Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Denial / Guilt / Depression

My waves of grief are oscillating between these three stages right now. I don't really feel anger yet, unless you count grief as the by-product of anger turned inwards.

The mornings are especially hard. I miss Parceiro cuddled up next to my stomach. His sweet face and torties would help dissipate my morning grouchiness without fail. I miss him dashing between my legs at feeding time; I noticed that I'd adapted my way of walking and widened my steps almost like a cowboy so that Parceiro could run through my legs without me kicking him or tripping over my own feet.

I am a bit in denial in the sense that I keep expecting to see Parceiro throughout the house. I see the mirage of two hungry cats crouched over the food bowl. I see his presence waiting outside the bathroom door while I have a shower. I keep waiting for him to walk around the corner, or to hear the sound of him sharpening his claws on the wicker furniture.

The guilt mostly revolves around not having made more of an effort to get him on the proper treatment as soon as possible. When his first crystal episode cleared up, I figured he'd be fine. We kept him on the regular food until it was convenient for us to purchase the prescription food in South Africa. We didn't make the effort to cross the border ourselves, and instead relied on friends to try and find the food when they'd go across for work or visa renewals. Finally it was my old boss, Hugh Marlboro, who got Parceiro's food. He only managed to get the C/D, because the S/D - what our boy really needed - had to be special ordered in Nelspruit. Hugh Marlboro got the S/D food finally, and in a terrible irony, we sent our taxi driver Zeca to Matola to pick up the food the morning Parceiro died.

I know we did the best we could with the information and resources we had available. Still, I know that if we'd known how serious Parceiro's condition was (or could have become), Rico and I would have dropped everything to go across the border and find the food he needed.

More than anything, I feel depression and numbness creeping in. I have no appetite, and have lost several pounds since Sunday when this all began. I remember sitting at the new vet's office during one of Parciero's treatments. I was meditating, praying and bargaining with the universe for our baby to get well. At one point I offered up the following deal: if Parceiro gets well, I will stop worrying about my weight and be happy with an extra 5 pounds. I was at the point where I was willing to accept gaining weight - one of my greatest fears and causes of depression in life - in order for our Gato Gray to pull through. Now, I don't even care about my weight loss. It seems so futile in the face of what has happened.

All I want to do these days is watch mindless tv and surf the internet. It helps to be distracted. Blogging helps, too, though every time I read my posts about Parceiro - especially the comments - I start crying again. Having your support is wonderful, but it reminds me that this is all real. I know accepting what has happened and acknowleging your feelings is part of making it through grief, but it hurts so much.


NOLAGringa said...

Oh, Ali, honey, I feel for you!

Please PLEASE don't beat yourself up with guilt. You did the best with what you knew! Parceiro would never blame you, and you can (eventually) focus on what joy y'all brought to each others' lives.

He was so very lucky to have you and Rico - no matter how long the time was.

telfair said...

Ali, Parceiro won the cat lottery when he got you & Rico as parents. You have to think about the beautiful life you gave him while he was here, all of the love and adoration that he reveled in that he otherwise might not have had if things had been different. His life was too short, but it was a great one. He loved, and was loved, and that is all that you can focus on right now.

Stacie said...

Ali, I am so so sorry for your recent nightmare...but again, reiterating what the others are saying, don't beat yourself up about it...he was a very lucky cat to have you two...he knew he was loved and he enjoyed his life. I really believe that nothing can stop death when it is our could have gotten his right food on time, but then he could have run out of the apartment and gotten run over or some other such thing...when it is our time, it just is. Maybe he was moving on so you can rescue another cat? Looking vertically at life is easier then looking horizontally...bigger picture stuff...take care and I am thinking about you...