I've been hesitant to write this. Somehow it adds a flair of finality. A splash of reality.
Three weeks ago, on May 14, I woke up and yelled for Elton. He sleeps by my head so waking up without him was strange but he could have been eating or taking a break from my relentless snuggles. I did not suspect anything but Curtis will tell you that it didn't feel right. He knew something was amiss.
I continued to holler for Elton. Come here twinkles!!
Curtis searched the usual spots:
the floor in our clothes closet- the cats enjoy napping on our shoes.
the kids closet- we have lots of boxes in there where we have set up blankets for the cats to nap on
The kids closet.
The kids closet.
I can't even look in there anymore.
I heard him rustling around back there and then he came back into our bedroom where I was still in my undies yelling Eltons names. He stared at me with big frightened eyes and a hand covering his mouth.
He went back into the kids room and I heard him tearing things apart. I joined him in there and watched as he frantically and silently removed every stupid thing we've been storing in the closet.
Curtis tell me what is wrong
And then he told me to leave the room. "Get out of here sweetie"
So I walked away. Panic set in like bricks in my belly. Immediate perspiration.
When I re-entered the room maybe 30 seconds later I demanded to know what was going on. I think I said something like, "Curtis this is abnormal behavior please explain yourself"
"Elton is dead." he said softly.
no. no! that isnt possible. no. show him to me. no. no.
He came to me and held me while I sobbed. He said sorry. What else can you say??
He gently pulled Elton out of the closet and wrapped him in a towel. I sat on the edge of the bed crying and incoherently yelling that it wasn't possible and it couldn't be real. My baby. My sweet furry friend.
He tried to soften the blow saying things like, "I'm certain it happened instantly, no suffering." and "It's a freak accident."
We don't know how it happened. He was wedged between a box and a large fan. I didn't look myself because I couldn't but Curt says it seemed like something might have fallen on him and snapped his neck. No sign of a struggle. No blood. No wounds. Just my lifeless Elton.
I cried until I couldn't. I went numb. I had to think logically. What do I do next? We bury him, but where?
My parents backyard seemed perfect. It's a beautiful place and somewhere I would always be able to visit.
After laying in the grass for an hour, crying and not crying, we took Elton out to my parents house. I wasn't sure where the best place to dig was and neither of my parents were answering their phones. It was after noon by this point and Megan and Quinn were going to meet us and assist with the burial.
Finally my mom called me- she had been playing racquetball all morning. As soon as I told her she began to tear up- I had to get off the phone or I'd crumble again.
We picked a nice shady spot in the yard and Quinn and Curt started to dig. It was a nice hole.
A nice hole.
We covered the spot with some beautiful Iris my mom had growing. They lasted for about 10 days. Remarkable really since iris tend to wither quickly after being cut.
For days after, I would wake up without my pillow pet and feel empty. I am not sure i'll ever be the same again honestly. I have a tiny little elton hole in my heart.
here are some things I learned:
- I have the most amazing friends and family in the entire world and feel infinitely fortunate to have been comforted by all of you. people sent me flowers and cards. people cried with me. people showed up on my doorstep at 7 am with coffee and donuts. people hugged me for as long as I needed them to. people let me cry and talk about it. or not talk about it.
- Curtis is the best man I know.
- everything you love will die and that's okay- loving animals and people is always worth it. the 7 years of joy Elton brought me will always be in my heart and I try to remember that when I feel sad about it. life is short and precious and beautiful and painful and wildly amazing.
Forever my baby Sir Elton will be.