It feels like a bit of a dream… Well more accurately a nightmare.
I was getting my head around everything that happened in that past week. The emotional roller coaster I was on was incredible, and to be honest all I needed was a reprieve. Unfortunately as I have learnt over the years life just doesn’t grant you that much mercy.
In the midst of all the chaos I was still struggling to cope with being away from Matt. He had been in Canada for about 8 weeks on an incredibly demanding course to further his career in the army; We still had 5 more weeks to go. It was at this time things became less than perfect for us. It wasn’t easy to be away from each other for an extended period of time even without all the crap I was dealing with back at home on top. Then add the stress he was under to the equation and as I’m sure you can imagine, we were heading for a bit of a breakdown.
I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard of this before, but there is a theory out there proposed by Gary Chapman that states every person loves and receives love in 5 different ways. He says that out of the 5 types of love each individual will gravitate to one primary love “language” to which the find most easy to show, the most meaningful to receive from somebody else and the most hurtful to experience if there is a lack of or if it is abused in some way. I implore everyone to explore these love languages as I’ve found since applying it to my life my relationships have gained a depth they never had before and are often far more equal. There is a real great website where you can take a test to find out your primary love language.
– I may make a longer blog post about love languages later if anyone is interested!
The reason I bring up these love languages is because the distance between us directly affected the key way Matt and I communicate love to one another. My primary love language is Words of Affirmation and my secondary is Physical Touch, Matt’s primary is Physical Touch and secondary is Acts of Service. The miles between us stopped us from being able to express love the best way we know how… Touch. Of course that includes being intimate with one another, but its so much more than that; I can’t walk past him in our hallway without him touching me. We play fight constantly and I rarely would go for a drive without my fingers straying through his hair or walk through the mall without our hands linked. Yes most couples will touch constantly, that’s what you do with your partner, however to us its a way to fill the love tank up and to reinforce that connection.
It was a real struggle to not have that reassurance in the hard moments. I often felt as though a simple hug from could fix everything, and that the problems we were facing would seem small in comparison to how big our love was. When we are touching I feel united, grounded and strong. His hand holding mine really earths me and makes me feel present to almost that fairy tale feeling of “love conquers all”, it’s quite special actually, and we both know it.
So 8 weeks into our separation I felt like we hit a real low point, we had a huge fight (made worse by the fact we could only have it over social media and not face to face) and I just really began to feel like I couldn’t let it go on any longer. I of course never asked him to come home, nor did I hint that he needed to; rather I held it inside getting more and more upset as the time went by.
And then the next tragedy struck.
My little cat Marley suddenly became very ill. He had been acting strange in the upcoming weeks, but he was still himself and with a trip to the vets and a diet change he seemed to come back to his usual lively self. It was really hard to see him in such pain.
As far as a companion goes… He was the best. I had him since he was a kitten. Saved from being killed on a chicken farm, him and the rest of his litter were brought home and we hoped that they would survive after being separated from their mother so soon into their lives. After all the kittens survived and were given away to their forever homes, I felt a strong bond with one little guy who had a distinct ‘M’ on his forehead and I just couldn’t let him go. I decided to keep him and love him forever despite my only being 18 years old and no real home base, I just knew he needed to be with me.
And so for the next 4 years Marley came with me wherever I went. No matter what flat I ended up in, with strangers coming and going he had me as his constant. The changing environment never seemed to phase him and for the longest time he was the most clingy and doting animal you’d ever have seen. I think in 4 years time he had lived in a total of 5 different homes which usually a cat would never be able to adjust to, but something about this little guy was different to any other cat I’ve known.
He wasn’t the most friendly thing when you first met him, but once he knew you and trusted you, you were so far in his good books you just couldn’t get rid of him. Marley would calm me in some of my most toxic moments. You see, right after my little Jelly Bean passed away inside my tummy, Marley and the other kittens showed up. He wasn’t the baby I had lost, but he was someone tiny to love with the same motherly affection. He was a key part in helping me heal from that loss, he gave me hope when at times I didn’t want to do life anymore. I’d be crying my eyes out and there he would be… next to me, reminding me that if I left him, who would love him as much as I did. He would find me in some of my most broken moments and nuzzle into my chest and lay there, as if to ground me and comfort me. Now to some that may sound so far fetched, but honestly he really did save me.
Whether it be a fight with my ex boyfriend or anxiety issues i faced almost daily, he was my companion. Something I really love about him is his chattiness. You walk into the same room as him and he would always Meow as a greeting; you could have almost full conversations with the little guy and no doubt if it was a colder day, he’d be leeching your body heat from you.
So when he became sick, I knew straight away. He wasn’t talking as much, he started to refuse cuddles and sleep on his own in the hallway. It was strange but he was still healthy. And then one morning I woke up and he was lying on his side in the hallway motionless. I called his name and he wouldn’t turn his head to look at me. I truly thought he was lying there dead, but on closer look he was still faintly breathing and he was turning his eyes.
I panicked. I rang Matt in Canada right before he was about to sit a huge test which would determine whether he would go through to the next phase of his course. Not the smartest idea, but I had no clue what else to do. I rang my sister who came over to my house immediately, and then to my dad who told me to take him to the Vet straight away.
It wasn’t good news.
Straight away the vet said that Marley was very close to dying. I broke down immediately. He explained that if we were to act, it would have to be now and even then there was no guarantee that Marley would survive. I was absolutely lost, I was desperate to save him, he was worth so much to me… there was no monetary value that I could place on his life. But I was faced with a really tough decision to make. An impossible decision to make. In the end, there was no other choice I could make.
Marley passed away peacefully in my arms that day.
He wasn’t in any pain and I really believe he knew I was right there with him. I told him how much I loved him and I cuddled him until the end, and I cuddled him after. I didn’t want to believe that he was gone, so in the few moments after he took his last breath I convinced my mind he was sound asleep. It was easier to accept. I wanted him to meet Danny when he was born. He just loved to cuddle into the warmth of my bump and I always visualized what it would be like once they finally met.
Everything about it was wrong. I was supposed to look after him. I had been looking after him for so many years, and I felt like I had failed my wee guy. I didn’t want to go back home without him. I prayed it was all a dream but I knew nothing I could do would bring my buddy back or make it all better again.
It was the final blow, in a trilogy of nightmares