Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pickles, 2004 - May 30th, 2012

“There are four questions of value in life... What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for, and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same. Only love.” – Don Juan de Marco


A better title for this post might be – “Man Plans, God Laughs”. I’m a little bitter right now.

A deep chasm inside of me aches like nothing I ever felt before. Pickles taught me so much about life. I have no idea how to live inside my deafness without her.

The lines from Roberta Flack’s song “Killing Me Softly With His Words” -  Strumming my pain with his fingers, Singing my life with his words, Killing me softly with his song, Killing me softly with his song, Telling my whole life with his words; keep reverberating down to skin and bones. We had our own language, words that only we shared between animal and human, an understanding no-one else could ever apprehend; words that are killing me softly as I sit here mourning for my sweet friend.

Pickles died from an extremely aggressive form of Leukemia yesterday. There wasn’t a single clue to indicate she had cancer, until it was too late. Everything was fine at her last vet visit, then last Wednesday she had a seizure. By Memorial day she was at the Emergency Vets getting X-rays and Lab work done – sneezing blood all over. I was afraid of an upper respiratory infection, or even some form of dog Epilepsy. I would give anything…if only that had been true.

That night the vet thought she might have a week or two left – by morning it was downgraded to mere days, hours…Without any warning, I was losing my precious girl, my ears, my heart. I would never have imagined this ending for her in a million years. She had to be in such extreme pain and never once did she whimper or bark. Even up till the end she tried to protect me.

Then there’s Pickles puppy – Bjarki. Two months ago I picked out a puppy for Pickles. I wanted a puppy to grow up around her and form a bond with her before she went fully blind. The month before his arrival, I kept telling Pickles he was her puppy to help her accept him into the house. They adored each other. She became so protective of him. In turn, he taught her how to play like a normal dog. I remember laughing when he would pick up her leash and try to lead her, like a match made in heaven.

Bjarki stands for little bear in Icelandic - protector. He was supposed to be her protector, her helpmate, her friend…her puppy. I can’t describe how much it hurt to separate them when she became so sick. They would stare at each other across the gate yearning. At night she would sneak downstairs and sleep under the computer desk beside his crate. How am I supposed to raise this little guy without her? He was never supposed to be mine…oh, this hurts so deep.

She’s buried in the myrtle where she loved to wander. Bjarki is making a habit of going directly to her grave whenever we go outside, then he trails along the yard to her favorite places. As hard as it is, I can’t refuse. He’s trying desperately to hang onto her scent. Today he picked up a stuffed lamb that belonged to her and tried to carry it out the door with him, without a doubt to her gravesite.

Pickles taught me to be a writer; she showed me how to be still within the silence in order to really see the world more clearly. I can’t find my stillness amid this pain that shatters me to the core. She was my everything, I’m empty without her, the world is in sharp contrast made of sterile rationalizations that cut deep into a soul.

“I wish the world wouldn't be so cold, as to take such a beautiful soul.” OPM- Brighter Side

I'm lost without you sweet friend...


  1. I'm so sorry for your loss. My mother raised show cats for a living. These were Himalayan cats and she paid a pretty penny for a prize show cat called Atlas who became her favorite. She loved that cat so much. And then it got leukemia, just as you described, and died. My mother was absolutely devastated. I don't think she was really ever the same. She still had Atlas' offspring, the last of whom died about ten years ago. We planted her in the rose garden. Now my mother sits in a nursing home, brain ravaged by dementia, but I know she thinks often about those beautiful cats.

  2. Oh, I am so so sorry. I wish there was something I could say or do, but of course there is not.

    I am sure Bjarki will be your protector, as you are his, and your sweetest friend will look on always, to both of you.

    Much love to you my friend x

  3. My heart just sank when I saw this posting. I want you to know that I will shoulder as much grief as I can bear through the internet.

    If I may share something about the loss of a loved one... when my best aunt, Mother and Darling brother all left this world, it was quickly and efficiently. My strongest memories are not of them suffering but of them when they were at their best.

    Hopefully, because you did not have to see Pickles in any other state for too long a time, you too, will be left with nothing but the best memories of your friend.

  4. I am new to your blog and so sorry on my first visit to find out about your precious Pickles.I am happy to hear that
    your new little friend Bjarki is with you.


  5. Indigo, I haven't been round your blog for a long while, and I don't know what drew me here tonight.
    I cannot imagine what you must feel like, having so suddenly lost your faithful companion to such a cruel disease like leukaemia. I can but wish you strength, and will keep an eye on your postings - and will send others here.

