It's been a rough month. For all the posting I did in April, the words were not flowing in May. I was in survival mode, one day at a time. Things are changing, just not in the way I anticipated, and Im not ready to process yet. Hence the lack of writing.
Yet amidst all the chaos, the one bright light in my life has been Lilly. My stubborn, strong-willed, beautiful little bunny who had beat the odds and survived. Its amazing how therapeutic she could be (even while being a royal pain in my ass). No matter what crap might come at me at work, home, or in my personal life, I always had a warm bunny to come snuggle with, sometimes even with her consent.
But last night right around 9 pm, my precious baby was finally given peace from her pain, and she breathed her last.
|Taken a few weeks ago when her health seemed to be at its prime|
I won't burden you with the details, but suffice to say in about a 24 hour time span she went from seemingly normal to deathly ill. We were actually waiting at the vet's office when she passed. I sat next to her cage in my car simply stroking her, calming her shudders and whimpers, and telling her I loved her. In those moments she continued to raise her head so she could see me, and although I knew she was in pain, my very presence seemed to relax her. It was truly one of the most heartbreaking moments of my life, but yet one of the sweetest. I had peace, I knew it was time, and my only regret was that I couldn't save her from that pain. I had already made up my mind to ask the vet to humanely put her out of her misery, but similar to when my dog passed I am blessed to not have been forced to make that decision. She went on her terms, and I know in my heart that I did everything I could for her.
It has been a true rollercoaster of emotions since then. Even though it was late at night I knew i had to get home so we could bury her. The adrenaline had kicked in, and after calming down at the vet's office (I can't say enough amazing things about Country Club Animal Hospital if you live in the Miami area), I got in my car and headed back to my apartment. I needed her cage gone, walking in to an empty room would be so much easier than seeing her empty cage. I packed up all of her belongings into the car, grabbed a few necessities, and hopped on the road. It was a 3 hour drive, and one I won't ever forget, but bearable thanks to my parents and my best friend Sarah, who stayed on the phone with me for hours letting me cry, offering me sympathies, and then distracting me whenever she could. Everyone should be lucky enough to have a friend like her in their life.
When I got home my parents had everything set up, my dad even drove home from a retreat to dig the grave for me (people should also be so lucky as to have the amazing parents I do). We buried her quickly and I promptly went upstairs and passed out. Today has been filled with a therapeutic trip to the beach, picking out a marker for her grave stone, cleaning her cage/belongings so they can be stored, spending half an hour frantically running around through the woods looking for my parents cat after she snuck out (seriously Lucy, the day after I lost my bunny is NOT the ideal time for you to decide you need an adventure), freaking out trying to figure out how I was going to tell my parents i lost their pet after they were so great with mine, relief/anger when we finally found her and got her inside, a harrowing trip back to Miami in the worst rain I've driven through in a very long time, and then a night out with friends celebrating a birthday.
And then I came home, to the now empty wall across from my bed.
Maybe I was putting it off, maybe it was truly just coincidence that it took this long to get here, but I knew coming home to the empty room would make it real in a whole new way.
Lilly has been home for me for a very long time.
I've said for years I dont have a 'home'. Given that I have moved so often, it's hard to pinpoint a location that feels safe and secure Even now, my current apartment doesn't feel like home. My parents have also moved quite a bit in the past few years, so while simply being with them is 'home' to a certain degree, it's not the same.
But Lilly has been home. Through all the moves, through all the changes, through all the different houses and cities, she has been my constant. While friends may come and go, she was always there. Through all my heartbreaks (relational, professional, circumstantial) she was there. No matter what happened at work, or with friends, or with whatever jerk of a guy I was dating, I knew I could come home to her. She'd always greet me with an irritated stomp, as if to say "There you are, how dare you leave me, don't you know I need more food?!", before wanting to have her ears rubbed. Every morning I would wake up and see her looking over at me, waiting for the first signs I was up. During the years I lived alone, she was there for me to talk to, a warm living being to say hello and goodbye to as I came and went.
She was mine and I was hers. It sounds cliche, but it was true. She was truly my companion and I was hers. Lest you doubt that, she would be quick to show your her possessive side if someone (particularly another animal) tried to mess with her human.
Yes she was stubborn, yes she was determined to get her way, but she also loved in me in a pure and unadulterated way that few humans can emulate.
|2010- too impatient to wait the extra 30 seconds to get her food in the cage.|
Life has been rough over the past few months, and for a lot of reasons beyond what has shown up on this blog. While many are still not topics I can comfortably share to an unrestricted audience, I CAN now open up that my grandfather has been diagnosed with lymphoma. It's been a very long process/ordeal and almost seven weeks after he started getting sick we finally have a doctor that is making progress. Yet with most of the family living elsewhere, much of the burden of care falls on me. I don't begrudge it. I love my grandfather, and this is what you do for family, but it's very easy to believe the lie that I am alone in this. I have quite often had to fight the feeling that i am truly isoalted is this vast and impersonal city, and I am scared going forward as there are so many changes on the horizon that I can't begin to process any of them, let alone process facing them without my stubborn, fluffy security blanket.
So Im leaning on God, begging him for his peace, thanking him for making her suffering quick, praising him for the miracle of two more months with bunny cuddles and kisses, and praying that he will continue to provide new means of comfort and support.
But that's all in the tomorrow. For tonight, I am not beating myself up, I am not tearing myself down for being broken hearted. For tonight, I am staring at the empty wall and mourning the loss of my best friend.
|An artistic rendition of the previous photo, created by my best friend Sarah|