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KODAK 2

7 May 2004, 01:00

All I can think about is when I (we all) got to the vet, he look at me and thought “Mommy, I hurt. Mommy I want to go home.”

And I didn’t take him home.

I’m so sorry kodak. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry I didn’t take you home.

Right now, I can’t. I feel like I’m being ripped apart from inside. And I can’t stop it. I can’t stop feeling the waves of stuff I can’t describe because all it is, is just waves that squeeze my throat, and rip at my belly.

I was the lucky one. I had kodak. It’s not fair that I had him for only such a short time. I was just becoming a decent human being, and he had to go.

I sit here at work, and I feel like I don’t belong here. I go home and it feels like I don’t belong there. I don’t know where I should be. I don’t know what I should be doing. I don’t know what I should have done. All I know is I have a tremendous sense of loss and a big hung of guilt that I should have done better by him.

My mind keeps almost frantically trying to remember all the times with Kodak when he was younger, like its searching for something or wants to remember before the memory is gone. I think its because its the only thing I really have left that IS kodak.

I never know what to say when something like this happens, and I get like this over a dog. When the dog had health problems or other kinds of difficulties. I have lots of people say things that just aren’t right like “you have two others”, or “you know, our neighbor lost a doggie, and I lost a doggie.” Sometimes people just need to shut up. Say that you are sorry for my loss and walk away.

It’s hard for people like me to explain that the dog was more than a dog. Especially Kodak since we grew up together, and for the longest time, he (and afga) were they only things in my life, my only family – and they were the only family that gave me unconditional love. It’s a hole that, right now, is sucking me down, and I’m not even fighting against it.

I am so soul sick, and I’ve lost my way.

I know I’ll be grieving for the rest of my life, and I don’t know if I will ever reconcile my guilt. I want to. I want to because I don’t think Kodak would be happy to see me sad. He was never happy to see me sad in life, and I hope I can do him proud now.

I’ll just be real bad off for a while. At best, I hope I can just sleep walk through life here for a while instead of what I have been doing which has been surfing massive waves of pain. I think only one or two people will really know how bad off I am , and I feel real sorry for whahizface right now cause he has to deal with me as well as his own grief.

I’m just missing him so bad it hurts to even be awake.

I’ve started a Kodak box of which I gathered old pictures, and old toy of his. I’ve started printing out all the messages to put in the box, private, emails, and posts to put in. I get a lock of his hair and a clay paw print in a week. And I think the last thing that will go in will be his ashes. I wish I didn’t have to wait a week for them, because it will kill me to get them, and I would rather not go through another uncontrolled public breakdown. I’ve had a few in the last three days. Don’t I sound just peaches to be around these days…

I’d like to publically thank these people, which doesn’t take the place of private messages which I promise I will get to writing. Because to me, for people to offer sympathy like this is remarkable since it IS for a dog.

Dawg

Lesh

Ourbill

Defiler’s Hand

Jim (at macmothership)

Sly

Surferchick (Gina)

Bill Campo

Nate

Kessia

Bob

Neo

Lucky

Jerome L.

Carter

Fishwheels

ChillyWilly

Loren

FreeIndividual

Biker

Evil Edna

Karl

STL

Stick

Shawn

I think there are more, but I’ll add to the list. I want you all to know that I’ve read every message, and a lot of them have made me weep – which isn’t a bad thing.

****

May 28th, 2004

Went and got Kodak’s ashes today.

Was holding up quite well this week till the ashes.

So I was blubbering at the Vet… again.

He came in a little gold box with a certificate from the Humane society. And the vet made a paw print and a card, and the lock of hair I wanted.

So I get home. Weepy but pulling it together, thankful that he got a box and I didn’t have to bring in home in a ziploc baggie.

I check the mail. The vet had made a donation to the Sedgwick County Zoo in Kodak’s name, and the zoo sent me a card.

So I be blubbering again.

My nose is always red now, and if I don’t stop this, people will be thinking I’m an alcoholic…. well. people who don’t know me… the ones who do already know the truth…

******

I’d never thought I’d blog.

I’d always thought blogs were self indulgent and self aggrandizing.

And in a way I still do. This is a very, self indulgent thing I’m am doing.

I’m really hoping this will be temporary, the need to record all this stuff in my head.

And the need to wallow and flounder in my own misery.

See. My dog died. But he was more than my dog. He was my only family, save for the little one I build here in this house.

I know people write about more worthy things than a pet dying. I feel so false, so illegitimate in comparison with most out there who have the REAL problems and the REAL pain. I feel it is almost an affront to even feel this way about a dog. I feel this way because I’ve had people, and in most recent memory, the wife of my former boss at Printmaster (a bad, bad, bad place where I’ve worked) squawl at me “How can you even COMPARE a dog to a person?” as if I were an insane person. I’ve since concluded that even with all her supposed religion and motherhood (she’s catholic with seven children) she was a cold, heartless, unfeeling bitch. But its this sort of thing that keeps me from feeling that my particular agony and torment deserves atttention. So fuck her. I’ve also had well meaning people say things like, “I know it hurts”. “I’ve lost a doggie, too.” “My neighbor lost a doggie.”

Fuck them too. No. They don’t know how I feel. They couldn’t know how I feel. If you knew how I felt, you wouldn’t be telling me how you lost your doggie, or how your fucking neighbor lost their doggie. You’d be telling me that you’d would be in agony if you had lost your son, or your close friend.

In my little world, the foundation of my life has crumbled.

I have this need to preserve every little bit of Kodak I can. All these sad, crazy things I feel during the day. Snippets of memory. I need to write these down. This is what I have remaining of Kodak, and I am desperate not to forget. Since I a my nature, not a nice or sentimental person, I have this obligation to try harder to archive Kodak, because I will dishonor him and what he has given for me if I don’t.

