Last Friday, my kitten had four kittens.
This morning, I buried the last one.
My favorite. The one that fought the hardest. And I cried. I’ve cried off and on all day.
Right now, I’m not a big fan of my cat. One, because she failed at her job of being a mother. Two, because she stuck me with that job for seven long days and nights. Three, because my children looked to me to with big hopeful eyes to save the day and I failed miserably. Four, because I hate the sight of suffering baby animals and always have. And five, because I hate failing at things.
But I failed. And it ended. And I hate endings most of all.
Especially endings that can’t be prevented—the kind of endings that maybe you saw coming but still weren’t prepared for. The kind you can’t stop with a prayer and a wish and an outstretched hand trying to push the inevitable back. The kind that catch you off guard and make you wobble a bit and leave you just a little emptier inside.
For me, those kinds of endings almost always usher in sadness.
I hate sadness most of all.
Sadness the probably the rawest of all emotions. When you’re happy, you’re happy. Laughter comes easily and often. A sense of euphoria hovers overhead…the kind that makes a day exciting to look forward to and fun to experience. When you’re afraid, you can combat it. Turn on a light, reach for a hand, enfold someone in a hug, fist a butter knife in a false display of bravery. When you’re nervous, you can calm down. Drink glass of wine to settle your insides, talk to a friend and gain a new perspective, take deep breaths and count to ten—the trusted proverbial way that supposedly makes all problems go away.
But when you’re sad, you just are. You can laugh, but the tears will remain pooled behind the eyes. You can hug, but in the moment of contact those collected tears will more than likely fall. You can count, but when you reach number ten you’ll just have to start all over again. Sadness isn’t afraid of numbers. No amount of counting will ever force it into a corner. I am frightened by math. Sadness is frightened by nothing.
We all experience it in one way or another. In unrequited love, in disappointment with a job, in a bad test score, in a fight with a friend, in a relationship with a child.
And in pets.
This week has been a sad one. For my daughters. For my mother who came to help every day. For me.
Thank God for weekends. Thank God for approaching Mondays. Thank God for new beginnings.