Monday, July 10, 2006

The Diva Takes the Stage One Last Time

I had made plans to spend a “girl weekend” with my best friend who moved to Minnesota about two years ago. I bought my plane ticket long ago and since Nala had come home I decided not to postpone this short weekend trip we had been looking forward to. Besides, I would only be gone for the weekend so I knew if anything were to turn the other way in Nala’s favor it surly would not happen until I had come back home.

Thursday night I went to my parent’s house to spend some time with her. She seemed perky and had been eating. I was nervous to leave her but I knew I would only be gone for a couple of days.

Maybe Nala just wanted to come home for a day to say goodbye to my other animals. Maybe she just wanted one more day of normalcy. Maybe she carried with her the great meaning of life and had to pass it on to her younger disciples before she departed. Maybe, in her true diva fashion, she just had to go on her own terms.

I arrived in Minnesota and from the moment I got off the plane we started a party. We had a Guster concert with The Fray at this outdoor festival followed by many more drinks at the bars.

I was two shits to the wind when I think the phone calls started. And then the text messages. Maybe, I am just good at denial…but I did not want to know. I shut my phone off. I shut it off because isn’t it better not to know anything? I thought they were lying. I hung up on them before they could even say a word. Because, if it was not told to me then it did not happen…except it did..I just did not listen.

I knew the next day.

It was too late to do anything. She had been fine all day and then at a drop of a hat she declined so rapidly that there was nothing they could do.

Nala was a fighter, but I think her body just did not want to fight anymore.

I have not talked about it with anyone. I can’t yet. I am so afraid that if I start talking about it and see the looks on the faces on my friends, family and loved ones I will lose it.

I have seen those looks before. Sympathy. Compassion. Hugs and kisses and a shoulder to cry on. I am eternally thankful for that. Except I am not ready to cry yet.

My father picked me up from the airport tonight and asked me, “Do you want to talk about Nala.”

“No” was all I said.

I changed the subject.

I wasn’t ready.

I know death is a part of life. We lose loved ones all the time whether they are animals or people. I have watched Lion King (obviously hence Nala’s name) and know all about “the great circle of life.”

I know death is also new beginnings.

I know when we get pets or even chose to love another person that the time with them will eventually end.

I know all this.

It just does not make it any easier.

So, it is here that I bid farewell to my first doggie that loved me half of my life. She never listened to me or followed rules and she was a total spoiled brat...but loved unconditionally. She lived a very good 12 years and I will always love her.

Rest in Peace my Diva.


Amy said...

On her last day at home, I totally believe that Nala told Natasha the meaning of life... from one diva dog to another. Nala was very much loved by all of us and and a lucky enough dog to experience that love her whole entire furry life. I'll miss her so much. It will feel better soon... you'll look back and think of her and smile.

deepsat said...

Cherish the wonderful moments you had with Nala becoz that will always be with you!!

twobuyfour said...

I wish you all the best. I know it's hard. It's always hard when something like this happens. You'll miss her and think of her for years and years. Honor her memory in some way that's meaningful.

Keshi said...

WUT??? I cant believe this. Im sorry I cant say anything cos Im in total shock.

Will be bak Rach!

Keshi said...

I never thought Nala wud die this way and so unexpectedly! Im so sorry Rach..when I read this post I had tears in my eyes...I only knew Nala thru ur posts but somehow she managed to cast her magic spell on me that I felt so drawn to her. Now she's gone? I still cant believe that cos I really thought she was well n healthy now.

**even chose to love another person that the time with them will eventually end.

yes thats true. But that doesnt take the pain away does it.

but I hope u'll have lots of friends near ya to comfort u...and Im sure u have a zillion fun memories of Nala to keep u smiling for a very long time. HUGGGGGGGZ Rach take it easy.


Tiffanie said...

Oh Rachel. I don't have any wise words to say. But I can send you a virtual hug. ((hugs))

Steve said...

Rach, I am very sad to hear about Nala. As someone who has always had little furry four legged family members about, I know how tough it is to say goodbye and how good the memories of them are. Take care hon.

Grins said...

Oh no, I'm so sincerely sorry Rachel. I came here to leave a silly little post about you being the Single of the Week and am so sorry to see this about Nala. How very lucky though that you each had one another for those years. Looking at those photos of her it is obvious she knew she was loved.

Heather said...

I know what it's like to lose an animal that is family. I am so sorry about the loss of your sweet Nala.

I was just passing by and read this.

-J said...

I'm sorry, Rachel.

Aargh said...

It's a Sad Day another good one is gone. I'm so sorry and thanks for letting us be a part of yours and Nala's life through your writing.

kat said...

how unbelievably awesome that ms. nala decided her own time to go. it's a super sad time. i say you're allowed to do what you need to when you need to. take care of yourself, babe.

3carnations said...

I'm sorry.

I completely understand what you are going through. We lost THREE pets this year, in an unbelieveably sad turn of events. They were all older. Two were cats, and the end came on quickly for them. One was an older dog who we had adopted from the animal rescue a few years ago. She had several health problems that we tried to help her with, but in the end, the best help we could give her was to let her be at peace. That was nearly four months ago, and I miss her everyday.

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Scott said...

Oh wow. that is so sad. I have lost two dogs in my life and have a young one now. It is such a sad thing, they are truly part of the family. Take care of yourself.


'Mazing Amy said...

Oh Rachel, I am so sorry to hear about your doggie! ((((HUGS)))))

rabbitfish said...

I'm so sorry, Rachel. Love you, M

CP said...

Sorry about that sweetie. After you have some grief time behind you, hit me up an email and I'll fix you up with some nice prints or collages of Nala if you want.

Keep smilin cutie!


Kuan Gung said...

Try this

if you love dogs...all I can say in all sincerity...I certainly can understand the loss you feel...

Haley-O said...

I'm so sorry, Rachel. I just lost my cat a month ago. I can imagine how you're feeling right now. Take your time. No need to tell anyone until you're ready, of course. Crying is good and will help. Take care of yourself.

Haley-O said...

I actually lost one cat (Simba) a month ago, and almost lost another (Minden) recently--but, Minden is fine now. He was very depressed after Simba died. It's traumatizing for them, too.

It's so good that you have other pets to help you through this. And, that they have you to comfort them, too. Take care....

Rachel Heather said...

Thank you so much everyone for such kind words and support. It is nice to know that others get very attached to their pets as well. They really are like family.

I was able to talk about it today and it DID help a bit

Thankfully I have some good peeps around me (and on this blog as well)

Even the vet started crying and the hospital sent us flowers which meant a lot.

Kisses to you all

Naomi said...

SO sorry for your loss. We lost 2 cats over the last year, so I know the sadness. Glad you have comfort around you, it helps.

Fancy Laces said...

Ooh my God, that must feel equally painful as losing as a kid or a good friend...

I'm sorry for your lost, hope this comment gives you some tiny comfort.

Keshi said...

Im glad ur coping well Rach...TC n huggggggggggz!


shpprgrl said...

*hugs to you*

i'm so sorry.

Carmi said...

Please accept my sincere condolences on your loss. I am perpetually amazed at how deeply our pets influence us and enrich our lives. Nala clearly affected yours, in a good way.

May her memory always be a blessing to you.