“I don’t want to talk about it and I especially don’t want to write this post. My heart has been pulled with needle made of bone threaded with infected sinew. Every time I try to breathe I want to vomit. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. I can’t even drink anything. My eyes haven’t stopped burning and my cheeks look like I’ve been in a fight with a bear. And this time he isn’t here to comfort me. He isn’t here to take my pain away by crawling into my lap and snoring until I calm down. Basil Flynn, who was the greatest and most wonderful beagle on the planet — that ever has and ever will live, passed on the 27th of September around 5.45pm, in the undying love of Jack and I; covered in hugs, kind words and lots of snuggles.
We were the three stubborn musketeers and we will be till the very end takes us all.
The apartment is like lonesome coffin where I’m trapped today. It was weird not to take him for a walk this morning. It’s strange for the apartment to be empty of snoring and tiny paw steps. I’ve never liked being left alone in silences because that’s when the thoughts try to drown me, so you can imagine how I must be feeling today when the only noise is a lonely dripping from the bathroom and my heart breaking. I can hear every single thump getting weaker.
Im sat where basil and I would always sit. I walk the same halls, but without him at my feet following me from room to room. He’s not coughing anymore. He’s legs won’t struggle to carry him anymore. He isn’t with us anymore. And I can’t bare it. It’s a comfort to know he won’t lose his mind, he didn’t get a chance to not be Basil and that he now can run and eat as much as he wants. But for me breathing hurts. It’s a struggle worse than all others. This little ball of stubborn perfection, our spirit animal and little inconvenience is gone. Animals can often be a burden, anyone who tells you different is a liar. They get in the way, but they are so worth every minute of irritation, frustration and anger; every single moment for grief after they’re gone. We’ve all butted heads, of course we have — just as we’ve had ‘growing pains’ as Jack likes to call it. However, Basil was a burden I would happily carry for the rest of my life. No matter how much shit he could sometimes caused us or cost us. Realistically I couldn’t have carried him much further, he got heavier and heavier in my arms — but I would always have found a way.
I need him today. I need him tomorrow. And I will need him everyone moment of every day for the rest of my life because he was so much a part of my being, of our lives. He is. I never wanted to live until I met Jack and Basil. The two greatest and most beautiful loves of my life. Sometimes they annoy the crap out of me, just as I annoy them but we’re were and are made for each other.
I don’t where to go from here. I don’t know how to say goodbye to him. It’s just Jack and I against the world now, and it seems a lot more daunting than it did yesterday morning. My heart can’t fathom that the next years of my life — Basil will be gone. He won’t be waiting for me to come home. He won’t kiss me when i’m crying and he won’t be running in the snow or making old man faces at our baby voices. No more falling asleep on the sofa together watching crappy television. No more judging people as the walk by us on our walks because we hate people. No more. .
Now, it’s just me in this empty apartment desperately waiting for Jack to come home.
With my phone off, my laptop closed and staring into nothing. Tears streaming and pouring from me like sand in a never-ending time glass. My nose is running. I haven’t showered. I smell of sweat from nightmares and I don’t remember when I changed my underwear last.
We stayed with him as long as we possibly could. Till the very end and longer. Our vet said some people like to leave and not be there at all because its hard, or at least leave when they have fallen asleep. Never in this life or any other could I fathom leaving any animal to die alone with strangers. Those who leave — I will never understand you and frankly, I don’t want to. It is utterly unforgivable.
We were always going to be with him to the end. Its the only option. No matter how hard it would be. He deserves that and more for everything he has given us. I would happily have carried him all the way, to wherever ever he was going, myself.
Leaving him there the candle lit room almost killed me, but if they’d tried to take him from me I would’ve have defended him with every bone of my being. The only way — was to walk away. I’d brought his favorite blanket from home, but we were obviously taking it back with us. Im sure the vets went in as soon as we left, but I desperately searched for them so I could see he wouldn’t be alone for long. I looked back and saw him lying there as Jack closed the door behind us. It took every thing I had in my body not to turn around and run to him. Our little Basil just looked like he was asleep, the deepest sleep I’ve ever seen. His face looked a little heavier than normal and his lip drooped slightly. Basil’s eyes were completely closed, which they rarely ever have been. He would usually be staring at you even if he was snoring/asleep.
I listened for his missing heart beat, he was gone but I couldn’t see it. My head rested on his ribs with my hands on his back and his stomach.
“Please breathe. Don’t leave us here without you,” my heart screamed.
“We’ll be right behind you buddy,” I whispered.
He didn’t breathe again.
He was gone.
I still can’t in my mind register that he wasn’t just sleeping. Part of me still believes he’s alive and its terrible, because I don’t know where he is. Where did he go? Why was his nose ice cold already? He can’t be “Was” he is supposed to be with us for so many more years. I never truly believed Basil could die. That little fucker was built like a tank, a very food obsessed cuddly funny little tank.
We went by Wally-World on the way home to grab a shower curtain, beef jerky and dr.pepper and to put our minds on something worse than losing Basil. Walmart is good for something. Helping you realize that things can always be Walmart-worse. I saw a huge bag of peanut butter M&Ms — an old go to. Im depressed and devastated and therefore I am allowed to eat like shit without working it off. So I went on the hunt in the sweet section to find a normal sized bag. I couldn’t find anything smaller and I gave up, ready to give up breathing myself. Ready to have a domestic with myself right there. As I turned I looked from the candy isle through the suitcases, bathmats and lamps. Silently weeping as I watched Basil come running to me, his big ears flapping, a big smile on his face and his legs carrying him like a feather. My eyes really started to sting. I could still run back to the Vet. I can run very fast. Maybe I can catch him before he gets put in a freezer or wherever else. He might still be warm. Warming him up could probably wake him up. As long as he knows it’s me.
As I started losing myself I caught Jack’s eye, there he was walking through the rows of cheap furniture. He’d caught me crying in the candy aisle. He started smiling at me; and as I always do when he walks towards me like some kind of Texan Mr.Darcy, I couldn’t help but smile too.
Thank goodness for Jack.
Written on September 28th 2018.
I finally finished Bury My heart at Wounded Knee with my trusty companion by my side, and oh my heart. My poor heart.
Its been on my list for years so i’m happy i got around to reading it, but my goodness the cruelty is insane. Its incredibly well written but its a very hard book for the soul to bare, but all the more reason to give it a go. Sometimes, though life challenges us everyday and we don’t feel that the sun will come out, we must go forward. Ever forward.
Just as we must remember those terrible horrible truths and histories committed, so we do not repeat them. Im grateful for the sanctuary that is found amongst my books, for between those pages i can breathe and hide safely.