Life Goes On…

…without Kali.

Life does go on. It’s a trite saying. A phrase, usually well intentioned, thats used when something bad has happened to remind the person feeling bad that their life can’t stop because of the bad thing or event. And it can’t.

In the case of Kali it is true that life has gone on for the rest of the pack. But I would not characterize the fact that Kali is gone as a bad thing, per se. I do miss her. I still consciously look for her when I enter the room or am handing out treats. I wake up at night and remember that she won’t be there in the morning. I’ve spent a lot of time over the past two plus weeks reminiscing about her. I’ve looked at hundreds of photos of her. But in the grand scheme of life (and death) while it wasn’t a bad thing, it wasn’t good either. But, it was the right thing to do. And once I began listening to Kali with my heart, instead of my ego that told me I could be her superman and savior forever, I knew it was right.

The days since Kali has been gone have been mostly normal. The out pouring of love, empathy, and well wishes from friends, fellow bloggers that follow The Golden Kali Blog, and social media connections has been heartwarming to say the least! There were a lot of special messages that meant so much to me. There was even one very special blogger friend (you know who you are!) that did some super sleuthing to find my home address and sent a beautiful hand painted card with a loving message inside.

I didn’t know how the Red Girls (Kloe and Koda) would react to Kali’s absence from the pack.

Neither Kloe or Koda have had a life without Kali. Kloe was 9 weeks old when we brought her home and Kali was a great surrogate mama for her. When Kloe was down for almost a year with her CCL injuries and surgery she was often sequestered from Koda and Kali. During that time Koda and Kali bonded quite a bit. In recent months Koda seemed to know Kali was struggling and in need of help. She watched over Kali. Several months ago Koda came running up to us barking and doing that Lassie “Timmy’s in the well” kinda of thing. She coaxed us to come to another part of the yard and sure enough there was Kali stuck and unable to get up. So I expected Kali’s absence might have an effect on Koda.

But it’s been Kloe who seems to notice a difference in the Pack. There were a few meals early on when given the release to go to her bowl Kloe hesitated. She looked around as if to say “where’s Kali? We can’t start without Kali…” Or perhaps I’m just projecting.

I thought I might have some moments but really didn’t until…

There was just one time I became outwardly emotional. I went to pick up Kali’s ashes at the vet. The receptionist looked a little uncomfortable when I told here why I was there. Her voice became tentative and here eyes looked sad, or maybe scared that I was going to break down. But I was upbeat and told her it was all fine. I think I put her at ease. She came back with a beautiful dark brown wooden case with a gold plaque on the front with Kali’s name and a card.

I went to my truck and with Kali’s ashes sitting beside me I opened the card. The card told he story about the Rainbow Bridge and how all the animals are once again healthy, play and run together, enjpy warm sunshine, lots of food, and are happy. I’ve always enjoyed the imagery of the Rainbow Bridge. But as I sat reading the card the last part got the best of me. It says:

The day comes when [during play] one [of the pets] suddenly stops and looks into the distance. Her bright eyes are intent. Her eager body quivers. Suddenly she begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, her legs carrying her faster and faster. You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart. Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together…

Sitting in my truck with Kali’s ashes in my hands I lost it. I was overcome by the imagery and I weeped and cried out loud. It felt so good to have an emotional release for my special girl. A moment of retrospection and gratitude for all Kali gave me especially in the end when she gave me the courage to let her go and know that life does go on.

Until we meet again on the bridge sweet girl, my Kalimazoo, my Kalis Marie, my Golden Kali.

6 Comments

I have tears in my eyes and that horrible lump in my throat after reading this. I had my beloved Quincy for 11 years before I had to let him run free over the Rainbow Bridge. He was my 50th birthday gift to myself and my constant companion and companion to Indie and Bella. He loved his kitties, collecting things such as socks, tennis shoes, pine cones and frisbies, adding them to his front yard hoard. He is missed everyday. Thinking about you while you grieve and enjoy the time you have left with the other girls.

Thank you Deb. Our pets rely on us for most everything including a decision to let them go. Kali’s eyes told me she was ready. As with so many other things in our lives together she gave me counsel and courage to do the right thing.

That last phrase hit me deeply as well. I’ve been thinking of you and the remaining Golden Girls and wondered how you’ve all been doing. Mere words cannot express enough comfort for such a loss, just know I am thinking of you and know that with time, peace will reign in your heart. Hugs and tail wags, my friend.

Thanks M. Life does go on albeit with a bit of a hole. The hole will never be filled but we adjust and adapt. It’s amazing the affect a four legged mammal can have on our lives during and after their time with us. And your words have been comforting so thank you for every single one of them! Best of the best to all of the ranch hands.

There are so many well intentioned trite phrases to use in these circumstances Michael, but the reality (at least as I see it) is that Kali was with you …. is with you ….. will always be with you. If I can fondly remember my model train set of 60 years ago ….. If I can remember sailing my toy yacht from a similar time frame ….. If I can remember so many points in my life history, there is no possibility that I will ever forget our beloved Ray when he too crosses the proverbial rainbow bridge. Take comfort in your memories because you gave Kali a wonderful life and she, in return, added to you life in ways you probably could not have imagined. She will always be a part of you, and I have no doubt that you would not want it any other way. My thoughts are with you.

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