So we have a blog now. Christ. The place where I don’t have to be funny, or insightful or write something worthwhile. This is where I am to go insane. Even the act of trying to set this up was a bit of a blessing, because for one brief moment I was occupied in trying to set up the site and software, and not losing pieces of my mind. And I thank the lord its not one of those other blogs that documents the mundane and the misery for hits and attention.

I’m not sure what I’m doing. I don’t even know why I thought about doing this log about what I’m going through. As you can see, I vassilate from anger to guilt and back to wretchedness.

What set me off specifically to my current fit of torment was an innocuous mailer from the vet.

I was hanging on, and maintaining. The emotional crying spasms had come with less frequency, and then I got a card from the vet. A sympathy card. It send me right back into the abyss again. These jags are exactly what they sound like. It is like a wave of hysteria that washes over me, drowning me for that five or ten seconds and I am in agony crying, gasping for air. Then it passes, where I can breathe again. And a new feeling comes over me. Guilt. Guilt that I am not crying more. That I haven’t fallen to my knees and blood has left my body. Because I KNOW how much this dog has meant to me and how much he changed me and my life. I do not exaggerate when I say he had saved my life in the past.

So I have guilt and shame when I don’t feel. And I am in agony and torturous anguish when I do.

This is my world now.

******

This hamster died. I don’t know when. I just found her. Fuck. what the fuck. I can’t cry. I feel sick. I’m like stunned to the core. why is this stuff happening now. Lord, why is there death around me.

what the fuck. Fatty was a great little hamster. She didn’t bite and put up with me washing her owies and applying medicine.

I just don’t know about it all anymore.

*****

It’s been a better day. The sunshine doesn’t seem as unfriendly. Still a little shell shocked about my hamster. It’s like my grief gas tank is overflowing, and I just can’t be sad anymore. Well. I can but I’m tired of it right now, and I can’t seem to bring it up because everything is so absurd. It’s like I’m the fucking angel of death.

I miss Kodak. I think of him often. And its memories that come up on their own, not after some frenzied obsessive concentration. I remember him when he was happy and active and all the love he shared. I miss him so.

No one comes in here and sits with me often. Kodak use to sit by my feet. Without fail, he would come in and get comfortable.

I also notice it is somewhat more silent around the house. I never knew Kodak did so much talking as when it is missing from the noise of my life. He was always at the back door when I came home, yelping happily because we had arrived. Now. Well, now the dogs gather at the door, but they don’t bark. There is no happy yelping for me.

There are other things I don’t do though. I don’t get up two, three times a night to help kodak outside. I don’t watch him any more as he struggles and sometimes fails to walk. I don’t feel the ache everytime I see him fall. If he is in a better place, and he is happy and without pain, that’s all I could ever ask. He would, without hesitation, have endured all his pain, to stay with me. He would, without hesitation, make sacrifices and endured suffering to stay with me. And although, it has killed a big part of me to lose him, I couldn’t bear to see him suffer. I don’t know what was the best thing to do. I only know that I believed that I did the best thing. I don’t ever want him to hurt. And I don’t ever want to see him unhappy. I only hope that what I said to him at the end will come true. That I will see him again.

*******

It’s a little further down the line. Kodak’s demise has been aggravated by other bad, stupid things. These are things that if I weren’t in a state of disconnection, I could deal with better. Still. I’ve always been like a buoy. I go down, but seem to bob back up to a constant level. It’s annoying because, I felt that I needed to be sadder for Kodak. I feel like I’m not doing him justice.

Then I remember that if any of the humans I knew died, there wouldn’t be half the agony of a reaction that I had with him. So I feel a bit better.

I still think of him everyday, and I notice how my life is different without him, how it has changed permanently without him. I know. It’s over a dog.

I am slowly, trying to get back on the track of life. Trying to make it all go forward. A giant struggle, which puzzles me why it isn’t less difficult for me to feel at ease in life. I am ill at ease now. More angry, less patient, with everything. I’m less connected, and feel as though I’ve lost my place.

What do you do when the feelings that bind you with life, the motivation that makes you care about… everything… is gone. I once was not afraid of death, back in the days filled with pain. I wasn’t fearless, I just didn’t have anything to hold onto here and now, and when there is no anchor, it’s hard to make those ties that make you compassionate, or that make you work hard at living. I’m trying to regain that hold on the improved humanity one has when one cares.

I don’t know whether I’ve given up or surrendered to the rip tide that carries me further and further away from where I was. I hope not. But, I do feel myself, more and more, just wanting to be left alone. I feel I am a self piting wretch, who is starting to loathe with more ease.

I am putting up a lovely front, and sometimes when caught up in the noise of life, I forget that I am unanchored. And then the guilt comes when I realize that I can go on without Kodak, which makes me think of Kodak, and then comes the sorrow.

I don’t know if this is normal. I’ve never mourned a loss before. I’ve never suffered loss before. I can sense most around me losing patience with me, and I feel even more faulty that I can’t shake it off and be normal again. Part of me goes on, because that’s what that part has always done. Through the pain, and beatings and whatever. That strange, miraculous part goes on. But now the part that just wants to crawl in a corner and sleep is stronger, bigger and more clever. That lack of fear is back, the one that tells me death doesn’t matter anymore, that I really haven’t that much to lose. Maybe that’s why life has the cacophanous chorus that never stops. To keep people from hearing their own hearts give up.

I seem to get better. I know. I’m glad they think so. And in some ways I truly am. But now there is that undercurrent of sad that is now in my consciousness. Sometimes it’s only a whisper, and sometimes it screams at me. If it has always been there, then I have never felt it. Until now.