It’s been three months

I want to talk about him. Zack. Still. Talking about him keeps him alive to me.

The other day, we came across a couple with a little shih tzu named JC. We greeted them and little JC, then they asked us if we have a dog. I said yes. “How old is he?” “14”. Little JC is 2 years old with that adorable and friendly shih tzu charm.

On our way home, I felt bad because I said a lie. Zack’s gone yet I acted as if he wasn’t. The thing is, he’s always ours, our eternally 14 little boy. They don’t need to know that he’s gone. He’s never a heartbeat away from our thoughts anyway. When it’s just hubby and I together, we talk about Zack like he’s alive. Sometimes we pretend that he’s sitting in between us or on our laps like he used to. Because to not do that is to acknowledge that he’s gone and we won’t ever see him again. We’re allowing ourselves all sorts of idiosyncratic ways to deal with our grief. After all, fourteen years is not something to be taken lightly.

Last weekend, I met some new people and this girl, for some bizarre reason, sang “You are My Sunshine” to me. I was taken aback. Then I thought maybe it was fate’s way of sending a message from Zack.

Some days, I think the worst is over. I try to think that what happened is a blessing in disguise. Losing someone you love will be replaced by something major, right? Then I wait. What would the replacement be? I can’t imagine what it’ll be because Zack wasn’t like a material possession to me. I wonder if the replacement is another dog, which I’m nowhere near ready for. We’ve had our third puppy offer, a husky. We declined, of course. Neither one of us is ready for a puppy. The little pup is too adorable to be second-best, and we don’t want to be half-ass furbaby parents. She deserves a loving home where she’ll be the superstar. She deserves 100%, nothing less.

Evenings are still tough. I lie awake at night, unable to sleep until it’s nearly morning, but at least when I do fall asleep, I sleep longer. I’ve gained weight in the past months, so the current goal is to go back to my regular weight. We’ve been walking 3 miles sporadically, and going to take up biking and badminton again soon. Zack loved walking so much. I always said that he walks us, not vice-versa. Just to make sure we exercise.

Three months later, I keep on keeping on. Making my life, my decisions mean something because of and despite of the loss. Trying to quell the what-ifs, focusing on the what-is.  He wouldn’t want us to be sad and unhappy. So I’m trying my best to go out there and grab life by the scruff of its neck. Or at the very least, just to go out there and enjoy life.

 

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That brown butterfly

I saw a brown butterfly yesterday morning.

The moment I stepped out of the front door, a brown butterfly flitted right in front of me then flew to the garden. When I looked at it, it perched at a tree branch and stopped flapping its wings. It looked like the brown butterfly I saw awhile back (as mentioned in my post, It’s been two months). It stopped moving the way I remembered it, like it was paying serious attention to what I was doing. I just stared at it in wonder.

Now what’s the big deal about this butterfly?

I celebrated my birthday last Monday until the next day. On Tuesday night before I fell asleep, I wondered how my birthday came and went, but I didn’t dream of Zack or experience anything related to him.

Until yesterday morning.

The thing is, I wasn’t in the mood to celebrate my birthday last Monday. Before I slept on Sunday night, I turned off my phone and went to bed before midnight. I woke up around 8AM and didn’t leave the bed until 10-10:30AM. I hid under the blanket for the most part, while checking my phone and FB. It was pretty amazing at how many birthday greets I received this year. I spent time thanking each person, then eventually hauled myself out of the bed. The Birthday Gal had a lunch date with her family. It actually ended up great, though my mom took a stolen shot of me where I was just staring blankly into space. That picture captured so much. When we got home, I went under the blanket again and fell asleep. Before dinner, my VFF messaged. He wanted to meet up, so we did. The three of us were out till past midnight, plotting future travel.

When we got home, I confessed to my husband how much I missed Zack on my birthday. I was sad and upset that he wasn’t around, although I understand it’s all for the best. Pets might depend on you for everything, but in return, they give you everything they have and more. With people, they can change their minds and decide one day that they don’t love you anymore. They can ignore you and break your heart without hesitation, no matter how much you love them.

That’s why seeing that brown butterfly yesterday morning meant the world to me. It’s a reminder that even if he’s not physically around, his love remains. So few things in this world are unchanging.

Put the pieces back somehow

The past few days, I’ve been thinking of how heartbroken I’ve been with Zack’s passing. Of course, I am – he’s my little baby. That doesn’t change even if he’s no longer physically around. He’s embedded in my heart in a way only other furbaby parents can relate to.

brokenheartLately, I’ve been figuring out how to put my heart back together. It’s not an easy task, I know.

But at least Zack’s unconditional love was lesson enough that I’m enough just the way I am. I don’t need to be everything to everyone. I don’t need to give more than what I can offer. I’m worthy of love just because.

Yet I want the people who love me and who I love in return to be active in my life. I have no idea how to accomplish that though. I’m not rushing through my grief, but it would be nice to feel something else than the confusing ups and downs of grief.

Here’s hoping! *fingers crossed*