stephbg: I made this! (cat herder)

A few days after my last post about Cally, and as she came down after her latest dose of Tramal, it became clear that her time had come. The signs were many, but in essence she was going to be back in pain and discomfort for at least another couple of days before I could give her more pain relief. And the nature of that pain relief was making her treatment look more and more like the jerking of a puppet. Her eyes said no more. Her whiskers said no more. It was time.

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stephbg: I made this! (cat herder)

Cally's final appointment made with Dr Laura tomorrow at 10:15am. Second of its type in under a month. Third in under 18 months. Fuck. Thanks everyone for your kind words over on FB.

Cally herself has made the timing of the decision relatively easy - she's had enough. I'm a wreck, even more so than for the others. She's been a huge part of my life for 20 years, and I've always been her one and only human. 20 years! I've spent more time with her than with any person, Husband included. She's drawn significantly more of my blood than Husband has too. People started telling me to prepare for her loss seven years ago when she was a mere 14. Suddenly I find I'm not prepared at all.

stephbg: I made this! (cat herder)

Unless you are very unfortunate, the death of someone you know always comes as a shock. It's not always a surprise, but it's generally a shock. In the last week I've heard of two deaths by suicide, not by people close to me personally, but close enough to have stirred many thoughts. This post is in the service of those thoughts, which are unlikely to be organised but I need to get them out of my head.

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stephbg: I made this! (cat herder)

Princess Twinkle Toes is no more.

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stephbg: I made this! (cat herder)

I’m not sure I’ll ever have the energy to do a eulogy for Pumpkin any kind of justice, so this will have to do for now.

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stephbg: I made this! (cat herder)

A week ago I sent my beloved Pumpkin into oblivion. There are many things I’d like to say about him, but I also need to unpack what it was like to end a life. (Triggers, obviously.)

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stephbg: I made this! (cat herder)
A short note for those not on other social media networks: Pumpkin was put to sleep today (Monday).
stephbg: I made this! (Default)
Picking up on Pumpkin's progress after the most recent post here.

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stephbg: I made this! (Default)
Had an off-schedule^ visit to the shrink Dr T today, because Things have been Bad.

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stephbg: I made this! (Default)
Today I attended the memorial service for my friend Mikey O'Brien who was cruelly taken by cancer last week at the age of 42.

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stephbg: I made this! (Default)
Pumpkin has a fleshy lump on his chin, which he's had for many years. When I first showed it to the vet he/she (it's that long ago) delivered the usual lump advice and said not to worry about it unless it started to grow suddenly.

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stephbg: I made this! (Default)
A friendly word of advice to the world at large and the tiny cowering remains of my core personality and identity: I am experiencing a bout of Clinical Depression.

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stephbg: I made this! (Default)
This post includes my part of the eulogy for Dad spoken at his funeral today (formatted for speech rather than text). There are others to come, and many tributes from friends and colleagues to be recorded here. It was a good service, with about 120 attending and many more apologies. It was standing room only at the chapel.

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stephbg: I made this! (Default)
Hello world. I haven't been posting much here because I've been ill with the kind of joy-sapping virus that saps one's joy. And creativity it would seem.

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stephbg: I made this! (Default)
Yesterday was my 41st birthday which was celebrated quietly but happily. Today is a sadder anniversary; three years ago I lost Big Brother to cancer.

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stephbg: I made this! (Default)
Darkness of the variety "the sun is on the other side of the planet" rather than the less attractive options of sightlessness, or deep depression. I'm up at 2am so I'll just ramble for a bit and see what comes out.

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stephbg: I made this! (Default)
It's been a busy week. Yesterday I turned 40, and discovered a whole new world. I'm a believer in rites of passage, and I feel I have come through the other side as someone not different than before, but someone full of new possibilities.

Today was the second anniversary of the loss of my brother Dave. It also felt like a rite of passage of sorts. Husband took me to the beach so I could have a quite moment of reflection. The beach was a special place to Dave. Maybe he felt he was part seagull; he certainly liked to steal other people's chips :-)

I write to you my friends as I wrote to my family:

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stephbg: I made this! (Default)
In 12 days time it will be the second anniversary of my brother's death. So much time and yet so little, but I remember hearing somewhere that it takes two years to properly process grief. I believe I've done that now, and yet I can still be surprised. At least now the surprises are not the shocks they used to be, and I suppose that's as good a measure of recovery as any.

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stephbg: I made this! (Default)
Society expects a lot of one; that's pretty much the whole point of society. In the case of my society this includes the expectation that the idea of reaching the age of 40 is to be greeted with horror (particularly by females). One must have a to-do list for each milestone. Everyone is expected to reach 40 or 50, with 60 being not unreasonable, 70 quite likely, and 80 a reasonable achievement.

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RIP Mollie

Jun. 27th, 2010 01:16 am
stephbg: I made this! (Default)
On Saturday morning I learned of the death of my Aunt Mollie, who was married to my mother's brother Uncle Mike for 49 years. I've delayed this post to give the news the time to travel.

There was something I didn't get the chance to do before she left us, a task written on a yellow post-it note next to my laptop these last few weeks:



"Write to Mollie" the note says. We didn't usually correspond directly, but I know from experience that newsy letters from friends and family can provide some comfort and distraction to the seriously ill in hospital. News travelled back and forth, but filtered through Mum and her brother and sister and was a step removed. It wasn't to be a farewell letter, just a bring-you-up-to-speed note about my branch of the family. Little things that might not have made it onto the family news desk. I have some regrets that I didn't get to send that letter, but she was in and out so often I didn't really believe that the clock was ticking with any particular urgency, that the time was upon us.

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