I have learned that if you allow the grief to consume you, it causes you to waste each day you are given - and those days are not promised, to waste them is such a sin to me I had to find some way, some how to face them and see the positives in them.
I told myself the following things pretty early on after the fire - about a week or so later, and I've repeated them almost daily ever since:
I lost my wedding dress, and wedding photos; but I have my husband.
I lost my baby pictures, and all her baby things; but I have my baby.
We lost 14 + years of our past; but we have a future; and while I will miss those furry faces each and every single day for the rest of my life, I am relieved and grateful that I had them in my life at all.
What a blessing those babies were for me, to me, with me. If I dwell on the things and pets I lost, I would never be grateful for the things, pets & people I still have.
On November 27, 2014 at just barely 7am in the morning - Dexy passed away in my lap. 15 Years, 7 months and 7 days old - her body was old and tired. She was old and tired. She saved me, us, in the days, weeks and months after the fire. She showed us what surviving was. Even though she was plagued with pain, a persistent cough and congestive heartfailure - she survived. She made it home, enjoyed our new house, her rightful place in the middle of our bed - and She Survived. Because of her, WE Survived.
|.. Sweet Girl ..|
As she was taking her last breaths, Emily was able to kiss her nose - hug her neck - and tell her she was loved, would be missed and cherished for every day we had left. It's hard, you know, to teach a 7 year old that it's okay to let go, to cry, to say goodbye to a faithful furry friend. It's hard because, we didn't get that with the other 5, we just had to let them go.
|.. Best Buddies ..|
She made sure to kiss Dexy five times - one for Maxi, Ollie, Gullie, Sera and of course, her sister Pixie.
I'm beginning to think my little minion of evil (or as you know her Emily) has some sort of intuition. When she was 3 or 4, we attended a Halloween Party-esque event at a local toy store. She dressed up in a costume, danced with kids, "trick or treated" through the store and of course took part in some silly party games. One of the games was "how many candy corn pieces are in this jar?" She took a minute, paused, cocked her head and replied "576" - we smiled, giggled at the outlandish number and wrote it on a paper with her name, age and phone number.
Two weeks passed, we forgot about the contest - and the phone rings. Not only did Emily WIN the toy, but she guessed the EXACT number of candy corn pieces in the jar. The Fuck?
A few years later now and she's won silly things off and on ever since. Games of luck/chance at the fair? Kid wins a giant toy. Games of "guess how many"? Kid nails it. Random fire? She knew, not when, but she knew it would happen - she said so for months. Knowing we're about to have another star in the sky? She knew. Somehow, that kid knew. It doesn't mean it hurt any less, or that it wasn't a shock, because it did and it was.
See, a few weeks before - she participated in a paint nite with me. The picture we were to paint, was this serene, tropical beach side with palm trees and a sunset over the water (closer to mine on the left). The picture she painted, revealed a different scene all together:
|She started with FIVE Stars in the Sky .... go ahead, take a minute|
Take a minute - I did - and readd the stars you see - not just the ones circled .. count them all. Now, remember Rufus, Maxi, Pixie, Ollie, Gullie, Sera - that only makes six. Count Again.
Now, take another minute, grab a tissue - and consider this: the date this was painted? 11/12/14. Somehow - she knew.
So it's fair to say: In our losses, we're healing, learning, growing and discovering - together.