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Blue Christmas Without You Our Message to Gracey

Blue Christmas

 Normally I welcome the feeling of stillness that accompanies winter’s first  blanket of snow, but  I feel downhearted.  The below average temperatures are not welcome at my door.  Early morning hours are a favorite of mine with just a hint of sunlight creeping in and glistening off the snow covered ground. But today, I see only gray.

Kitchen window

Looking out the kitchen window,  there is no movement in the yard.  I wrap my hands around my coffee  and hold the warm mug to my cheek.  The heat is soothing and I smile seeing the image of the Sumatran Tiger on the mug.  This was a gift from our friend Bob because he knew  if you were a tiger I thought you would be  a Sumatran tiger, the smallest tiger subspecies.  I see  light shining through Cindy’s stars dancing on our windowsill. They bring comfort even on the darkest of days. A reminder of  loved ones living on in our hearts.

Unlocking  the sun room door, I hear the thundering herd.  Eddie is always first, followed by Annie and Mercy. I turn on the heater  and plug in your heated thinking circle.  Eddie likes to meditate in the warmth of your bed. Annie prances on the cold tile and decides the warmth of the kitchen  is more to her liking. Mercy patrols the border and finding all in order joins Annie in waiting for the room to warm up. But Eddie loves being in the sun room no matter the temperature just like you.

Lonley winter tree
The back yard  is empty. No sign of life.  I notice the bird feeder at the back corner of the yard is empty and feel guilty I chose laziness over filling the feeder yesterday.  Your dad strung lights on the young Maple tree and  like Cindy’s stars, they remind me there is light in the darkness. No deer tracks in the snow, I wonder where they are.

Star without GraceyYou loved the blue stars  your dad hung up in your sun room each year.  You would  dash out into the sun room as soon as you heard the door unlocking and leap to the top of the Cat Power Tower. There you would  star gaze and daydream. But this morning, even your stars have lost their blue.   Through the frost on the window I see your friend Bossy Backyard Blue Jay sitting alone on a snow covered branch.  His brilliant blue subdued in this morning’s light. Bossy and I are kindred spirits at this moment.  We stand in solidarity contemplating.Blue Jay on snowy branchesMost days we power through the long-lasting sadness of loss. But for many, the holidays bring to the surface the sharper edge of grief.   So as the snow covers the ground and the blues grab hold of my heart, I allow myself to  feel the desolation of loss and patiently wait for the sun to peek through the clouds  throwing sparkles across the snow covered ground.

I reach for my coat, hat, gloves and lace up my boots.  The cold air revives me and silence is broken with the crunch of my footsteps in the snow. I see each breath and think at least I can make myself useful.

Blue Jay with PeanutI shake off the snow flakes, step out of my boots and decide another cup of coffee is what I need.  I take my steaming tiger mug out into the sun room and see my deed was not unappreciated. And I think, Bossy’s brilliant blue is back.  I feel a paw at my feet and  see Eddie’s handsome face looking up at me. I scoop him up and we look out the window together.

Daydreaming about GraceyGrief comes in waves and we are drifting along.  I miss you Gracey.   The peace ornament hanging in the kitchen window catches my eye. It has been there since we lost my dad. A reminder of words of comfort from his funeral mass.

I am leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So do not be troubled or afraid. -John 14:27

 I know many of you, like us, are missing loved ones. I hope their spirit and love living on in your hearts brings you comfort. I wish you peace this holiday season.

  • Eva Burnett

    You very eloquently tore my heart. I still miss my Herbert, gone for almost 8 years now. He was my chemo buddy. He never left my side if he didn’t need too. He made, “kitty caves” in my blankets to be under there with me. He was the most empathic fur person I’ve ever been owned by. He was a rescue, along with his litter sister, Zoe. Zoe died suddenly of a heart attack at a year old. Herbert had a mild cardiomyopathy, but he lived to be 18 years. Cancer took him from us. It almost killed me to sign the papers to euthanise him. He hid it from me until it was too late.

    Now we have Bixby, a special needs rescue, and Brianna also a rescue. Bixby is a constant worry.p, not that he knows it. He and Brianna run around like crazy cats do, bask in the sun, and try to teach me how to relax.

    My heart is with you for your loss.

  • Denise

    Bittersweet message. It reminds me that life passes by so quickly. Enjoy each moment – and cherish every soul that touches you. Merry Christmas to the Tiniest Tiger family.

  • Meowlin

    I definitely heard that. I still miss ‘Mantha (maybe you remember her – you said she looked *a lot* like Gracey), who has been “waiting at the Bridge” since June, 2011. I still have Bico and Barney, as well as my “guest cats,” Buster and Patchouli (staying here while their rightful person is living where she isn’t allowed to have them with her), but still… there’s a ” ‘Mantha-shaped hole in my heart,” and it always seems to ache a little more at certain times of the year – such as Christmas.
    (”/)

  • Ingrid King

    What a heartbreakingly beautiful post. Much love to you as you find your way through this first holiday season without Gracey.

  • Dawn

    What a beautiful post. I’m wiping away the tears as I read this.

  • Janet Collins

    Thank you so much….I will always love Gracey, and these words are very comforting…xoxox Sending love and hugs to you in this season also…

  • Shadow Dance Ranch Kittehs

    Our many paws reach out to you. We love and miss our sweet friend Gracey too. Sending you all snuggles and purrs. xoxoxo The SDR Clan

  • Laura Malone

    Every time I read one of your letters to Gracey I cry because I know that there is a pet parent out there that is going threw the same kind grief that I am This is my first Christmas without Firecracker. Merry Christmas TTT hope its a good one This is Firecracker from 2010

  • katsrus

    Very touching post Joanne. I am missing my Squeaky kitty too. Big hugs and purrs from our house to yours.
    Sue B

  • Cindy Loohoo

    It’s so hard, I know… Love to you!

  • Sometimes, Cats Herd You

    Such a touching post. This is the first Christmas without the head peep’s mother, whose birthday is December 24. Holiday seasons weave beautiful and painful things together sometimes. We just have to breathe and keep moving.

  • Heidi P-O

    This is the first Christmas without my husband’s parents. I think I’m taking it harder than he is sometimes. It just feels weird.

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