Sunday, May 30, 2010

COLD WEEKEND

GREETINGS FROM SOUTH AFRICA!
MAXMOM here...
Hello there to all our friends across the globe!
The current cold front hanging over Johannesburg is...what shall we say...
brrrrrrrrr!
After a number of months of sunny weather, we are again reminded that it is indeed winter.
KING TOFFEE
doesn't seem to mind in the least! As far as he is concerned he is enjoying the best of times over the past 10 years...
If it's cold weather, the KING demands that our laps be lined with feather duvets.
(Yes! The above picture is REALLY my lap! My legs are on either side of him - under the duvet)
Either that, or he is perched on his throne...
Geesh! It's tough being a KING!
The ripples from our past week, as far as my family are concerned, seem to have settled into normal routine.

TAMMY-GIRL and I

are the ones who are battling to cope with the hole in our hearts.
Tammy cuts a lonely figure in our passage...
She often retreats outside, in the shade of Max's tree, to spend quality time with his raw-hide bone.
For those who don't know, it's her heirloom which she has been strictly guarding and toying with.
But sometimes the silence is too much and she'll return for an ear-rub...



My walks with her have improved as she's now looking for me instead of Max (I think).
She's a tentative little girl...


It's also a metaphorical winter for my writing, so I'm going to keep this blogpost short. Max's ashes were returned to me on Friday. The finality is stark.
  How long does the heaviness of heartbreak last?

34 comments:

houndstooth said...

I didn't last long before I had to look for another greyhound after Treat passed away. When I brought home her ashes, I cried the hardest, I believe. I couldn't believe that everything I'd loved had been reduced to the contents of that little box. It's different for everybody, but for me, deciding to go look again was the very best thing. Bunny came into our lives and made things better for all of us. I had to wait two weeks to bring her home, but it was so wonderful to have something to look forward to again. I'm not saying that you have to look for another dog again, but find something that you've wanted and make plans to go get it so you have something to look forward to, regardless of what it is! Hugs to you!

Jake of Florida said...

Those photos of Tammy tell all!!

Wirey love from the Boyz

xxx Joan

Heather and Ellie said...

I'm glad Tammy is a little better....and it's a good thing that she has you and you have her; it always helps to have an understanding friend going through the same grief as you in hard times.

Are you going to scatter Max's ashes in a place that he loved? It's not my place to tell you what to do, but I think that might be a nice thing to do in his memory.

Love to you and Tammy girl.

Heather

Doris Sturm said...

The stronger your bond with an animal, the longer it takes and you'll probably never quite get over it - but it's still fresh and recent, so give it time. Your other dogs are adorable, especially your ear rub girl - what a face! Just so sweet!

I want some of your cold weather! I'm tired of hot and humid!

Zona said...

It feels like forever, at times. Hang in there!!

Wags,
Zona and mom

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

For me, the ache is always there, but it does ease with time...It's always bittersweet to have the ashes returned. I'm still waiting for Maguire to come home to us, where he will eventually be put with the others who left before him.
On a lighter note, it's a bit mind boggling that just as you are trying to keep warm, we are feeling the intensity of the hot sun so I am sending warm comforting thoughts to you from Virginia!

Samantha said...

I suspect that the pain of Maxmemories will become tempered with time, but right now, as you've written recently, it's a stark shock, especially when you are holding his ashes. You are doing a tremendous job, writing as you are, and giving loves to Tammy... letting Toffee reign on your feather duvet (lucky boy!). I'm glad to hear that Tammy's doing better on walks - hopefully that soothes you a bit too. We think of you so much, Caryl. Sorry it's so cold - but the duvet sure looks cozy - keep cuddling up with your furbabies!
Big HUGS xoxoxo
Sammie and family

Miz Minka said...

Hi Caryl, I too am thinking of you at this time. Reading Max's story over the last six months brought back many memories of my beloved Hovawart, Cody, who died from cancer five years ago. I still call him The Best Dog Ever, although I think Max was in the same league! Losing Cody left a huge hole in my heart that has never been filled (I waited five years before I got another dog, and Mitzi could not be more different from Cody) -- but I would not want to miss the sweet moments and many beautiful memories he brought to my life. It does get better in time, and it sounds like you and Tammy are going to get closer through this loss. Thank you again for sharing your journey.