  6. Oh, God, Indie. I am sick for you. I cannot even fathom the depths of your despair. I am so, so sorry.

  7. What an utter and complete joy to read about Pickles, imagining the pictures your words formed in my head! Now you have her forever. As the pain works its way through your soul, as is its want, I'm sure you'll come out all the stronger for the knowing of such a trusting, loving fellow creature. Namaste <3

  8. Indigo, Im so so sorry to hear about your precious Pickles. Im sending you big big hugs and lots of love.

    I lost your blog for so so long. Ive found you again and Im glad about that. I have started writing again now and then.

    Love Lainey xxx

  9. Im so, so sorry, Indigo.. My heart is breaking for you right now friend.

  10. Oh, Indigo - I'm so very, very sorry. I shed tears reading this - I know how much Pickles means to you. I'm glad you and Bjarki (great name!) have each other right now. It's so hard.

    You'll find your way. You always do. You'll take those precious memories and use them to support you as you find a new way. I'll be thinking of you and sending my best thoughts and wishes your way.

    *hugs* Jemi

  11. On behalf of Regina (wumzels2 [at] aol) condolences on your loss.

  12. My heart filled with sadness when I read this. I am so sorry for you and Bjarki's loss. I wish there was something I could say, but I know nothing will really help.

  13. Sincere commiserations. Stay strong for Bjarki. x

  14. i am so sorry for your loss- words cannot express or even begin to describe how important pickles and you were for each other and how much you helped each other on the time you journeyed together in this life. please know we are thinking of you and little bjarki and sending thoughts of love and support your way.


  15. Even though I still grieve for Guinness a year and a half later, I cannot imagine the pain you are having to deal with, but you have the utmost of my sympathies and good thoughts.

  16. I'm not alone in saying: I knew Pickles. Through the power of your writing, I knew her well.

    But may I be so bold as to say, she'd not want her passing to exacerbate any isolation leanings you already have tucked away. She'd want you to hit the road with Bjarki.

  17. Oh Indigo. I am so sorry. Pickles was such a beautiful girl. In a way I'm glad that you brought Bjarki into your life before this. I imagine that Pickles is probably happier knowing that you are not alone.

  18. I'm so sorry you have lost your beloved Pickles. I know I've not been around to read your blog in a long long time but I saw that you had lost your dog and wanted to let you know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  19. I am so very sorry and heartbroken to hear about Pickles. I am shocked and so very sad ~ I've always felt as though I knew her. My heart goes out to you. I know the pain you feel. I'll be keeping you close in thought.

  20. Indigo, I am so sorry. I feel like I knew Pickles through your writing. Every mention of her made me smile. I still think Pickles is my favorite dog name ever.

    I'd been hoping to see a new post from you, but not this one. I'm sending you hugs and good thoughts.

  21. aaawww my friend I am so very very sorry.. Pickles was such a part of your life I can only imagine the emptiness you feel. Loves and hugs.. Miss you!!!!

  22. I am so sorry to hear this. I understand your sorrow, as our canine friends are very dear to us here on our farm.

  23. i know the pain of losing a beloved pet, but your loss extends so much further than that. mere words cannot express my sympathy, indigo. but know that bjarki is there to guide you through the grief process. so let him. hugs.

  24. Indigo, it's been a long time my i haven't blogged in 2 yrs. But i do still read my old favorites every chance i get, i'm on face book almost daily, & saw there per Guido that you had lost Pickles. So here i am, to offer my condolences, as you remember I've been thru this myself, too many times. My tears fell & softly splashed on the keyboard as i read your heartfelt entry. Please know Pickles is still with you & the pup. She'll be looking down & watching you both as Bjarki grows up. Then someday, you'll both see her again, waiting for you to join her @ the Rainbow Bridge, as you cross over. God be with you till then.

  25. Indigo, I am in tears and so sorry for your loss, big hugs Lisa

  26. I was so very sorry to read of your loss but I'm glad you have Bjarki.

  27. Oh my dear Indigo,
    I am so sorry for your loss of Pickles. I know you couldn't bear to see Pickles suffer like that. I am grateful that God put Bjarki into your lives. Bjarki cannot ever replace Pickles. But with everything that Pickles went through in this lifetime, through Katrina and everything, I'm glad that Bjarki got some time with Pickles and somehow I think it was to prepare Bjarki to carry on with you as Pickles knew that her time was coming to an end. Bjarki will never replace Pickles but serve as a reminder of your best friend and Bjarki will carve out his own relationship with you. I'm glad you aren't alone Indigo. Keep your chin up... We mourn with you my friend but please remember to celebrate Pickles life. It opened up a new avenue for you... I hope that you can continue to blossom as a person even through the pain and smile through the tears as a tribute to your dear friend.

