Feb 19, 2009

I can't believe...

how much life changes in a year. One year ago I was sleeping on the bathroom floor with Chester for the very last time. One year ago tomorrow I drove that long and lonely drive to the vet with Chester where I had to say my final good-byes and I was hoping that putting him down would give him comfort from his pain. One year ago I came home alone, to live by myself for the first time in 17 years.

I don't think that I have actually shared this before, but what the hell...I have told you other random things. I felt completely empty and alone during that week after his death and before I brought his ashes home. I had always promised him that I would spread his ashes outside, because he had been an inside cat all of his life. He would look outside in awe...like he wondered what was really out in that crazy world. The night I brought his ashes home I sat on the floor crying because he was home and he was gone all at the same time. And right in that moment...something brushed my neck...just like Chester use to do. It freaked me out and I was embarrassed to share but sure that he was in my house again. A couple of nights later I was in the basement doing laundry and something brushed against my legs...but nothing I could see. That was the last time I had that experience. I think that the was the last time we were in the same house.

I only shared that story with a few people in my life. People I loved, people I trusted. And when I shared that experience with my parents they responded in such a surprising way. They looked at each other in surprise and shared that my mom had felt him crawl up on her bed in the middle of the night just a few days prior. She moved over to make room for him on her pillow...she said she felt her pillow deflate like it would if he was sleeping next to her. And in disbelief she whispered to my dad that Chester had crawled on the bed and was sleeping next to her. My dad whispered back...I know...I felt him earlier.

I'm sure some of you are reading this thinking that I might have snapped and lost my mind. But I really am a logic driven person who knows that these experiences were real, not something that I created in my imagination. Keeping his ashes around was to comfort me, but now it's time to let them go and honor my promise. So I will let him free to go outside finally.

One year ago I couldn't imagine loving another animal. One year ago I didn't know if I would feel less empty and alone. One year later I have Fred who has reminded me I can love. One year later I still miss Chester. One year later...I'm not as alone or empty. But for tonight and maybe tomorrow...I am just going to love Chester and say I miss him.

12 comments:

WendyB said...

Chester was a pretty kitty. XOXO

Keeper Of All Things said...

Cute cat.

MB said...

Chester was the best. I miss him, too.

Gwen said...

That is a very cool story. RIP, Chester, you were loved a lot.

This Mom said...

It's not fair how heartbreaking it is to lose a pet. You have written a beautiful story about your much loved Chester. Thank you for sharing it.

Shawn said...

Oh my gosh, I have never had to live so long with a cat---we always moved and had to give them away or they ran away, etc.

But now my cat is going on 12 years old and I am wondering how much longer I have.

I worry that it won't be long enough...

us 2 said...

i beleive chester was coming by to tell u that he misses u and loves u...i beleive in that kind of stuff...you are not crazy....u are wonderful ........k

R said...

What a great post my friend. I am so sorry about Chester...a year goes by so quickly and next thing you know it's just time... anyway... I will send yousome positive energy. Sorry i didn't get this until now since i was gone out of the country. Hope we can catch up soon! hugs to you and your memories of chester and of course to fred now.

Suze said...

I can't believe it's been a year already. At least now you can think of Chester without hurting so much.

Stacey said...

how sweet, i totally believe it... those things happen to me too. how beautiful x

Catherine said...

I once knew a cat named Chester - he was a good kitty too. Bye Chester (again, still), you're not forgotten!

AJ's mommy said...

ahhhhhhhhhhh Chester was adorable. I am so sorry for your loss and I am sure after a year it is still very hard!