“Grief is just love with no place to go.” -Jamie Anderson.
Around noon, on February 8, 2018, I looked through Azul’s eyes for the last time as I put him in some stranger’s arms. She let me take his blue collar before we parted ways. I had to go, with teary eyes, and pay the fee for letting my little one go. Eight months after, it is a day that I remember on the detail. That morning Azul took some toilet paper from the bathroom trash can. For the first time in his short life. He ate his food but was irritated. He wouldn’t let me clean his face from the toilet paper mess. He wouldn’t let me hug him. That morning I left to work knowing that I had to make a decision. His illness was making his existence painful, both for him and for me. And the meds weren’t working.
After the vet told me it was the best decision and before letting go, while still on that cold silver table, I wrapped Azul around with his blue sabanita and let him indulge for the last time with his favorite bone marrow treat. Even in pain, he let me cuddle him and kiss him. I couldn’t stop smelling him. It was a strong, sour and sweaty smell, but it was his last smell, and I love it. Azul looked at me, all I could see was pain, and sadness, I even could see a hint of complicity. He knew that I was leaving him. He knew that we wouldn’t see each other again. And little did I know how hard it was going to be, in the silence and depths of my heart, life without him.
My last days with him were full of forced cuddles and fear. Hugging hurt him. Holding hurt him. He was so swollen that every touch caused him pain. And not being able to hold him tight broke my heart. When I tried, he defended himself and bit my face a couple of times. But I couldn’t get mad at him. He spent his last days resting on his bed and on his corner of the living room rug. He only moved to go to pee, and to do what he loved the most: to eat, even when I was only providing him with healthy food.
Eight months after, my place still feels empty. I still cry every other day. I remember him when I look at his corner, when I go to pee and there’s no one sniffing around my feet. I remember him when I open the ham package or when I enjoy my meals and I can’t share with him anymore. Sometimes I wonder if there’s something that I could do to stop it from being painful or if I just have to let time work. I refuse to hide the few things I have from him around home because, even if they make me feel sad most times, they also cause me incredible joy.
Azul was gone on a breezy afternoon, on a season where many things of my life were also gone. Azul had a short but wonderful life. Azul was destined to die young, maybe in the precise moment when I needed to let some things go to welcome others.