Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Chester's passage

My Sweet Chester boy

Hi my sweet blogging sisters. This is one of those posts I dreaded. I have been unable to bring myself to sit down and type out the words. If I did, it would make this event permanent. So with a tear, I bring you news of my precious Chester boy joining the angels last week. I don't want to get too morbid, so I won't elaborate too much. I just wanted to share, it really helps.

The last four months have been extremely stressful. Our twelve year old Yorkie, Chester, has been ill with a tumor in his bladder. He's been undergoing chemo, which is a lot easier on dogs than humans, thank God. He did fine with the treatments, every three weeks. But the outcome was, it did nothing. He lost the battle, my brave little boy.

How do you say goodbye to your companion of twelve years? One who has kissed your tears away in sorrow, made you laugh until you wet your pants, brought such joy into your life 24/7, and reminded you of when it was time to stop working, and begin playing.

My worry has now turned to sorrow. I wouldn't trade one day of time we had with him for anything in the world, the happy times and the days of illness. At least I could hold him, comfort him, and feel the warmth of his soft coat.

Aren't dogs (okay and cats) amazing? They teach us so much about ourselves. They teach us to find the strength to help them when they are ill. They teach us about the circle of life, in a calm and peaceful way. They teach us about being brave and letting nature take her course.

I have to have Chester's pictures all over the house. His little brush with his hair rests on my nightstand, so I can pet it every night before pulling up the covers. This might sound a little obsessive, I don't know really. I just know it comforts me in being able to imagine him comfortable again, without pain, playing ball, smiling and giving loving kisses somewhere.

When does the pain go away? When does the house not feel empty?
Thanks so much for letting me share the pain.
It feels better, really.

44 comments:

sharon said...

I am so sorry Riki. You have wonderful memories to carry you through, and I am sending prayers.

Beatnheart said...

sorry Riki....so very sorry for you....I can hardly bear it. I too love my pets so much and they mean so much to me. You will get through this. You are a strong lady...warm regards, Cynthia

stregata said...

So sorry, Riki - it is so hard to lose them. I don't know if it ever really goes away - but it gets easier to bear with time. Sending you hugs.

SharonP said...

I'm so very sorry to hear of your sweet friend's passing. Chester will live on in your heart forever. Hugs and prayers.

Rochelle said...

Oh Riki.....I am so sorry of your companion Chester's passing. Sending warm fuzzy hugs your way. May you feel better soon.
Rochelle

Narrative jewelry said...

Dear Riki, believe Chester was in my thoughts every night when i say goodbye to the one i love, looking at the stars. Now he is one of those stars. But be sure he will stay in your mind and your heart for the rest of your life. As a Christian, you know where he is now, no pain for him. Just back home.
I send you all my love dear Riki.

Esther said...

Poor chester!! so sorry for you Riki.. 12 years of love..hope you will feeling better soon.

slommler said...

Ah! Riki! I know this pain well. It takes a long time before the house doesn't echo and the toys and brushes bring a smile and not a tear. I am sure my Eloise as well as thousands of other beloved pets have welcomed Chester into their fold and he is happy and content and whole. You will meet up again! Hugging you dear one and you do what you have to do to grieve and feel comforted. I don't find any of it strange or obsessive at all.
Love you
SueAnn

diane said...

I don't have words to express....but, I am here. Here for you. Praying for you.
Take my hand, and I will hold it tight and I too will cry with you~my friend...

La Dolce Vita said...

oh my, this is sooo hard to read and I am sending you hugs. I dread this too, and I do not know how to say goodbye, I am cuddling mine now and thinking that I will have to make this post sometime as well, they are aging fast. my heart goes out to you dear Riki...xx's

Diana said...

Hugs my friend!! I,too, will miss Chester...he was such a sweet boy.
Diana

Fundametals.net said...

Riki, I am so sorry to hear the sad news about Chester. I have a wheaten terrier, he's been part of the family for 10 years..I tell my kids he is their fuzzy brother...Again, I am so sorry to hear about Chester..

Marbella Jewelry Designs said...

oh, i'm so sorry for your loss. it is so difficult to lose a dear pet. But time will help; it really will. sending warm hugs to you.

Stephani said...

Big tears welling in my eyes...so sorry Riki for your loss. I can only imagine how you must feel.Just know that God must have a place for our four legged loved ones too and we will get to play with them again someday. Warm Hugs, Stephani

TesoriTrovati said...

I am so very sorry for your loss Riki.
Have you ever seen the book Dog Heaven by Cynthia Rylant? It is a whimsical children's picture book with the sweetest paintings and story to help cope with the loss of a pet. I got it to deal with the loss of my Madison about 5 years ago and have loaned it out to all sorts of people. It is one that is so sweet. Look for it. I will be thinking of you.
Enjoy the day.
Erin

Gwynnie B Designs said...

It was such an honor to meet Mr. Chester. He was the perfect mascot during class, giving us each kisses and love!

