My heart is breaking tonight. As I sit, cuddling with my little baby Tootsie I am all too aware that my father in law is at this very moment, having his German Shepard, Trixie, put to sleep after 10 years of devotion.
It is a very helpless feeling knowing that someone you love is going through something so hard. I have no idea how I will make it through the inevitable day, a long time from now, when I will have to make that horrible decision.
It has not been the easiest 6 months for my father in law, or any of us for that matter. If you weren't already aware, Ty's mother passed away last July after a 7 year battle with Ovarian cancer. I can't even fathom losing my mom at this point in my life. Having to watch my husband go through that was nothing less than devastating. I adored my mother in law. I always said I got really lucky in the "in law" department, I mean, come on, if anything she gave me the love of my life! So not only was I losing someone I loved, cared for and admired but I had to also deal with the helpless feelings of not knowing how to support Ty.
We made it through the summer, somehow, hand in hand. We changed our focus from a move to Chicago to supporting Ty's family here.
As the holidays approached we braced ourselves. It was difficult to say the least. Every tradition, song, ornament a memory. We did what we could. We went to church on Christmas Eve as Sue would have wanted, instead of party hopping on New Year's we decided on a quiet night on the bay with Ty's dad, a bottle of champagne and a movie. And on New Year's day, the day of the Cobb's annual open house, we all made it a point to be together as the open house was cancelled.
We didn't do these things because we had to, we did them because we needed to and it was right to do them.
I cannot imagine the pain of losing my partner. Nor can I imagine losing my dog. My heart breaks for my father in law who has had to endure both in the last 6 months. I can only hope that we can provide even a little support to help with these losses that have affected us all.
It has taken me awhile to be able to write about losing Sue. I never knew what to say or how to say it eloquently on a blog. It took another loss for me to be able to put my feelings out there. I am not comparing the loss of a dog to the loss of a person but as an old friend once said to me, "Don't compare pain. Pain is pain."
I can only hope we can continue to support each other as a family. The days go by and someday the pain of these losses will seem less although it is hard to imagine how that could ever be.
I, myself, when caught in a moment of grief, will remember Trixie trying with all her might to catch up with Tootsie in the backyard, invigorated by this 13 pound mutt playing chase with her.
I will also remember the smile and utter joy on my mother in law's face while watching Ty in what would become the last show she would see him in.
That is how I will make it through.