Thursday, August 1, 2013

Grief at year 2

The Princess wanted to sleep - bug off
It is hard to believe that it is 2 years since my Gemi died of a brain injury as a result of an accident. Her death still sits differently in my heart then Loki's. I can freely talk about Loki, laugh about Loki, and remember Loki. I try to remember the smell of Loki's fur, to hear his huffs, and to feel his breath on my check. With Gemi, given the circumstances of her death and the PTSD that came from it, I have the opposite reaction. I want to block it out. I don't want to think about her, because with her comes the accident and with the accident becomes the guilt and pain - which can still be like a knife in my chest. Much of my brain accepts it was an accident and at times I can even accept there was nothing I could do, and "shit happens."  These thoughts are often followed by the "what ifs" and the "if onlys" that bring up the guilt and pain. I am also aware that people have way worse things happen in their lives and I need to put it in perspective. I try. I try to focus on how lucky I am to live in a world with filtered water and filtered air. I am truly blessed, but this doesn't negate the fact that Gemi died on my watch. I don't think I will ever be able to re-read those blog posts about the accident. I think it would reopen wounds that are scabbed over.

The last picture I took of her
Now that being said, I now able to talk about her a bit without stabbing pains. I can laugh at my dog who must have looked up the word princess and acted it out. I can see her walking sooooooo slowly around the agility course, looking annoyed that we were making her do it, and doing it at her speed out of spite. I can feel her bites she gave every time you returned to the house (man did they hurt). I shake my head at all her bad behaviour, the wall chewing, the obsessive peeing, the disobedience. The first 3 years of her life, she was not a good dog. She was just becoming good dog when she died at age 6.

I have come to expect that this may be as good as it gets as far as my personal recovery and I have decided that is ok. Besides the pain of Gemi's death, the accident is a reminder that life is not fair and bad things can happen to everyone. Nightmares can come true. It is a crappy lesson to learn, but one most humans have to. With the pain of Gemi's death becomes this reminder that I am not immune from bad things.

Side note: It is ironic that she came into my life at the end of the previous worst time of my life (the end of my Master's and dealing with an abusive advisor) and her leaving became the new worst time in my life. I am sure there is some karmic message in that.

So today I will try and remember all the good and funny bits of Gemi. I will do my best to keep the extra pain at bay and keep it all in perspective. Today I will remember my crazy, dirty, messy girl, so full of love when it was convenient for her.

To my girl: Gemi, know that you were loved whole heartedly and are greatly missed!


  1. We understand your pain but pain comes with love and without love there would be no pain. We who love all place our stake with the game of life. The dice rolls and what will be will be. Lifes' game of chance. We know Gemini is dearly missed.
    Best wishes Molly

  2. My heart is with you on this sad day. There is a lot of wisdom in your post, and I think you have the best perspective that you can have. As you say...accidents happen; that is what they are, an accident; and they will always remain a terrible thing. I think people often get stuck in either the injustice, the guilt, or the intense desire that it never happened. You know it was a bad time, recognize it will always be painful and then you remember the great things about Gemi and celebrate her wonderful life and all she brought to yours.

    Gemi...I didn't know you, but I know you were wonderful and much loved.

  3. When I read your post this morning it felt like I stepped right into your world or vice-versa. I have similar feelings about Sammer and Trudie and the what-if, or If only's can come into my brain right fast, and create the most unreal pain in my heart when I allow my hand to touch that door knob. Instead I am beginning to do as you do with little steps in remembering the fun, and naughty things they both did. One of my posts right after I lost both of them was to ask for a do over, i think i really wanted to believe I could get up the next morning and things would be as they didn't happen of course, and I had to struggle through. Just in writing these words my eyes are tearing up, so that tells me the grief is still looming large in my heart, I just don't go there very often. Our dogs are indeed gifts and as I have told Stella many times they come in very different packages, and will contain all kinds of memories, good and painful. We just have to be brave enough to enjoy them, and let them go in the end. I think when they leave us it is not their soul always that stays with us, but ours that goes with them.
    Sending you a heartfelt hug today.
    STella Rose's, Maggie and Gussie's Momma

  4. "so full of love when it was convenient for her"..sure she wasn't a cat...or a Doxie? Ha, ha.

    I am sorry for your loss. I know grief all to well and it can be a hard thing to get over. Sometimes you never to completely. I am glad you are able to look back and see SOME good in the whole situation two years later.

  5. Oh my God so so sad. What a nice tribute
    Benny & Lily

  6. Please know we are holding you close in our hearts today as we read your post.

    Lily Belle & Muffin

  7. SHE totally understands. SHE had a scottie who died as a result of HER stupidity, still hard to remember after over 20 years. So just remember your little princess as she was.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  8. Aw she's such a beauty. You are right that accidents happen. I had a horrible accident with a cat when I was a young kid that always kind of haunted me. I've also see a lot of accidents so just know that you're not the only one.

  9. We hope that you can let go of the whip you use on yourself. Mom is very old, ancient I think, and she said that one of the things she has had to really work on is to forgive herself for the times she let herself down or made decisions for which she was later ashamed. It is past and the past cannot be changed so the hurt must be used to fuel something good in the present. Peeps are not pawfect (like us dogs) and they do make mistakes. We have to forgive ourselves and replace the guilt with love. Anyway, that was what mom told me one time.

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  10. We're so sorry for your loss. Gemi sounded like such a character; you really understood her and let her be herself. She was very lucky to have you for her family.

  11. We are glad you are beginning to be able to think of your girl and remember some of the good and funny times. The Human understands how hard these losses can be and sends you her Human version of purrs. We are real glad you have Hailey and Zaphod with you now ;-) XOXOXO

  12. It sounds to me like she had the perfect caregiver - you understood and accepted "who" she was early on and then after the accident took care of her until the last. Really it's all we can do - be there for them when they need us the most. Love takes so many forms....and no doubt Gemi felt that as did you. Hugs to you.....


  13. Awwwww, Double bubble hugs to you. Have a wonderful weekend xx00xx

    Mollie and Alfie

  14. Oh gosh, I didn't know Gemi, but I do know that she is watching over you. She is free and happy and wants the same for you ...


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