sophie + felix

sophie is so over me
Yesterday morning it occurred to me that this month marks the anniversary of my Sophie’s passing. It’s been a year since my relapse, since the whole of my world was shrouded in darkness. I don’t deal with loss well, and I didn’t anticipate just how devastated I’d be when she died. I couldn’t find the right words to describe the enormity of my grief. When I held her as she was being put to sleep, I didn’t feel the rush of heartbreak that I would inevitably feel weeks and months after. On that rainy day in late July, I was numb, sick and bewildered. I felt nothing. Hmm, that’s not true. I felt the heaviness of her departure, this unbearable disquiet.

I loved Sophie. Really loved her. She was prickly, prone to paw swats and over-excited hisses, but she was mine. She curled up next to me while I read, and slept beside me when I was sick. Even now, even as I type this, and page through images of her, I start to cry. Hers is a loss that I’ve come to learn how to bear. My god, she was so fluffy! So insouciant! So RUBENESQUE at her 14-pound height. I mean, look at that diamond belly! Nothing compares to you, as Sinead O’Connor so sagely crooned.

sophie

Yesterday morning I ran errands, fixed up my apartment, and while I was taking dishes out of the dishwasher Felix meowed. It’s rare to find him on the shelf where a photo of Sophie and I, and her remains, lie, but he was there. Crying. I set the dishes down and turned around and watched him touch the tin that holds her remains, and I broke down and sobbed. I didn’t tell him to get down, I didn’t advance. Rather I stood there and watched and realized that there is a possibility that he could feel a whisper of my grief. A grief that has gone cold and quiet, yet lingers.

I can never thank my dearest friend Angie enough for driving me to the shelter to pick up Felix. I was hungover, grief-stricken, and probably incoherent, yet she was calm, comforting, and moved me from cage to cage until I spotted my little man. The sweet boy who would make me realize that there is indeed space in my heart for more love.

Sometimes I find myself comparing Felix to Sophie, which I suppose is inevitable, however, they are nothing alike. He prefers his belly rubbed, and he follows me from room to room. I joke that he’s a dog in a cat outfit. We play and I spoil him rotten. I love him beyond measure, but it’s a different love than what I felt for Sophie, not a lesser than, but different. Felix is easy and Sophie was well-earned.

I don’t know what to say about all this other than I’m grateful for my life and all the beautiful people in it. I’m grateful to have had Sophie for those seven years, and I’m grateful for having fallen madly in love with Felix, my special guy.

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8 thoughts on “sophie + felix

  1. I was talking about what “after” means with Will the other day – I’ve dealt with it, he hasn’t. It’s not easier, it’s just…different. I always like to think of it as making space. It’s not that we kick someone out of our heart, we just build many rooms.

    xo

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    1. Nina – I love this metaphor. I often think our heart is a house filled with many rooms, some with the doors and windows wide open, some with doors closed and items preserved. We weave in and out of these rooms over the course of our lives, dust, tend, clean, rearrange the furniture, but our loves are the constant. They are the stillness which always remain. xo, f.

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  2. Thank you for sharing this. I lost my little cat two months ago (and one of our beloved dogs two months before that) and I’m still devastated. Not a day goes by where I don’t think about them and cry. The grief is hard to describe and very difficult. Reading your post was comforting; to know someone else feels the same way.

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    1. Oh my god, Leah. I am so sorry. Losing a pet is so devastating and heartbreaking. If there’s anything I’ve learned from losing my Sophie, it’s this: feel your grief and don’t apologize for it. And know that while you may never not grieve your pet, it gets easier to bear with the passing of each day. And know that you gave your loved ones the BEST life. Warmly, f.

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  3. I recommend joining #PetGrief on Facebook. I am a member and it is a wonderful community where you can share your experiences and thoughts and gain support from others who are in similar situations.

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  4. A beautifully written piece. I too know how devastating it is to lose a pet. Am so glad you have Felix, not to replace, but to help soothe and heal some of the heartbreak.

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