Gracie was my first CockerSpaniel & originally belonged to my mother before she left us.
I felt like I should post this here, because one of the things I need to do is start grieving properly for everyone I've lost in the past year & a half. Gracie, Snowball (cat), Duke Senior (my sister's dog), my Grandmother (Dad's Mom), & my brother Mark. I tend to hold things in, to take care of others & cry secretly in my room, or worse not acknowledge my pain at all. I know that part of healing m;yself is acknowledging all this pain I've been carrying. I originally posted this on Myspace, but noone read it there. I wanted this to be public, to help others, because that's usually how I help myself, by helping others.
Originally Posted: Monday, March 09, 2009
Written: aprox 6 days after my Doggie Daughter Gracie died.
Category: Writing and Poetry
So it's been 6 days, almost one full week. I still don't know whether I'm coming or going. My Doggie daughter (Gracie Marie) is gone, and I still don't know. I can listen to "Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces" even though I played it while my sister and I washed her off and brushed out her fur and cut the mats out. I can hear it and usually be okay while hearing it. I can't decide what to eat though. I can't decide if I'm hungry or not hungry. Sick or not sick. I can't stand at the sink brushing my teeth without having someone to talk to and not remember the way her paws clutched at me in the throws of death. I can't stand to be alone to long but I can't stand to be around most people either. I can't stand being in this house without her in it, but I can't stand leaving this house because she's buried outside and I don't want to leave her alone. She's not alone since her body is all that remains and her spirit is at home on the other side, but I still can't stand to leave her alone. I can't remember anything but I can't forget her last 40 minutes of life, some of it spent arguing with Dad over stupid money I couldn't find to take her to the vet that seems so irrelevant now and was such a waste of time! I was going to get her to the vet, going to help her but she died before I could. I hear her panting, feel her heart racing beneath my palm. I remember patting her and feel her fur and hear her struggling to breathe. She tried to go potty but couldn't. Dad tried to get her to drink water but she couldn't. I tried to save her but I couldn't. It was just like that. I was watching L&O SVU: "Rage" & then my sister is saying:
"We think Grace's dying!" She's crying & I'm asking
"Why? Where is she?"
When I get out there, their all sitting around her on the flor, on the couches & their crying or alternately acting calm. They aren't even doing anything! Their just sitting there, so I sit and reach out for her. My mother nudges her forward and I take hold of her, start patting her and trying to calm her down. I say
"Call the vet."
They ask for the number and I give it. They call, ask me how old she is and for once, I hear myself giving the correct answer:
Usually I screw up and say she's five. In my mind, Gracie is five, was always five. She never grew older, never changed. She just didn't, couldn't, wouldn't. But she did. I was worried about what it would be like for her to go blind since she was a Cocker Spaniel. Little did I realize that her heart murmur would take her first.
I feel her spirit pushing me forward, hear that long breath. The one that seemed to take almost a full minute, and then there was no more panting. I thought that was it, but she kept fighting. She kept taking small breaths, inhale stop. Exhale stop. Inhale stop. Exhale stop. She should have died at 4:15 but fought like hell for another 20 minutes. It was 4:35 when she finally gave up. I can feel the couple of times her head seemed to spin completely around. It jerked and brushed the side of my face as I held her tight. I can feel her front paws clutching at me and remember that sound her head made as it moved like that. I can feel the jerking and hear the breathing. I was doing things before for the most part, but now I'm home and we went shopping but couldn't stay gone. It's 2AM and I'm sitting here typing now. I'm sick and trying to hold in all my tears. It seems like their endless. I remember wanting to hit Mom because she new Grace was gone but she said:
"Lisa, c'mon. Maybe it's just the flu and she's really sick and we'll take her to the vet and she'll be alright! They'll help her!"
