To My Beloved Serif

“Grief is a most peculiar thing; we’re so helpless in the face of it. It’s like a window that will simply open of its own accord. The room grows cold, and we can do nothing but shiver.”

Before Serif, I never knew the special bond a human could have with a cat. Almost two years ago, a thin little kitty started following me on walks with my dogs. I thought it fascinating that a little cat would have the bravery and courage to follow a girl and her two 60+ pound dogs out of nowhere. I named him Serifino, and immediately had a connection with little Serif. Something about him… I could tell that Serif was special, and that he had a sparkle to share.

Serif

Serifino

After Serif adopted me, my dogs, and my place to be his new home, the vet examined him and said he was between three and four years old, and that he was chipped. I tried to contact the owners, but the phone number was disconnected and the address was an abandoned house. It was clear Serif was a survivor, a kindred spirit, and that he hadn’t given up hope.

Serif took it upon himself to show me how loving kitties can be. He had an affinity for cuddling. No matter who was around: dogs, other kitties, or people, Serif loved us all. He wasn’t skittish or concerned. And no matter what room we walked to, Serif would join us in that part of the house. He wouldn’t just nestle up against us, he would purr loudly, lick our noses, and nibble nicely on fingers or paws. Serif had a sparkle. His story was a pure one: Serif loved to love.

Recently, when Serif’s spirit started to lose strength, the whole house seemed to grow cold. The dancing light he would bring from room to room began to be restrained to one little corner of the house. Serif was losing strength and agility, and his energy levels dipped to a collapsing lethargy. Like a punch in the gut, the thought of losing him knocked the breath out of me. I couldn’t lose my little companion, not the angel who found me out of nowhere. Not him. Not my little son.

When I took him to the vet they weren’t sure what was wrong. After too many examinations and too many blood tests, we learned the worst. Serif’s red blood cell count had dropped from the normal 40% to a dangerously low 14%, and cancer was ravaging his lungs, chest, and abdomen. Serif’s pain and anemia grew worse every hour, and I kept pleading with the universe to wake me from this bad dream. This could not be true. Serif—the soul who has helped me every single day for the last month since losing my canine-son, Irish, was now losing his own battle for life. It got to the point where Serif was wheezing and having a hard time breathing, and I had to let him go.

A state of shock remains. It was not his time. Anger swarms. Where is my kitty? Where is the little one who follows me from room to room? Where is little Serif who sleeps on my chest? Who curls up on the back of my chair? Who nudges lovingly and gives sweet kisses? What about the rest of his time? When I look for him, the hole inside my heart deepens. Serif has passed but I can’t say goodbye to him. I tell him daily that I will see him again. Somehow, someday, we have to be reunited. He was the bravest kitty, the perfect companion, and I love him with every part of me. I will miss him forever. He was a terrific soul. His spirit will always endure, sharing that special sparkle. You are forever in my heart and soul, Serif. You loved to love. And I love you always and forever.

“My loved ones will die over and over again for the rest of my life. Grief is forever. It doesn’t go away; it becomes a part of you, step for step, breath for breath. I will never stop grieving because I will never stop loving them. That’s just how it is. Grief and love are conjoined, you don’t get one without the other. All I can do is love them and emulate them by living with daring and spirit and joy.”

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