Death is a vulnerable process.
In the past few months I’ve witnessed the vulnerable process of dying, in my home. Bit by bit, drop by drop, I watched her life force drifting away. She wasn’t the nicest cat I’ve met. In fact, she had been pretty mean to other cats in the household. But just like humans, every cat has a story that no other beings completely understand. Cats developed their defensive mechanism, too.
But no defensive mechanism is strong enough for death. For death just comes, as a powerful force, rendering us speechless as we bear the tender feeling of the impending loss. We say our goodbye, or pretend that it is not happening, as we bear witness of the gradual decay of this warm, furry, physical existence.
Visper, I see you getting more and more confused each day. You would fall asleep at the litter box and trying desperately to get back to your human’s bed. You tried to get to your water bowl even when your hind legs couldn’t hold up anymore. Your body was shrinking, your paws started to flatten. It was hard to watch. Even when you are technically not my kitty, my heart broke a little, watching you trying to get up and act normal each day. Until the day when you can’t anymore.
I’ve experienced a lot of losses in my life, but never witnessed, and felt one happening slowly, in a somewhat controlled manner. The day we said goodbye, was memorial day. The vet, a general, kind man came to our house for your passing. Masked, he gently guided your masked human in the process, giving space for him to say his final goodbye. You were given medicine, to relax, and finally go to sleep. It was a very gentle process. My young kitty, whom you found annoying for the most part, showed up and sat there quietly – witnessing your transition. Dear kitty, I hope your transition felt as magical as rainbow dissolving in the sky. Us, the humans, can’t really feel the whole scope of what this ending is like. For we are imprisoned by our ego, our attachments, and we shed our tears because of the loss of this tangible existence of love.
It has been a few days since you passed. I still feel your presence. But perhaps it is all just in my mind. For I, habitually, hold on to the past. I suddenly realized, that living in the present is easier said than none. More or less, we all carry our past with us. Our feelings of the present mingle with the memories of the past, constantly. Perhaps human beings are just constantly confused, or perhaps it is just me.
Your life and death taught me something, something so profound that I am not sure if I totally get it, just yet. But I wonder, perhaps I should be easier on myself. Perhaps I don’t have to care too much about whether I am carrying the past with me, and whether I am letting the past interfere with my future. Perhaps I should just live, and be who I am, unapologetically.