Lucy lost one third of her beautiful long tail. My heart broke. No, my heart did not smash into smithereens, and no, it did not lie bleeding on the ground. Nothing so dramatic at all. Just the very soft, almost inaudible cry, of brokenness. A needless careless act. It was by someone I knew was not to be trusted, someone I disliked intensely, yet I took that risk and left my vulnerable, trusting precious child in his hands.
Why? Because I was desperate. It was heatwave day, 41C sizzling heat, and I had to return to the old apartment to pack my things for the grand move. I left my baby with terrible feelings of fear and foreboding. Yet, I ignored my innate silent roarings, telling myself I was just being overly anxious, it would be ok, surely this person isn’t as bad as I thought? I chided myself for paranoia and prejudice, after all, this man is a good friend of a good friend (and continues to be). I forcibly quelled the nausea rising up in me at the very thought of this person having charge over my baby even for a few minutes. White cold fear was hastily wrapped in towels of logic and reason – but more than that, it was sheer desperation that drove me.
Fever. Pain. Teetering on the edge of overload. Living on painkillers, just to keep moving. Pushing myself forward, deliberately not wanting to think about limitations, because I could not afford that luxury.
And then tragedy struck.
The most innocent and vulnerable.
She paid the price for my folly.
A permanent break. Gone forever.
And so my heart.
With her broken tail.
The agony she must have suffered.
She has suffered violent nightmares every night since then. She is wary of doors.
Even though I blame myself more than anyone else, even more than the person whose utter carelessness caused this, nevertheless, I do not wish to speak to him again. The very sight, sound and smell of that person makes me palpably sick. Yet, when he appeared again recently, Lucy remained friendly and did not show fear or aggression. This broke me even further. Because of that purity of trust. She trusts me. She trusts the decisions I make for her. She trusts me to protect and care for her. The people I allow near her. The food I feed to her. Every single detail of her life, she entrusts to me.
And I failed her.
Friends tell me I ought to demand that the person pay for all her medical care. Yes, it is true that the vet bill completely wiped me out – I am not exaggerating. It was all the money I had in the bank. And yes, I have no idea where I will get the money to pay for the ongoing after care. We returned to Lucy’s regular vet for the latter, and he has not billed me yet for the last two visits. But the terrible taste in my mouth at the very idea of even uttering any form of address to that person is too overwhelming. Besides, that person never once offered to pay Lucy’s vet bill. He did not take responsibility for his callous actions. His half hearted apology was nothing but a poorly veiled excuse to exonerate himself. His soft, gentle voice sickens me in its slithery slimy texture. My ears hurt and nausea screams from the deepest trenches of my bowels. I would scrimp, scrape, beg and borrow, to pay for Lucy’s vet bills, rather than have any contact with that person. I am also excruciatingly aware that this person is a friend of a dear friend whose kindness and generosity towards me I do not deserve and can never repay… and all further words from this point just trip over one another while falling into the swirling, hapless silence of a roaring vacuum.
The money is not the subject of my grief. I have friends to whom I can turn for help in this area.
My devastation lies in the fact that I have caused both Lucy and myself to lose something precious forever. Her beauty. Her dignity. People think these are merely cosmetic. But not to me. The skin and bones and fur may be superficial, but they are symbols to me that speak of her whole Being. They connect us with the cosmic interconnectivities, the elemental dynamic material empathic systems. When I turned my back on my intrinsic functionality, choosing to ignore my screaming instincts, shutting down the loud voices of misgiving, and giving in to the louder booming demands of an alien system, I left her in the hands of someone I do not trust – because I was desperate and failed to perceive alternative solutions – I broke my own integrity.
I failed Lucy. And I failed myself.
Heartbreak is a paltry word to describe this severance.
But I have no other words for the pain.
Of course. We will survive this. We will keep going. Lucy shows the way forward, with her spunkiness and verve. I am certain of this. People send me good wishes, and I appreciate their care and support. I am not one who wallows in the miry bogs of self-pity, nor would I allow this to hamper my forging on ahead. But my grief is knowing that nothing will heal this pain – because no power in the universe can un-break that which is forever broken.