I don’t often write about upsetting things. I try to keep things upbeat, you know?
But today? Today is the three-year anniversary of what started The Year of The Great Sadness. From 9/19/15 to 12/31/16, I lost 22 loved ones. The first one was Teddy.
I love all of my pets, including the ones who are no longer with us. I do rescue work. I even love other people’s pets!
Teddy was different. With Teddy, there was a different kind of bond … immediate and hard. And that bond went both ways. Three years ago today, my little two-year-old kitty, with his visual impairment and respiratory challenges, left us unexpectedly and too soon.
I know that what I’m experiencing is a normal anniversary response. I know, because I went to a grief counselor in the wake of The Year of The Great Sadness and she was very helpful. Cumulative grief is a complicated and bitter pill to swallow.
Teddy no longer has to swallow the medicines he hated. He no longer has to spend time in an oxygen tent. His health issues inspired me to become a Reiki master and to learn more about animal communication. His passing made me revisit the manuscript for what became Hugs and Hisses: My Mission of Love as a Shelter Volunteer, and finally get it out into the world. He is my special angel.
But he is also no longer here to play “Teddy Surprise!” with the other cats, whom he could hear coming long before they could see him and then leap out of doorways to pounce on them. He is no longer here to snuggle on my lap, or to look at me through his wise, nearly-blind eyes in that lion-like face with tremendous love.
That’s why today is hard.