Tick, tick, tick.................,
...............................this is relentless and we have no way of slowing it down.
At some point, our own count down clock will run out of any precious remaining seconds.
None of us can live forever, so we owe it to ourselves to live as best we can whilst we are here.
This isn't to make anyone upset so if not feeling good please don't read, as I want to be honest to what I was aware of in myself the last few days.
I feel it's important to allow others to know............. it's ok to NOT be ok.
What's triggered this? Our 14-year-old cat.
My wife rescued from a cat home almost 12 years ago, where at that time he just didn't have the will to live, head drooped in his paws and not really selling himself to being picked and rehomed.
They grew close and trust bond became very strong. A couple of years later I am on the scene, here is a cat that dislikes men, possibly due to being mistreated, but maybe because I'm unthreatening and calm in nature he took to me very quickly. This little one has been such an amazing cat and companion.
Sadly he became ill after the 'Canicule of plus 40 degrees,' heatwave here and has been struggling all week. Some may be saying it's just a cat, but this character was way more as I know so many animals are. I have worked around birds of prey for 14 years and trust is a huge part of an animals behaviour.
He would follow us everywhere, sometimes we'd be starting off cycling and we'd hear him chasing down the lane behind us. Just an amazing little friend in cat form.
He was fading away so we took him to the vets on Saturday and they put him on a drip to attempt to hydrate and bring back to better health. His blood test showed he had kidney issues.
Yesterday we had to make a hard decision and the days leading up to it also brought up stuff that I thought I was ok with and dealt with!
It's never going to go away, so dealing with it and hopefully lessening it will help you too.
Tick, tick, tick........
We walked in and he instantly recognised us and couldn't stop bunching our hands and loving the touch on his head, chin and body. Clearly, though he was incredibly weak and not much time left for him. The reserves he must have dug up are a credit to him.
Knowing when to say 'time'.................. We are thankful he held on as being in on his own would have possibly made him think he'd been abandoned, as he was at the beginning. No, he was very pleased to see us.
For me, it brought up feelings and memories of numerous incidents, stuff that I hadn't really paid any attention to or been affected by previously, at incidents where we had done everything to cut people free from the wreckage and then the words from the Paramedics, "stop we've lost them" sound out, you know the moment instantly changes. Now it's body recovery, the same care and attention is given, but it just feels futile as life has gone.
Momentarily numbed for a few seconds and then autopilot starts and we go about making gear up and re-stowing it back on the appliance. We turn up and just do our job.
It's knowing how to process the effects and not just stuff it all down to fester.
None of us are superhuman or wants to be.
I want others to know that if you need to talk about it, it's ok and not seen as a weakness.
Having been left alone with him for a while, we then had to catch the attention of the vet as it was pointless prolonging it any further. He just wasn't going to get better.
The first injection was to send him to sleep, his head in wife's hand and mine on his shoulders and under his chin. He had our contact and was very calm, almost acceptance of his time.
The relaxed state he was in was comforting to us also. He was our friend after all.
Then the vet asked if was ok to administer the second injection to stop his heart.....................
The whole time I am holding back much emotion, all those times at incidents where you've not been emotionally attached, but then the realisation that the clock has stopped for this person or animal. I had my eyes closed and took a huge deep breath, almost apologising to him and so many others we'd not rescued whilst trying to free them. We tried our best, but some things are out of our control. Everyone has their own clock timer.
I will openly admit I am a mess at funerals because it brings up so much.
It's because it brings up so much. I am beyond caring if people think I'm soft for crying.
I'm still the same me, I will compete and challenge myself against huge obstacles.
Don't be fooled by tears of emotion as a sign of weakness, it just proves I am human.
My best mate was buried on my 40th and shortly after another good mate went too.
My mother died only a few years ago and retiring meant I could spend time with her more.
This was very difficult for me.
The point is that it's ok to let go and cry. It's not macho, it's being human. Being real.
It's an emotional release.
I wasn't really affected by funerals when I was younger, but after much accumulation of Fire Service career and witnessing so much, I understand about saturation levels and coping capacity of dealing with stress and ultimately death.
Being requested and mobilised to moving dead bodies at the mortuary assisting the undertakers, isn't what we signed up for, but we do it and we've always dealt with everyone with dignity.
Our body is a vessel with a countdown clock, a limited number of heartbeats.
We are all dealing with different things and it affects us all differently at different stages of our lives.
Tick, tick, tick.......................................stop!..................................nothing!
Apologies if I've upset you, maybe the release is what you needed or to see that it's ok to vent off, albeit a cry or a scream of anger. Just take a minute, remember, breath!!
Emotions bottled up will have an effect on our system somewhere, IBS, eczema, indigestion, the list goes on.
My point is to highlight that we can control what we think and how we move forward.
Acknowledge the pain, the emotion, and allow it to be witnessed and then let it go.
Allow yourself to be vulnerable and cry.
If you need help or just someone to listen, then that's fine too.
I've always been told I'm an open book........yep open and honest and nothing to hide.
I choose to not stifle what needs to come out, but I also choose to see the beauty in as much as I can around me. I try to fill my head with good stuff, by connecting with nature and walking or cycling, getting headspace and freedom.
Notice mother natures gifts, they are all free.
I choose to continue to help others as best I can, whilst trying to help myself.
My clock is constantly ticking........, For how long? Who knows?
I will try my best to enjoy what time I have remaining, to the best of my ability.
My mother said just before she passed, " none of us is guaranteed a tomorrow."
We owe it to our selves, live and enjoy the simplicity's of life.
Keep positive and in touch.
Be that outstretched hand to help others.