Saying Goodbye to Bucky –  Part Two

(Scroll down to previous post for Part One)

I thought I would feel relieved after putting Bucky to sleep, but I felt awful. Had he still wanted to live? Did we let him go too soon? Why did this happen this way? I hadn’t been ready to let him go. Perhaps if we had waited, I would have been more prepared. I regretted making such a quick decision.

For several mornings, I woke up sick to my stomach. Bucky wasn’t asleep on my meditation chair, but tufts of his fur and fragments of litter were still there. His food dishes and litter box were sitting out. I felt a huge void in our home and couldn’t believe he was actually gone. It was like experiencing a nightmare from which I couldn’t awaken.

I was astonished by how deep the pain was. How could such a small being make such a huge impact on my heart? I missed Bucky terribly…being able to hold and cuddle him, pet and kiss him, baby and nurture him. I was his protector and mommy. He was my companion and comfort, and offered me an outlet for my affection. He needed me and I needed him.

Bucky’s death resurrected other losses – the loss of my brother and father, the loss of my dream of having a baby. It seemed that his passing dug up all of the unexpressed grief from the recesses of my being. Not only had Bucky been my loving companion as I grieved these other losses, but he had given me one last gift – a deep emotional cleansing.

Only days after Bucky’s death, while walking my dog, three Monarch butterflies fluttered over a bush. They twirled around each other as if in a dance for several minutes as I stood mesmerized and watched. I hadn’t seen butterflies in months. After my brother died, I noticed butterflies everywhere. Had he sent them to me? Was he showing me that everything was okay? That Bucky was alright and at peace?

The following week, while walking with a friend to the lighthouse, we saw a pod of dolphins. I was delighted; I hadn’t seen dolphins in a long time. They swam south towards the harbor entrance. We decided to put our feet in the sand, so veered off the path heading north to Seabright Beach. As we stood at the shore, two dolphins broke away from their pod, turned around and swam directly towards us to the wave break. They were paying us a special visit. I took this as another sign that all was well. Later, that same day, we received the first rain of the season and a beautiful rainbow appeared outside my office awakening hope in my broken heart.

Despite experiencing moments of hope and joy, tidal waves of grief overcame me unexpectedly at times. Ten days after Bucky’s death, while at a women’s retreat with four friends, I began to sob uncontrollably after looking at Bucky’s picture on the altar. I sat with my head facing down as I blew snot into tissue after tissue and wiped tears from my face. I looked up to see four sets of loving eyeballs focused directly on me. My friends had supported me while witnessing the intensity of my grief.

It seems my broken heart has created an opening for me to feel everything. As I give myself full permission to feel all of my feelings, I am experiencing a new sense of inner peace and freedom. I now have more energy to create anew. A book I had put aside after moving from Colorado is coming back to life. Without having to care for Bucky, I also have more time for my business and other projects. Further, my healing work with clients is deepening as I have greater compassion for their losses. Could it be that it was the perfect time to let Bucky go?

Four weeks later, I no longer question my decision to let Bucky go. I am deeply grateful for the time that we had together and I know that our bond will never die. His gentle loving Spirit is still present with me. He is my angel on the other side.