Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Our New Normal

last picture together December 4, 2016
It's been a little over a week since we had Kirby put to sleep. We are still trying to adjust to our new normal. I knew that Jim would have a hard time because Kirby was his little buddy - they had a mutual love affair going on. I loved Kirby as well, and I know he loved me, too. But I played second fiddle if Jim was around, despite me being the one who was in the house with Kirby all day. But I underestimated how much I would miss the little guy. Everything in the house reminds me of him, especially when I am cooking. I got the can opener out to open some tomatoes. He would have dashed to my side, hoping I was preparing some tuna or canned chicken. The cutting board? He was always right there in the hopes that I was cutting up ham or chicken. It will be a long time before I can buy ham at the deli, as that is what I wrapped all of his pills in so that he would eat them. And I don't think Jim or I will be able to eat a hard boiled egg for quite a while. Kirby loved those, and he and Jim shared one each morning.

Last Wednesday the trash bins did not get rolled back to the house because I always grabbed them after our afternoon walk. And the W-K Times didn't get picked up Friday morning because Jim and Kirby would get it after their morning walk. We both find ourselves leaving a last bite of meat on our plates because we would save Kirby a treat each meal.

Friday I came home to a message on the answering machine from the emergency clinic with "some information about Kirby". I almost didn't return the call, but I knew it would be hard for Jim to do it as well so I just got it over with. As I suspected, they wanted to let us know that Kirby's ashes were ready to be picked up. Jim had requested that he be cremated. I confirmed that they would hold the ashes until we were ready to come and get them. When is one ever ready for that? I am still traumatized over my dad making me go to the vet to pick up the collar and leash of our German Shepherd after he died on the operating table when I was in college.

But Jim was out yesterday afternoon, so he did stop and pick up the remains and settled our bill. He said it was terrible. He felt the eyes of the other pet owners on him as they sat in the waiting room with their pets on a leash while his was in a box. When he got home, he told me not to freak out, but that Kirby was in his favorite spot. I peered into the conservatory, and sure enough Jim had set the box on the couch where Kirby had spent most of his time. He loved sitting in the corner of that couch (or on top of the cushion) so that he could watch for Beloved (as I referred to Jim) come home from work. It was a jolt to see the box in his corner. One surprise is that the emergency clinic had made a cast of Kirby's foot to give to us. It was a nice gesture that I am sure we will appreciate at some point. For right now it is another reminder of what we are missing.
all that remains
We received sympathy cards from our new vet as well as the emergency clinic. A couple of friends have sent cards as well. My Facebook post about Kirby's death received over 100 comments in addition to all the emoticons people tagged on it. It is comforting to know that he touched so many people in his ten years with us. I know that we gave him a great life, and he in turn graced us with much love and happiness. But right now our new normal doesn't feel very normal at all.


Mrs. Wryly said...

Ohhh.... those are all the familiar places your heart will see him for quite a while. It is your tribute to the little guy that he is missed so much. Brings tears to my eyes.... Hard to let go.

Anonymous said...

After the pet cremation seattle wa I started to feel the pain and like you I'm trying to be normal and I know life must go on without our beloved pets. By the way, thank you for sharing.