It hurts. I feel real physical pain-- a black hole in my center that once was filled with love. Now it is only filled with emptiness.
Sometimes I have sobbed.
Mostly I can't allow myself to just let go and cry, because of allergies and asthma. I get to where I can't breathe. So, most of the time, this great emptiness, this terrible sadness wells up unexpected. I don't get to release. It is what it is.
I'm in the bookstore and tears come. I have to leave. I'm walking by her favorite chair, I feel my gut churn. I wan't to throw the chair out. I cry. The sadness abates momentarily. It touches every part of my life. I chance upon something, anything, (a chopstick, a twig, water) that triggers a thought of her, no matter how far back in time, and I am in the same pain I had the moment she died, the evening of her death, the day after. The traumatic stress that felt like I'd just seen everything precious to me blown to smitherings.
I washed and put away the food dishes. I couldn't stand to look at them. I couldn't let the other cat eat off them. Much of the time my eyes are dry and barren as my heart. I knew I needed time to grieve and not go out and adopt another cat, but Jeffery grieved and wouldn't eat. I got a cat to keep him company, but also chose that cat, based upon the type of cat I wanted and would find compatible with me, in case Jeffery also died. After all, he is 18 years old, skinny as a rail, has problems keeping his food down. Drinks tons of water, cant remember where the food is, constantly asks to go outdoors then come back in. His meow is one of pain. It's not normal.
I put off taking him to the vet. I know what he is going to tell me. It will cost a ton of money to keep Jeffery alive, or half a ton of money to put him to sleep. In either case the reality is that Jeffery suffers. Am I too selfish by wanting to keep him alive as long as possible? How can I really tell when it is time to let go? I didn't know when it was Keli's time! I was in shock when the vet told me it was too late for her, or pay thousands to treat her, but no guarantee she would survive.