Miz Minka in California

Ms. ~K said...

The loss and memories will always be with the you. The pain will ease as time passes.
I knew you and Tammy would be there to offer comfort for each other.
You are both strong girls!
Hugs,
~K

PS...In my next life, I want to be King Toffee!

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

We don't think the heartbreak ever goes away, but the load does get lighter with time. Tammy is just so beautiful, it is so good to see her wanting to be with you so much. And Toffee, more power to the King.

Woos - Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

The Thundering Herd said...

I don't know that the ache ever totally leaves, but it becomes a part of you, comforting in a way, because it is a sign of the sweet memories. The day will come when you can smile and laugh more at the memories, than tear up.

Jacqueline said...

I had my Nikki cremated too and have instructions with my family for her ashes to one day be mixed with my own (and of course, my other babies, whether they pass before or after me will be mixed in as well, I don't want my ashes scattered until we are all together again, a little strange, I know, but it somehow gives me comfort=I also have my babies written up in my will and they must be cared for in the way they have become accustomed in order to get my money!!)...The heartbreak never ends, Caryl, at least not in my experience; it lessens in severity, but it never leaves you because their love never leaves you and you miss them with every thought of them...I know you and Tammy give each other solace through your shared sorrow and I'm sure you are really a wonderful comfort to each other during this difficult trasition...Blessings of peace and love to you both.

Mrs. JP said...

For me time changed the hurtful memories to fond moments of the most heartfelt love. My Sugar left a hole in my heart that I knew, at the time, would never heal. Yet, here I am with 6 more filling my life. I think I will always love her in a different kind of special way - she was my Max.

♥I am Holly♥ said...

Love the pictures! Toffee looks very comfy and Tammy looks like she just wants to be with you. The heartbreak for me lasted quite some long time. It lessens with time but it's always with me to some degree deep down. Getting the ashes back for me was really heartbreaking and I have yet to spread them or do anything with them except make memorials with the pictures of each one next to the ashes and whatnots to honor them. Lots of love to you, Debbie and Holly

Ginger Jasper said...

It will get easier. Time as they say is a great healer. Poor Tammy looks desolate and must Miss Max so much too. Hope your heartbreak feels a little easier soon.. Hugs GJ and Carol x

Sheila and Bob said...

In all our loses we have learned, it takes as long as it takes.
It is not something you can plan to have end.
We found that loving those that remain, helps ease our heartbreak for the ones that are gone.


Sheila & Bob
Mom & Dad to
Hamish & Rescue Sophie

Lorenza said...

I wonder if you could send here some of that cool weather you are having there!
Kisses and hugs
Lorenza

Mango said...

Cool weather is fine with me. I think Toffee likes it too. Good excuse to be king for a day.

You know, we miss our furry friends forever. But it is a good thing because we are so happy to have them in our lives. I miss my Angus and Raja a lot, but now I have PeeWee and he is a good pal.

Slobbers,
Mango

Khyra, Khousin Merdie, And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Should I send some floof?

BTW, Mom's transport leg on Sunday was done fur MaxDog and fur our khountry's Memorial Day -

Hugz&Khysses,
Khyra & Khousin Merdie

Sugar the Golden Retriever said...

Woof! Woof! WINTER ... At the moment, I don't miss winter. Currently, enjoying the warm weather n lots of happy times outdoors. Stay Warm. Stay and Be Strong ... for the rest of the gang needs you particularly Tammy. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Anonymous said...

Time is a great healer but it will never be the same. Getting the ashes back is one of the hardest things I think to have to deal with. You just have to remember all the wondeful times and remember that Max is running around all healed up.
Nothing is easy about life. Loved the pictures of the little dogs.
Have a Good week.

MISTAYA said...

A very beautiful post. We will add your new site to our list. Hugs and wags, Mistaya and M.O.M.

Scout 'n Freyja said...

It's nice to see that you posted this weekend. I was getting concerned. Sent you a couple of notes with no reply.

