Just This Side of Heaven is a Place Called Rainbow Bridge

  Let's see if I can get through this without crying (doubt it) but damn it, my make up looks really good right now, and I honestly don't want to mess it up! I've already had a good cry once today, I am ready to be done with crying to be honest. It is what it is...all part of the grieving process, I know. I just want to feel better.

  This last month have been extremely emotional as most of you already know. Five days after my car accident, I took Bruizer in to have his two front paws declawed & get him updated with his shots as we were getting ready to move up to Indiana. Bruizer still couldn't control his claws well at the time, and this was the best option since my mom has very nice furniture & two other cats who are declawed. Bruizer of course hated the whole car ride, peed in his carrier (thank goodness I was prepared and had the car lined with towels!) and when I got him in, he was still anxious but okay. I filled out the paper work, gave him a kiss, told him I loved him & that I would see him in a couple days. A couple of hours later, as I was opening the video store, I get a call from the vet. After the surgery, Bruizer had a heart attack. He stopped breathing, but they revived him, and he was in an oxygen room to assist his breathing. I was a wreck all day. I kept my composure the best I could. I just kept praying to God not to take Bruizer. He's my buddy & I needed him. The vet called me every few hours for progress reports. Things were looking up, but we were not out of the woods yet. He was breathing on his own, but the real test was when the anesthesia wore off. We would know in the morning.
  I cried myself to sleep that night because I was so scared to lose Bruizer. I honestly felt my heart wouldn't be able to handle this loss. I just lost my car, got my butt kicked in this car accident, and now the one thing that has kept me sane through my emotional life roller coaster this past year may leave me too. I cried all morning getting ready for work, and with each passing minute that I knew the vet was in the office, but hasn't called meant it could be bad. Sadly, I was right.
  As I got ready to open the video store Thursday May 2nd, I get a call from the vet. Bruizer didn't do well once the anesthesia wore off...he stopped breathing, they revived, and it resulted in brain damage. He couldn't even stand without assistance. He was no longer my Bruizer Bear...the crazy cat with so much life and love. I had a decision to make. I either let him go, or try to help him recover. In some cases, cats have been able to bounce back, but most cases they weren't. I was devastated. I called my mother, keeled over the counter at work barely able to breathe or control my crying. I was to head to the vet after my shift at work to make the most difficult decision of my life. I knew what I had to do, and my heart was so broken. Why was this happening to me is all I could ask God. Why am I being put through so much at once? I don't think I can survive this much stress. All I could ask was for God to give me strength to not lose my mind.
  I was getting to the vet as quickly as possible. I was 10 minutes away when I got a call from the vet. Bruizer started having seizures, and he was not responding to the treatment to get him to stop. The vet went ahead and put him down so that he wouldn't suffer. I was so angry with God. Why couldn't I have been able to hug him one last time, and let him hear me tell him how much I loved him and how much he means to me. Why couldn't I say goodbye? Why did he have to be taken away from me like this when I needed him so much? I went to the vet, and she was amazing. The conclusion was, he had an allergic reaction to the anesthesia they used. There was no test or anything I could've done to prevent this. This was just a freak of nature. She brought Bruizer, and I just held him and cried. All I could do was say "I love you" and "I'm so sorry" The vet held me and cried with me. The hardest thing was walking out of that office because that was my final farewell. I have been an on and off wreck ever since.
  I am truly blessed to have good people in my life. I went to my State Farm's office to work on my claim, and my friend Leslie who is also the office manager just let me cry & hugged me. My friend Kimberly came over with dinner & helped pack/throw away any of Bruizer's belongings like his food dishes and litter boxes. She packed up his toys, and let me cry. Megan, who watched Bruizer while I was away was there for me whenever I needed her. She kept me company, went out for dinner or something fun, and just listened to me and let me be a hot mess. God blessed me with such a good friend in Megan. I am thankful we met because we helped keep each other sane when our lives seemed to be unraveling.
  A little over a week after Bruizer died, I was headed home for good. I am so glad to be home, especially after how the last couple of weeks in Paducah went down. I still feel an emptiness in my heart where Bruizer should be. There are a lot of firsts that I am experiencing that cause me to cry. For example, today after my work out, I went on the floor in the living room to stretch. Bruizer usually joined me, and laid on his back when I did for crunches. I miss that. I laid down and he wasn't next to me. I felt my heart break all over, and cried. My mom's cat Ozzy came over, laid beside me, and kissed a tear off my face.
  It's true what they say, God doesn't give you something you cannot handle. He had more faith in me than I did in myself. No matter what angle I look at why Bruizer was in my life and why he was taken away absolutely sucks. He would've been two years old in July. He brought so much joy not only in my life, but in those who had the honor of meeting him. Three weeks ago yesterday, I lost him. Sometimes the pain feels brand new, but I know he is in a place where he has other cats to play with and so many birds to chase after. A week ago, the vet's office all sent me a sympathy card. Everyone signed it, and the vet wrote a message for me. It warmed my heart and made me cry. Enclosed was this poem below. Until we meet again, Bruizer Bear. I love & miss you so much.

 Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. 

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. 
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. 
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable. 

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. 
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind. 

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster. 

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart. 

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together.... 


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