Yesterday was hard. So, so hard. We had set Grim’s last vet appointment for 2:3o in the afternoon to be able to have more time with him, and as much as we didn’t want the time to pass, waiting was also in some ways the hardest part. Time passes so slowly when you’re grieving; it’s like you’re cut off from the rest of reality and in an alternate universe all its own. A universe filled with pain. I’m sure the wait was hardest of all for Grim, since it was quite obvious yesterday that he was in a lot of discomfort. By the time the vet arrived, he was waiting for them near the door. He knew. He knew, and he wanted it over with. His tumor had obviously grown since even a week ago; he had lost weight, too, so that made it more obvious, but his belly was enormous. It had been shaven for last week’s ultrasound, and none of the fur ever grew back–not even peach fuzz. He was listless and barely responsive for most of the day, and by the time the vet got here he was actually cooler to the touch and there was some yellowing skin in his ears and above his eyes, signs of jaundice. Alarmingly, the vet had looked at his ultrasound pics and thought he saw some scattered areas of fluid, where maybe things were going to start to rupture very soon. We think (and Odin is saying) that he would have died last night one way or another, but if we hadn’t had the vet out his death would have been excruciating. He didn’t deserve that, and he was counting on us not to let that happen.
He did have a few last good moments yesterday. He jumped up on the table in the morning to eat his last meal with the boys, and–because he hadn’t been eating for the past couple of days–he actually put away a normal meal. Later on, he jumped up into the window and sat there a while, looking out at the neighborhood. And after getting mildly stoned on some catnip, he allowed me to lie next to him and snuggle him on my bed for about half an hour–which was incredibly sweet of him, as he had not really wanted to be touched for the past few days.
His life was ended on my bed, in my arms. And while we were waiting for the cremation place to come pick him up (he is getting a private cremation with a cypress urn) our other two boy cats came into the room and snuggled with his body for the last time. But Neech, who is our witch cat, walked right past his body at first (which by that time barely looked like him anymore; it’s amazing how quickly the face changes after death) and went over to the pillow in the corner of my bed where the real Grim–newly passed into spirit–was lying.
As people who know death isn’t the end, and who interact with noncorporeal beings on a daily basis (I mean, we’re both married to freaking gods, for crying out loud), it sometimes surprises me that the death of the physical body is such an upsetting thing. But it’s all about the transition: having known someone in flesh and then having them make the transition to spirit is an incredibly difficult adjustment. It’s hard to keep in mind that the relationship continues, when it starts out being physical and then suddenly isn’t. (And apparently, making that transition is difficult for the person who passes, as well; Odin says Grim will need to rest and recover from his ordeal for several days.) In this case, how quickly it happened also makes it hard; a month ago, we thought he was fine, and now he’s dead. But he hasn’t really gone anywhere, and won’t–and right now, that’s all I can cling to.
Once again I want to thank all of you for your prayers on his behalf. Knowing so many people out there care about him, and about us, has certainly helped, and we love you all for it. Hail Grim!