Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Treats, Sighs and Videotape....


In a few hours it will be three years since I said goodbye to my little boy. At roughly this time I was curled around him on the bed, propping him on his side so that he could sleep comfortably. I'll never forget how scared I was, knowing what I needed to do the next day. Every day since then I've wondered if I made the decision too soon, and if I could have just savoured an extra few hours or days with him. And every day I decide that I knew him well enough to know that he was simply too tired for me to expect him to carry on. He was so brave, and it was only during the last day that he gave any real indication that he'd had enough.

I've just watched some videos of him that I have never watched before. I took them when he was first diagnosed, and it was beginning to dawn on me that I was going to lose him. If you didn't know the context you would wonder why I'd candidly recorded such everyday activities - eating dinner, chewing bones, waiting for his Grandparents to visit etc.... but they were moments that I knew I could never get back. I haven't felt able to watch them until now; I've been too frightened about what I might see, how I might react, and whether it would set me back years in the grieving process. Now was the right time, and I spent most of the time smiling, rather than crying as I had expected. The volume of treats that were dispensed as part of everyday life was quite incredible, as were the number of sighs that I seemed to produce.

There was one particular video that I found very hard to watch, where I had set the camera up in the corner of the room and just left it running. I was sitting on the sofa with Prince, just talking to him in my usual 'baby-voice' when my face simply collapsed and I started crying as I hugged him. Seeing your grown-self fall apart like this is pretty disturbing, especially when I tried so hard throughout the time he was ill not to let him see me crying. That sounds so crazy, but it's true.

I can't imagine a time when I don't still think of him every day as I walk Tilly, and go through my somewhat odd ritual of talking to him and wishing him goodnight before I go to sleep. I'm glad I watched the videos though. It was the right time.

7 comments:

mare said...

Whew. I've been thinking about Ben lately too. Right now it's especially difficult since I plan to move and he is buried here. He passed away two years ago and I miss him. I also miss his sister Renoir, who has been gone seven (7!!!) years. Seven years with out my angel girl, but in leaving me she brought me Robin shortly thereafter and he still eases my heart and sees me through.

Everyday is grief and a blessing and that is the wonder of dogs.

Be well, the three of you, as always.

Julie said...

I just found your blog via another blogger's....my baby doggy of 12 was diagnosed last week with lymphoma and given 2 months to live.

I am going through so many emotions right now -- it is a comfort to read of your journey with Prince. Thank you for sharing your emotions, everything.

Sarah said...

Having just read your post I know exactly what you mean. It will be one year on the 28th September that I had to make the decision to have George put to sleep. I stayed up all night with him as he was very poorly. I knew I had to let him go. Nothing can prepare you for the rollercoaster of feelings and emotions of making a decision like that. I sometimes wonder if I had took him too early. However, when I look back at photos that we took of him last summer he looked so tired and poorly. I now know that I made the right choice. I miss him so much.

Teresa said...

Graham, I am always awed and touched by your honest and heartfelt love towards Prince. The most we can ask for in this life is for our hearts to be open and touched by others, furry or not. Reading your blog is always a reminder to me of that. Thank you!

I am so thrilled that Tilly too has wiggled her way in. No doubt with Prince's encouragement as you say. Take care and enjoy every precious moment!!

sama said...

oh graham - my heart bleeds for you. i miss our topsy dog so much, and i know how painful it is.

cuddle tilly lots and DON'T FORGET TO BLOG!

Flowerpot said...

Good to hear news Graham, and so glad that you were able to watch those videos and feel a measure of happiness rather than just the sadness. YOu take care now.

Beanz said...

Oh no, I thought we had left a message here but we mustn't have...

We hope things are getting easier for you and that you are remembering things with more smiles than tears now.

Also hope that you are not beating yourself up about decisions you made. The saying "better a week too early than a day too late" is a wise one. We think you did Prince proud.

Hope you might enjoy a bit of blogging soon. We are keen to hear more about Tilly and her adventures...

love
Beanz & friends