Before I start on this blog I want to say something.
My cat, Iggy, died in 2017 during winter. I had known him all my life. The morning he died I was petting him crying. Overnight his soul had really left his body. I had told him I wanted to be there when he died. His body was hanging on to life. That morning my parents came up and got me and told me Iggy was still alive but was like a shell of what he once was. I begged them to let me say goodbye. They, with much arguing, let me. My mother took me down and showed me my beloved cat. He was cold and his eyes were glazed. I couldn’t believe this was the adorable playful Iggy I had grown to love more than many things. Tears had begun to run down my face. I felt hollow inside. Every now and then he would take a gasping breath. I asked my mother if she could leave me with him, and she left with a hug and kiss. I leaned my head down asking for forgiveness for ignoring him and pushing him away. My tears soaked his dirty fur. His heartbeat was faint and I told him it was okay. He could leave. He didn’t need to wait. I don’t know when he left but when I checked for his heartbeat again, it was gone. I ran upstairs telling my parents Iggy had just died. I broke that day.
I don’t think I recovered from that. My first friend had just died in my arms. I don’t think I’m still fully recovered. Recovering from something like that is like building a bridge. It takes a while and even after that the hole is built over. Even having Percy doesn’t quite fill the void that was made after my cat died.
My parents let me stay home from school and asked if I wanted to come to cremate Iggy. I shook my head. That wasn’t Iggy. That was his shell. I brought down one of my baby blankets to be burned with him. My parents let Sam sniff Iggy for him to realize Iggy was gone. Even Sam couldn’t find a good reason to wag his tail that day. I went on my email to tell my friends what happened. They made me laugh. My parents sent my brother to school and let me stay. I cried and cried. I felt as if my organs had been ripped from me. The pain wasn’t the problem, but the emptiness. I couldn’t imagine life without him. I regretted each time I pushed him away. Each time I had ignored his meows for food. Each time I got mad at him for going to the bathroom out of his litter box. I wanted to hear his annoying meows again to wake me up. It hit me then. I would never hear him. I would never see him. I would never pet him.
I’m writing this and I feel like crying. Dang it. Now I am.
I will love Iggy forever. A wise person once said “Grief is just love with no where to go.” I felt that. All the love I had for Iggy was trapped inside until it hurt. I loved my family so much closer. I wanted to be near them. Regretting not going with them to the store. What if that was the last time I saw them? I would regret and hate myself again. I hated myself for pushing Iggy away. What would it be like if I didn’t say “I love you” to my parents before they left and then they never returned? What if, What if, What if? I asked myself these questions all day. I wanted to refuse all food, wanting to just lay there, tears staining my sheets.
There are days where I still want to do that. Usually days where Iggy would be sunning himself, The sun glinting off his fur, his green eyes staring at you.
The thing about grief is that it feels as if you’re drowning in sorrow. I’m sure if my family knew I was writing this, they would’ve taken me to the hospitable. I don’t blame them. I promise you Imma and Abba, I no longer feel this way about anything. I was broken after my cat died, he really was like an older brother. I still miss him, but instead of focusing on the bad things I focus on the good memories of him. Like the memory of me picking him up so much he hissed at me. Ah… Good times.
I’m serious. If anyone starts feeling they way this blog made you feel, get help. Talk to your family. Get a therapist. These thoughts can turn dark and and lead to depression. Anyone if you see a person that is smiling but doesn’t look okay or has a history of being depressed and you see it again, talk to them. Help them. They may not always reach out. So please reach out for them. Talk to them, hang out with them. As I was writing this blog I was shocked I didn’t reach out.