I am so very sorry for your loss, Riki. Our dear animal companions do indeed give us so much, and how fortunate we are to have them grace our lives.

Sending you lots of warmth and love, dahling...

xXoO
Gwynnie

Beatnheart said...

Dear Riki, Thanks for your visit and comment...I know its hard for you in this sad time, but sometimes acting "normal" in a tough time is the best way to deal with it all. Sending you Thoughts, Cynthia

Laurel said...

Dear Riki,
Many sympathies on the loss of your furry friend.
And big hugs.
Laurel

jill rockwell said...

Dear Riki, never have I shed tears for someone else's doggie-kid before, but I did for Chester. He was a precious, special package of love and entertainment, and I will miss him very much this summer at Camp Schumacher, under our feet in the studio, barking to signal our dinner arrival, walking merrily along with us on the trails. He was a lovely companion, and I know you were blessed with the 12 years of his presence. It is so much more difficult to reconcile the loss of a pet, and that pet's unconditional love and affection, even moreso than humans, who we are conditioned to lose eventually. You will never forget dear Chester, he was a very special soul and a very wonderful addition to your lives. I know Fred is also hurting, and I send you both my condolences and hope for a speedy healing of the hearts. Love ya both, Jill

Cindy said...

Aw, Riki, I am so very sorry to hear you have lost your sweet little guy. Such awful news. I sure wish I could give you a great big hug. He will be sorely missed, but always remembered in your heart. It sounds like he was the best little friend...and what an adorable picture you have posted here. Will be keeping you in my prayers.

In the Light of the Moon said...

Sweet Riki,I'm so sorry for your loss.Your house might feel empty,but your heart is full..right to the rim..With sweet Chester's love and memories.Sending you big hugs dear friend.Cat

The Joy of Nesting said...

Little Sister,

We all grieve in our own way and in our own time. Be patient with yourself and give yourself permission to be sad, angry, relieved, lonely and all the other feelings that keep racing around in your heart. The pain it never really does go away. The raw overwhelming pain becomes an ache a reminder of a love lost. When will that happen??? I can't tell you, but it will. One day you will wake up and realize that you are no longer afraid of the pain that the thoughts of your little clown cause.

I will keep you in my thoughts dear little sister. Please remember that when you need help to bear your pain I will gladly lend my strength to help.

Pattie ;)
Mazatlan Mx.

farmlady said...

Oh Riki, my heart is so sad for you and your husband. Chester was such a little presence in you home. Even on Chemo he was out there greeting us and being such a hospitable little guy.
There are no words for the loss of a dog in our lives. They bring such joy and when they leave us their wonderful essence,their unconditional love,is gone. The pain will lessen with time and your "best friend" will become a wonderful memory of love, but there will always be a sadness in your heart for this special little dog.
Chester was truly what Edith Wharton called..."My little dog. A heartbeat at my feet."
Love, Connie

Renee Troy said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Chester's passing. My heart goes out to you. There are no words to say so I'll send you healing energy knowing Chester is at rest and is now your silent angel who watches over you.
Hugs from me and sloppy kisses from Molly.

connie said...

what a great picture of chester! I too am sorry... we are blessed with loving animals and loving friends and memories we can always pull from...xo

vintagesusie & wings said...

Oh Sweet Riki...
I am visiting you here for the 1st time as our mutual friend Diane Cook has spoken so highly of you as a teacher & artist & friend.
I too know that empty space in a home & the quite silence of loss that can seem deafening. Mourning is such a personal emotion, you don't know exactly how you're going to react until that moment arrives. I am truly so sorry for your family's loss & adore the picture of little Chester with his tongue hanging out. What a happy life that little boy had, I can tell from his smile!
Hugs Friend,
Susie

Marlene said...

Oh Riki...I am soo sorry..I know the pain and loss well..I have had to say goodbye several times to my best friends. It is SO hard.
They do teach us so much about ourselves about courage and they are so brave.
When I am sad I try and remember all the love and what a honor it was to share your life with one of Gods Angels without wings here on earth...Chester will always be with you.

Marlene

Pretty Things said...

I'm really sorry. We have to make a hard decision about our 19-year old diabetic cat that is in renal failure, so I know the pain you feel.

LLYYNN - Lynn Davis said...

Dear Riki, I'm so sorry you lost your furry friend, they are such special members of our families. Our pup is fifteen years old, a little arthritic now, and I project my own concerns and worries into your story and feel it with you, strongly and personally.
My thoughts are with you ...

Riki Schumacher said...

I just want to thank each of you for your caring and tender thoughts. It means so much to me to hear your kind words blogging sisters. Thank you a thousand times over. I'm doing so much better this week, am happy to report. Your support has helped immensely. Take care, Riki xoxox

robin dudley-howes said...

I'm so sorry Riki. It must have been hard to let yourself be so vulnerable to share your sorrow with all of us but it also provides a means for healing. There is nothing anyone can say or do to take away the pain, only time will do that. TAke care my freind...
robin

Anne - Fiona and Twig said...

