Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Days After

The first morning that we awoke without her was for us a very emotional laden moment.
We missed the usual morning ritual, her warm morning welcome quacking. The sight of her empty nest was almost unbearable. We sat in silence, having our breakfast on the kitchen table ... gazing outside. We both had problems to speak about the future and what to do now.
Therefore we left everything outside in the garden as it was and we took the time to see the film pictures of her in better times.
That was what we needed!
It felt so good to see her as baby, as toddler, how we made nests together and how she gave me cuddles.
We both could smile again after such a long time of sadness. We considered ourselves so lucky to have known her.
The next days we spend most of our time to see the film pictures of her and to convert them from VHS to DVD (to secure them). In the mean time I was writing down the posts for my blog (I can also use this to tell Pipke's full story).

Then I was thinking: what a way to tell a story! You don't know yet how it started (if you have not read the short story on Jen's blog) and now I told you already the end, but I assure you: the between story will surprise you.

Afraid that I would forget things, I wrote down everything that I could remember. Writing down her story gave me solace, it seemed as if she was still alive as long as I wrote about her. Sometimes it was very difficult to keep my emotions under control and I could not concentrate on other matters than Pipke.
TV or radio, I could not stand it. A beautiful song made me cry.
I couldn't sleep well because I relived over and over again Pipke's struggle.

Days we avoided contact with people who knew Pipke because we were afraid to lose control about our emotions.
So now and then we walked through the garden to her pond. Everything lay there still as she had left the place for the last time.
We both noticed that the world around us sounded so much different, it was such an immense silence now.
First we didn't know what to do with her inclosure, now that the place was no longer needed. After a while we decided to leave it as it was, this would be her place for ever. In Spring we are going to clean the place up and make a beautiful spot of it.

The morning that we planned to remove her veranda to the back of the garden my husband called me: "come quick ...look!" Several little birds sat on Pipke's veranda (I could take a picture of one). This was the first time that this happened. It seemed almost if they came looking for Pipke.

Now her veranda has a place in the back of our garden, behind the edge, and now it stores a small lawn mower.
For the first time since we live in our house we had to mow the lawn without her.
Gardening without our “garden assistant” Is no longer fun, it has lost the luster it once had, now we do it because it must be done.
When Pipke was still here we were outside as much as we could. Even when it rained or in Winter we spend at least one and a half hour in the garden with her, since she died... our back door remains closed for days .
Since I stood there with her on the window, looking outside into the garden, also I have lost interest for the outside world. I never could imagine that my life would be so empty without her.

Now I am reading the book that I ordered so long ago: Wesley the Owl, written by Stacey O'Brien.
It gives me so much consolation! I discovered not only that we experienced both so much the same but also that the way I behave now is not abnormal. Stacey also became very emotional when Wesley died. Of course, as a biologist she approached her story also scientific, but she felt the same for Wesley as I felt for Pipke.

At the moment that I was reading page 36 (love me, love my owl) I became curious and went to the end of the book. I discovered that when Stacey reads books with animal stories she often reads the end of these books first. I did the same.
She wrote what also I think and feel, I quote: “the one thing that I hate about animal stories is that after you've almost read the entire book and you really care about the animal, they go and tell you all about how the animal died. So you should stop reading now if you don't want to hear about Wesley dying. But I need to tell you.”
I also needed to tell Pipke's story, I wanted you to know how wonderful she was, I wanted to share this with you.
I only do regret that I confronted you with dead and grief, pain and sorrow, I wished I could tell you that she lived for ever, but ... that's something that only happens in fairy tales and this is: reality!
Now I envy Stacey a little because, she had the opportunity to tell her story before a life audience, she had someone who encouraged and helped her to write the book. That's something I will never experience, but she deserves the success with her book. She made this beautiful story possible.

Thus, I will comfort myself with the idea that maybe someone reads Pipke's story here on blogger, and I hope ... that this someone comes at the end to the conclusion: (not taken into account the mistakes in my English grammar or my lack of writers talent) that it was worth to have read it.
If that's the case, then I will be pleased!
Now, before you all get enough of this (if that's not already the case), and although I still mourn, from now on, no more tears*, I am going to try only to smile because she has lived.

Till next time....with beautiful memories!:)

PS: * I promise to do my best!
Now I am going to read the middle part of Stacey's book.


  1. Good for you Fran! And what a consolation to know that others have experienced a similar loss to your own and survived it to tell the tale. I too have mourned and cried over a lost beloved pet. When my little dog had to be put to sleep I was not prepared and I wailed. The poor vet's office did not know what to do with me. But we can't help who or what we love, what is dear to our heart. Sending you hugs my friend!

  2. im crying for you. really, i read the two post before this and now im on this one.i am so sorry you dont have your gardening companion. so sorry. i hope my husband doesnt come into the room where im at, he would see a red blochy faced crying girl! sometimes i know that loving my duck as much as i do will only make things unbearable when she dies. but you have said that you were able to look back on her life and were happy just to have known her.

  3. Yes dirtyduck, It's almost "unbearable" when you lose what you love the most, but that's how it goes. Love grows, and I think it's better to have loved than to have never loved!
    Love, even for an animal, makes your life complete and you never can love them too much!
    Please cry no more, enjoy the time you have with your Lilly! (is that her name?)
    ((Hugs to you)) and please give Lilly an extra hug from me!:):)