pain was so deep. I felt as if I was dying myself. I wish you peace, and love and hope that you and Charlie find the energy to eat something and to take in the beauty of your garden. Do you know that they say a cardinal is the spirit of your loved one coming to visit. When my Munchen passed one came everyday and sat in the kitchen window, and for month after whenever I was overcome with sadness missing her I would see one, in fact one day one landed on my car when I was crying.

    Take care of yourself friend, we are here for you and Charlie.

    1. Thank you for writing about your love of Abi and how you are coping with her loss. I am reliving the loss of my two dogs, but as I read your blog, I feel better. It does one good to know that we are not alone in experiencing grief and loss.