Oh Riki, I am so incredibly sorry for your loss.

Prayers and hugs to you, my friend.

Anne

Marcia Antle said...

Oh Riki, I can feel your pain. The pain never totally goes away, I am still mourning my little 16-year-old doggy that died 14 years ago. It does get better, but never completely goes away. Every time I pass my previous home where he is buried, I shed tears for him. Animals just make us better people, I cannot imagine living without a critter in the house. So go ahead and mourn, it's natural and good to get it out. I hate that it happened to such a sweet lady. Loves, Marcy
mantle@piedmontcenter.com
www.queenmarcyoriginals.typepad.com

caronbc said...

Hi Riki,
I totally understand what you are going through :-(
I lost my beautiful Monty (believe it or not, Monty is a girl), about 18months ago. She had been my companion for 17 years! I still miss her, though it gets easier as time goes on. I have a tiny (4" tall x 5" long) knitted little dog that I found in a craft shop in the tiniest town I have ever been in. As soon as I walked in, I saw her and knew it was my Monty.
So, she sits on my desk and still keeps me company :-)
There is any Etsy shop that makes felted dogs of many breeds (around the same size as mine) and they are gorgeous! Maybe you could get one that looks like Chester and he can sit on your desk (or bedside table) and still keep you company :-)
If you can't find the Etsy shop, let me know and I will find it for you.
~Blessings~
Caron

Julie Pishny said...

Riki, That's where you have been....I knew something had your focus over the past couple of weeks...I was hoping that it was teaching and shows... I am so sorry to hear about your loss of Chester - I have two little dogs and I am dreading the day when I have to let them go. It may sound silly to some, but it is like loosing your best friend. Some days I feel that my dogs are the only ones who "get me"...I can't imagine life without them. So, my sisterly advice to you is to not wait a minute - jump back in there and adopt another best friend right away. They need us, there are so many dogs waiting for someone to love them so get out there and rescue one or even better two! My Molly and Angus give me much needed companionship, affection and laughter every day - don't deprive yourself of the joy...it will help the grieving process. My heart is with you...hugs.julie

krys kirkpatrick said...

I am so sorry about your little guy. We have a 12 year old lab and she is getting so old...we know that day will come. There is a great interview on Oprahs soul series you can watch listen to on itunes, with Byron Katie. As Oprah talks about losing her dear Sophie, Byron explains that those feelings we have when we think of one we lost are a visit from them, they aren't really gone, just how we knew them. It might make you feel better.

Lynn Stevens said...

Riki,
I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your sweet Chester. He looked so adorable. I just think those little Yorkies are a gift from Heaven. I am dreading the day I have to say goodbye to my minpins one is 10 the other 7,mom and daughter.There my babies just as I'm sure Chester was yours. Someday you'll meet up again at Rainbow bridge. Your in my prayers. hugs
Lynn

Katsui Jewelry said...

I am so sorry. We lost our 22 year old poodle last year and I just about lost it myself.

I am loving your etched jewelry and see you have am etsy shop now. This is all a lot of fun.

"We" are mother/daughter team from Minnesota (my Kat and me). We are only a couple months old and would love to have you come and visit our new blog.

http://katsuijewelry.blogspot.com

We really aren't all about our jewelry, though we are busy with jewelry for a fair right now. Mostly about our life and loves!

Suz

Katsui Jewelry said...

Riki,
I did find you through Diane. I am having such fun going from place to place and seeing wonderful people and jewelry! Thank you so much for stopping by! I really admire your work!
Suz

Studio Sylvia said...

Sorry to hear of Chester's passing, Riki.

Charlene said...

OH RIKI!!!!!!!!!!!! How did I miss this post?????????? Life has been crazy & I have not been visiting as much as I usually do but, OH NO!!!!!! I AM SOOOOOOOOOO SORRY!!!!!!! YOU KNOW I KNOW YOUR FEELINGS & WISH I COULD TAKE THEM AWAY FOR YOU MY SWEET FRIEND! THE ONLY COMFORT can be... they no longer suffer. WE SUFFER their passage & the loss of the heartbeat at our feet but, they no longer suffer. There has to be comfort in that... doesn't there? With tears rolling down my face I say "OH SWEET FRIEND I AM SO SORRY" Hugs! Charlene

missficklemedia.com said...

I'm sorry, Riki. He is such a special little friend.

Full of Wish said...

Riki... your work is amazing!
I am so sorry to read of your loss..
Loosing my daughter was so hard as well-it's a piece of you gone but not forgotten.
Art after the first few cycles of the stages of grief, tends to take on new life...

I look forward to watching how something like loosing cute-little Chester translates into something beautiful through your hands..
:)
Many blessings!

lesataylor said...

Dearest Riki, I am so sorry to hear of your little Chester's passing. I remember this little guy a few months ago when I was fortunate to be your student.

I have learned this past year that it is ok to feel a loss and it's supposed to lessen in time. Maybe someday you will make a jewel for yourself in remembrance of your sweet Chester. You are truly amazing...xo