  28. oh, indigo. i'm so sorry. i'm not sure there are words that can really do anything. but i hope you are gentle with your heart. that you find peace soon.

  29. I am so, so sad for you. I wish I could comfort you.

  30. I'm so so sorry Indigo. I wish there was something I could do to ease your pain. (hugs)

  31. I read this tonight with a heavy heart and tears in my eyes. I am so sorry for your extreme loss. Hugs to you my friend, I know that Bjarki will give you some well needed comfort.

  32. Indigo, I can't even begin to express how sorry I am for the loss of dear Pickles. In some ways, she was all of ours, because we came to love her through your words and descriptions. I wish I could take the pain away, but all I can do is send you love and strength as you try to cope with this terrible loss.

    Love and Hugs,

  33. I know no words can ease your pain,but am hoping this poem I found years ago may help to soothe.

    Lend Me a Pup

    I will lend to you for awhile
    a puppy, God said,
    For you to love him while he lives
    and to mourn for him when he is gone.
    Maybe for 12 or 14 years,
    or maybe for 2 or 3
    But will you, till I call him back
    take care of him for me?

    He’ll bring his charms to gladden you
    and (should his stay be brief)
    you’ll always have his memories
    as solace for your grief.
    I cannot promise that he will stay
    since all from Earth return,
    But there are lessons taught below
    I want this pup to learn.

    I’ve looked the whole world over
    in seach of teachers true
    And from the fold that crowd life’s land
    I have chosen you.
    Now will you give him all your love
    Nor think the labor vain,
    nor hate me when I come to take my pup back again?

    I fancied that I heard them say,
    “Dear Lord, Thy Will Be Done,”
    For all the joys this pup will bring
    the risk of grief you’ll run.
    Will you shelter him with tenderness,
    Will you love him while you may?
    And for the happiness you’ll know forever grateful stay.

    But should I call him back
    much sooner than you’ve planned,
    please brave the bitter grief that comes and try to understand.
    If, by your love, you’ve managed
    my wishes to achieve,
    In memory of him that you’ve loved,
    cherish every moment you had with your
    faithful friend, and know he loved you too.

    - Author Unknown-


  34. I don't know what to say to ease your pain Indigo on the loss of your beautiful Pickles. :~(
    Sending you prayers and hugs ... wish it could be more. xx

  35. Well it's a long time since I read and lost you, when J/Land folded Indigo.I missed your wonderful words,I am so sad to read from Guido about Dear Pickles.I remember you getting pickles,and I can fully understand how devastated you must be.As Sugar would say.Gone over the rainbow bridge,no more suffering.RIP sweet Pickles you were a wonderful companion,to a wonderful mum,and will be asdly missed by many.Take Care God Bless Indigo.Lovely to have found you again.Kath xx

  36. dear dear Indigo...My heart goes out to you..theer are hardly any words of comfort at this little Dee died in almost the same circumstances just before Xmas...the ache and emptyness is almost unbearable...
    I hope that ne morning you will wake up and find Bjarki needs you just as you need him and in some way you will realise that he has been sent by Pickles to continue his love for you.. God Bless my dear friend...Love Sybil xx

  37. My heart breaks for you. I am so very sorry.

  38. i am so,so deeply sorry Indigo.i lost touch with so many of my blog friends,ill health,mum,whatever.yours was always one of my most favourite blogs,and i came to know and love Pickles through my thoughts my dear friend,love mort xx

  39. I am so sorry to hear this terribly sad news. Our furry friends become our family members. I still tear up when I think of my dear little Gabi and she's been gone for over 3 years now. Sending hugs and hope that the presence of Bjarki will help mend your broken heart.

  40. I am so sorry to hear about Pickles... I'm hoping too that Bjarki will help you remember Pickles with smiles... Always Gentle Hugs and Special Thoughts for you...........

  41. Indigo, I am so sorry to hear that. I know that Pickles was having a rough time for a while. You were great friends.

    I'm glad that you have a new little dog.

