When You Left Me
“Yes ma’m, what can I do for yah?”
I need to print 20 “missing” posters.
“Awh bless your little heart sweetie. It’s hard when pets disappear.”
It’s hard when family members disappear.
When you left me, I tried to speak and think for you. I wanted desperately to control the circumstances, to keep you home.
Then I started to bargain. I prayed to religions and deities that I don’t care about.
What a difference from when I was younger and everyone I loved was at arm’s length. Your departure from my life seemed far off and unlikely and almost supernatural.
This is when I could still feel the warmth of your body and the texture of your fur.
This is when you were my anchor and I could wake up to mornings with your paw touching my arm.
I wake up early in the morning and listen for you. I call your name out so that it will not become a word that I used to say.
You are the purest form of love and joy that I’ve ever experienced. You are my child.
Knowing you has kept me from flailing into the world with no concept of unconditional love. And for that, I thought I had plenty of time to repay you. Now I just have this shitty poem that you probably aren’t going to read because you’re a cat.
I understand you had to move on. This is not an existence for boundless joy and harmony. This is an existence for gratitude and acceptance; for pain and solitude.
This is a time where we are required to love and depend on others and to tirelessly face the consequences of this dependence.
When I noticed you licking tears off my face, I knew you were too pure for this life. I didn’t want to say it out loud. I was selfish and held on to your pure soul as much as I could.
Without you, it’s hard. It’s hard to go to sleep alone. It’s not the actual falling asleep that’s difficult. It’s waking up with hope that your absence was just some recurring nightmare and there’s hope that you will be there when I open my eyes. Then the realization and raw emotion hits. Disappointment and grief flow steadily from my chest, throat and stomach all before I crawl out of bed.
I start to develop suspicions that without this genuine and loving connection I might possibly be unloved.
And, finally, I accept it. I smile somehow. I unlearn that love is everything. Sure, it’s a strong force but I’m someone that has been conditioned to be stronger.
I’m able to laugh again.
I learned that God is much more than love.
When you left me, you taught me that God is strength.