When does the pain go away? I don't think that it ever does but it does begin to ebb and flow. The expanse between the tears becomes larger and larger until one day you realize that you've gone 24 hours without sobbing.

Give Miss Tammy a kiss for me...

misskyliem said...

We found your new blog and will keep on following your adventures.

Licks,
Kylie

Sam said...

I think bringing home the ashes is the hardest. I've always promised them that no matter what I would bring them home. ...and I always have.

Sam

KT and Lady said...

So many great comments.

The ashes: this is another door that must be entered and closed behind you. Everyone has their own unique number of doors to open, enter and close. Once you look back on this time, those were the paths to the progressive healing of that gaping hole in your heart. Spread his ashes, have a pendent made or save some to be with you when your time comes. Whatever gets you through the door and on to the next. There will be many more, but nobody really knows how many or how long. Lean on Tammy without her feeling the weight. You'll both need it.

Tweedles -- that's me said...

The tears are starting to fall again from our eyes as we read the words that you just picked up Max's ashes. Our minds drift back a few years ago, when we also picked up our belovededs ashes (just before we got Tweedles.)
of course our tears are falling again because we are feeling your sorrow, and maybe because our own hearts have not healed totally and maybe they never will, but we do know that little Tweedles let our hearts sing again.
Smiles crept on upon our faces, and we were so happy.
When you find a heart felt smile
creep across your face - you will know your heart is mending- but it may always remain cracked and broken.
The sun will shine through those cracks and broken pieces, and guide you on your journey. It is what Max would want you to do- continue his legacy- no matter what that is. You will touch the world- just as Max did.
He lives in your heart.
Tammys journey is beginning, together- you and her will find a way. The sun will find a way to lead you. The wind will whisper a direction for you to go. Listen and you will know.
Bringing the ashes home to us- was a relief. We were all together again.
King Toffee likes this snuggle time with the blankys - just as Tweedles does.
xoxoxo
twees mom

Paxton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paxton said...

It does take time to adjust with the passing of a special friend and there is no time limit to 'getting over' it. And Time is an excellent healer - one may never totally get over the feeling of loss; however, the pain will ease. Talking about your feelings helps with the healing process.

It is like taking two identical photos - put one away in a drawer and hang the other one up against the wall. Some time down the track when you compare the two, you will notice that the one up on the wall has faded a bit in colour. The faded picture is the one that represents the easing of your pain - time has helped lessen the intense ache felt by you.

You will cope well, Caryl; you have Tammy-girl as support and the rest of the clan to help in their own little ways. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Take care, Shirley and Paxton x x

Huskee and Hershey said...

The photo of Tammy sitting alone in the passage and the forlorn look in her pretty brown eyes is almost too much to bear! :( I am sure you need her as much as she needs you..

As for your question on how long does the heaviness of heartbreak last, I have learnt that it lasts forever... although the inital sharp pain will fade away, it becomes a dull ache that you somehow will learn to live with. Sadly, grief is the price we pay for love...

Thinking of you and your furkids...

Piappies World said...

We send you our hugs, Caryl. Aside from Tammy, Toffee, Tommy, Mr.Boss & your family, you got us here. We know we can only do so much so we cross our paws that you get to adjust.

Take your time, we will abide by your pace.

-Fudgie, Princess, Frappie, Mocha, Sugar, Wai-Pai, Wai-Max & the Piappies

rottrover said...

Caryl, the loss of a special dog is incomparable. Clearly many, if not all, of your readers have been there and are here to support you now. About 6 months afer my girl passed, I asked a very creative friend who does such things create a "memorial bead" for her: http://hollysfolly.com/memorialbeads/
(there's a link somewhere there about the Allie bead. That's the one.) It's been a wonderful way for me to keep Allie's memory close while still moving on. It might be worth considering -- a Max bead for you to always keep near you.

3 doxies said...

It's still hard to fathom that Max is gone and I didn't even know him that long but he made such an impression on me.
I have the feeling that Tammy is going to do ok, she is strong because she had Max as a wonderful example and teacher.
Allison

maggiemia in the woods! said...

the more your heart aches, the sweeter the memories... his love remains.. take heart, your love has gone to places beyond here.. n the love radiates to the other doggy parents!! thank you!