  42. I am so sorry for your loss...Pickles sounded like a very special friend to you. I firmly believe that one day we will meet again all of our loved ones in a much better place. It's good that you have the puppy...although he will never replace the love that you had for Pickles, you will discover traits with the little one that will help you too....sending good thoughts your way dear....

  43. Oh sweet friend. The grief can seem unbearable. Such a hole, and the wind....when the wind blows through we feel every edge. I'm so sorry. There is little else I can say, just that my heart feels your heart.


  44. Indigo, I could not believe it when I read your post. Dear sweet Pickles is gone. I feel as if I knew her from your writings. The feeling of loss over a four legged companion and friend is hard to describe. I still mourn my dogs that have gone. I think of all of them. Pickles will be ready to greet you in the spirit world. Take care, dear Indigo. There won't be another Pickles, but there will be other dogs to love.

  45. i have had many dogs over the years but one was a souldog for me. i could not look at pictures of her for over a year after she died. it does get easier but the pain is just as you describe. much love to you dear indigo.

  46. so very sorry for our loss. I'm glad you have the puppy for comfort, but I know you are both grieving. My heart goes out to you.

  47. My heart just breaks alongside yours. I am so incredibly, deeply sorry. Somehow furry family members are just as difficult as our human family members. I don't have much to add to what others wrote. I'm just so very, very, sorry.

    Hugs honey.

  48. Just to let you know you are in my thoughts and hope that the pain in your heart is a little easier,
    God Bless and Love from Sybil xx

  49. Oh my goodness!! I'm so so sorry!! I can't imagine the hurt you are going through as well as the new pup!! Awww, how sweet and yet how sad that the puppy wanted to take the toy out to Pickle's grave!! Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers!!

  50. INDIGO! Since you still in my sidebar list...going through it now--and I missed this post. Reading it made me want to cry, but 'boys don't do that'. RIGHT?--grin!

    I CAN imagine the painful process of living without this One Who loved you, as you did her. You write with such a great love, a passionate questioning. You will remember her for the rest of your life.

    I know, because I still remember fondly a Collie ("Lassie", of course!) Who died when I was about age 15 on the farm (64 years ago).

    You write so well, so articulate, communicative, that I hesitate to mention that to you.

    Thank you for several years of reading pleasure.

    Steve E

  51. So very sorry to hear about your loss of wonderful Pickles. I really enjoyed your stories about her and could feel the love between the two of you. You are both in my prayers, tonight.

  52. she taught you to be a writer and you are a writer. You learned the secret of stillness, so you know stillness. You are not empty nor lost. Pickles left a lot in you to help you carry on

  53. Indigo, for some reason this never showed up on my browser and so tonight I thought to check and see what was happening with you...
    I am so sorry for your loss. what other words can I say other than that.


  54. This comment has been removed by the author.

  55. it's such a large void. much love and peace. pickles was beautiful. i believe she lives on in you.

  56. I'm sorry about Pickles. Made me weep too.

  57. I am so behind in my blog reading, I just found this post today. I have noticed that you have not posted since...I am so sorry that she is gone, and so sorry for the pain and loss you are experiencing. I hope you can share your thoughts with us again soon, hope you are feeling more than sadness these days, hope your silence can be filled with voice, words, and heart music again soon. Give Bjarki a hug for me for Pickle's loss, too. I hope you are well.

  58. Hi Indigo, Please raise your voice with your pen or typewriter or computer. I miss your poems. I lost my little dog Ambi May 1st, and didn't think I would live without her - I do though, and dream of her. I hope you are feeling better and can be happy that you had dear Pickles, not only sad to lose her. I hope she's with her doggie mom in another, better place. - J.J.Brown

  59. Thank you for sharing so deeply of yourself, your beautiful soul exposed again and again. My heart is a little heavier tonight for your pain. I wish you peace.

  60. Thank you for sharing so deeply of yourself, your beautiful soul exposed again and again. My heart is a little heavier tonight for your pain. I wish you peace.

  61. So sorry for your loss, Thank you for sharing Pickles with us :) May you find comfort with your memories.
    Take care

  62. So sorry to hear about Pickles.



  63. I was so moved by this epitaph for Pickles and very sad for your loss.

    Your writing is vivid and a pleasure to read. I'm glad to have discovered your blog.



Thank you for giving my silence a voice, my muse your words, and taking the time to discover my prose.