Then she started crying. I was stuck with her and Becca & Eddie and Dad, Bella and Cymmy kept coming into the living room to investigate. It was like a fucking circus and I just wanted to hit them all! I wanted to run into my room and lay on the bed with her in my arms and never let go. I wanted to take her away where I could keep her all to myself, didn't have to let anyone else see or touch or take care of her. I wanted it just to be us! Her and I and noone else! I remember Dad saying we should take her outside. He opened the door and I set her down on the porch. He walked out and closed the door and I put on my shoes and coat and was gone out to the porch to. He said she didn't look well at all and I picked her up and held her. I kept saying everything would be okay. We went back in and she had had her first spasm outside. I knew she was leaving but I couldn't let her. I wanted her to stay with me! I wanted her here but I did finally tell her to let go. She still kept fighting and I had to say it again. I could bearly get the words out. It was like my entire throat closed up and I couldn't breathe let alone speak. Then there was mom calling her sister and me phoning Holly and the other mother. There was brushing and petting and holding. I asked Becca if she thought Mom would make our BLTs we'd been planning for dinner, I just felt like we were supposed to keep moving. 6 days later, I'm still trying to move. It's like everything is still in slow motion. I eat because I'm "supposed to". I talk to slow and swallow to fast and don't chew at all. Nothing's real but everything's to real and I feel nothing and everything. I cry and then I'm "fine" but not really. Fine just means not crying. Crying means not fine. Food is ok or bad. Ok means "good" and bad means "not tasting, not feeling textures". I'm either comfortable "not cold" or uncomfortable "freezing from the inside out." Music doesn't even help any more. I sing and I talk to people and I type (some) and I check my youtube account, but I don't really do anything. I'm watching myself do everything. My brain is overloaded with images of Grace. Like a friend said,
"You want to focus not on the bad memories that make you cry, but on the good memories that make you cry."
She's right, everything makes me cry. Seeing Duke and Snowball and Tigger and KittyKitty and Belle and Carmel makes me cry. If I'm not near them, that makes me cry to.
I keep thinking I should have made it to the vet, should have saved her. She lived a good life but I still should have helped. I can feel her body in my arms, she was warm because I kept her that way. I held her almost every second that we weren't brushing her. If I wasn't holding her I was lying curled up around her. No reason to protect her in death but that's what I was doing. My arms don't ache anymore , neither to my legs from standing with her so long. Now the only things that ache are my heart and soul, both things that are intangible. I can hear my sister saying ew and cringing when I moved her body and blood came out of her mouth and nose. I can see her lying on the floor and hear her boyfriend telling her to get up and hear her saying that she doesn't want to. It should have been me on the floor but it couldn't be me because I had to take care of Gracie. She needed me and I couldn't fumble the ball, I had to help her, but I did fumble the ball because she isn't here. All I have left of my baby daughter is a collar! A collar and to many memories that I can't live with or without! A collar that smells like her and animals all around me who belong to others, to remind me that I'm not owned anymore, that I don't belong to a pet anymore. Animals that simultaneously comfort and discomfort me. Animals that simultaneously love me and torment me just by their existence.
It was suggested that maybe if I could figure out why Grace was put here I could figure out why I was here. In other words, why I was supposed to go on without her. I think she was here to teach me independence. I remember my parents saying that I could take her for walks. There was my incentive to gain more independence and stop being such a chicken shit! My words not theirs. But I didn't take her for walks, I didn't hold her as much as I should have or play with her as much as I should have or value her as much as I should have or even realize just how much I loved her! I didn't brush her as much as I should have or cut out the mats from her fur as much as I should have, and although none of those things would have stopped her from dying when it was her time they still plague me. Their glaring inadequacies on my part and now I have no way to remedy them because she's gone. She loves me unconditionally still, I feel her here, but I don't love me unconditionally and now everything I should have done or didn't do haunts me. I shouldn't have let her drink out of the toilet even though Dad thought it was a great idea. I shouldn't have spanked her so hard that she cried out the day she bit Bella's ear and I shouldn't have tossed her away from me the day she bit me after I spanked her for biting Becca. All these things I shouldn't have done and even though I apologized for them and she forgave me I can't forgive me now that she's gone and I feel like I have to apologize for them over and over again. I feel like I have to make her understand just how sorry I really am and that I didn't mean to treat her the way she was treated before she came to me. She was abused before, we got her from the animal shelter and I never meant to do that to her again. I wanted to make her life better and pamper and protect her and keep her in the lap of luxury like she deserved. I feel her pushing me to move on but I don't want to. I want to go outside and lay on her grave forever, to just freeze to death and feel nothing. I want to crawl out of my skin and run and run and run until this is all over and I can't feel or remember any of it anymore. I want to forget everything and remember everything and keep busy and not move at all. I want to go back to Friday and apologize for sitting on her paws accidentally when I went to check the answering machine and she was laying in her usual spot at the end of the couch. I want to hold her all day long and give her the bath I was supposed to give her and let her know how much I love her! I want her back!!
Please stay my Gracie, my baby, please stay!!!
Gracie Marie Medina
Best Doggie Daughter of them all!
Original birthdate unnone.
First birthday with us 4/11/02.
Died Friday 1/23/09 4:35PM.
Mommy misses you baby!