God, please guard me against sorrow and do not allow grief to continue dragging me into misery. Give me strength and courage to face what is in front of me each and every day. I cannot hurry thee, Lord but please take me into your kingdom in your time so I can be reunited with those I lost.
Life had been good until August 2019 (last year). Family, people and things I love and taken for granted were taken away from me. I experienced grief, sorrow and pain so agonising and excruciating that no words can explain.
The grief was so unbearable that I often I wish I was dead.
God sent good people my way and through their fellowship, today is my second day of reading the Bible again after so many years, God spoke to me in a song.
No matter where we are in life, the Lord is our light and our strength. He watches over us and stands by our side. The powerful lyrics of ‘Be Thou My Vision‘ are the perfect reminder of His love and presence.
It was Sunday, what a beautiful day! An autumn day of lovely sunshine.
Our garden looked warm and peaceful. There are fewer birds now since we made the decision to chop down eight Palm trees, some quite tall. Looking out my bedroom window, I missed the Tui (bird) I used to see most days on my tall Queen Palm. Now, I can see a bigger patch of a clear blue sky.
Along our back fence, a plant blooms with beautiful purple flowers. The plant was a gift from a friend six months ago. We cut some of those flowers for our Beloved Bom. The plant was given to us as a kind gesture for our loss. The many wreaths and bouquets, big and small have gone with her but this plant and another rose plant (given by another friend) were planted in our garden where flowers bloom.
You held on to my hand when I was little. I hugged on to your back as I rode on your motorbike to school each morning for a year and then you bought a car because my younger sister started school too. We missed you and love you always.
Who would let go of their dearest pet dog of ten years, a true companion and best friend.
Toby was my baby. My hands were stroking him the whole night he passed.
We are not in control of when we come or leave this earth. We just have to let go.
29 October 2019
It makes no sense why a mother should bury her child. How could this be?
Judith (aka Bom) left us so suddenly and I held on to her hand until her soul left for heaven.
I am sad and grieving for my loved ones. I know there are many like me out there too, missing their loved ones forever. Grief doesn’t get any better in time. I am still living with a broken heart that still beats as life goes on.
To those who have lost their loved ones, I share a quote below:
I was brought up in a Buddhist family that practice ancestors worship, prayed in temples and set up altars during Chinese New Year to pray to the Kitchen God or Moon cake festival to pray to the Moon.
Neil Armstrong landed on the moon on July 20, 1969. I was seven years old and as far as I remembered, we continued to ‘worshipped’ the moon till I was in my early teens.
I studied in a mission school and became a Christian (Anglican) against my family’s wishes. I was devoted then, memorized many verses in the bible. Growing up, life was good. As a teenager, I cried to my God and shared with Him my puppy loves. Nothing major happened. My grandmother and then my uncle died. I was sad but I just accepted that old people die and that was what the song said
Mummy had and still is to a less painful extent been grieving for you since you departed on 22/8/2019.
Bom (Mummy’s younger daughter) is suffering from severe depression. At this moment, she needs lots of care and love from people around her. This had taken all Mummy’s time and made your passing more bearable. It is now time to let go, live in the present and give my love and attention to Bom and support the family. Mummy had to pull herself out of the deep grief for you, Tob, stopped all the tears each night since you left.
Today, Mummy put away your belongings packed in a ham bag and placed it with your little indoor doggy bed in the garage. Mummy made a book all about you, my beloved Tob boy. Two beautiful pictures of you, one with ‘departed’ Bluey (bear) and another poster of you from a young puppy to a 10-year-old handsome Toby hanging in Mummy’s room. Cute puppy and dog coasters are here and there around the house. Our home has your presence, beautiful memories that will last forever.
There will be tears every now and then as Mummy is and forever will miss and remember you with love.
Love from Mummy
P.S. Hopefully Mummy will be strong enough to pen the last thirteen and a half days of your life since diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma which was the other part of this blog. We had posted celebrating your life with beautiful pictures and memories that warmed Mummy’s heart with each word she typed and posted here.
Always loved, forever missed and fondly remembered.
“Kiss kiss” probably meant (to Tob) a way to express love and my Tob showed it the only way he knew how. That was to lick and showed affection with his ‘hugging’ eyes on me and those whom he knew loved him.
I meant to write about the ‘incidents’ that happened while we had Toby. However, in my mind, I tend to fondly reminisce all the good and cute things about Tob that the not-so-cute things became secondary.
However, it should be noted that both breeds are boisterous, and mouthy when young, things which need addressing sooner rather than later. They can cause a fair bit of damage knocking over both ornaments and people when excited and puppy’s teeth are sharp even when playing or not meaning any harm.
In Toby’s life, he had three incidents that were not at all pleasant and made it quite stressful for us. On the other hand, because we knew so much more about Toby’s traits and personality, we became extra careful in handling him in public (during walks and when we brought him out to public places).
His first incident shocked us so much. Tob was around 2 years old and as always, we took him to almost everywhere we went. We were having breakfast at a local cafe and this young waitress came round and petted him and stooped down to his level and put her face in front of him. It was such a sudden act that in fact took me by surprise and Toby must have felt uncomfortable and he growled at her. He sort of snapped and she was taken aback and to calm the situation, I said “Kiss kiss” trying to pass the message that she was a ‘friend’. Of course, Toby did not lick that young lass but he calmed down.
So his behaviour from that incident indicated to us that he was no longer a loving cute puppy and he was a dog with the genes of a staffy.
The second not-so-cute thing about Toby was when he lunged at a waitress when he was about three years old. He was under the table while we waited for our order. When the waitress came out with our order, my companion waived the Table Number Stand to get her attention and when the waitress came with the food, Toby suddenly lunged at her. At at point, I felt so embarrassed and knew I was so frowned upon by the other patrons. The poor waitress was frightened so I took her to the doctor who confirmed there was no bite. I was so apologetic and gave her $100 which she refused but I insisted.
From there on, we were very careful when we walked Toby. He had a tendency to lunge at strangers especially if they suddenly appeared in front of him.
He hated knocks on our main door (usually from courier early in the morning) and went wild, barking aggressively when strangers came to the door. When he was younger, he barked too when strangers (or my friends) visited but he barked while stepping backwards. In a way, Toby was a timid dog. We could sensed that he was afraid of strangers.
The third not-so-cute thing costed us $1,600. I was overseas and my son brought Toby out for a walk and he lunged at a lady. (That was when he was around 6 years old.) . His claw must have caught her ‘leather jacket’ and she reported him to the council and demanded $1,600 from my son saying that was for the cost of the jacket. My son was so threatened that he gave her $1,600. I honestly thought it was a rip off but of course we were at fault because Toby lunged at her. The council did not pursue the case as they were aware that both parties had sorted out the ‘dispute’ (incident) and the other party was not hurt or bitten.
After this incident, I flew home and registered Toby for re-training. That was when we started having a mat at the lounge because the trainer said that Toby needed to interact with people rather than locking him in a room or garage when friends called round. The mat was supposed to be a place he was ordered to go when people visited and was given treats as a reward. That did not quite work and instead, whenever I was about to leave the house, Toby would go and sit at the mat expecting a treat. Henceforth when Toby sat on the mat, he got a treat.
While it was challenging having Toby at times, the reward of his loyalty and unconditional love he had for me and my flatmates and family were so very rewarding. The times when he was so pleased when we came home and always greeted us with a toy in his mouth made me so teary now.
I must add a very cute habit of Tob here in this post. He loved walks and car rides more than food. When we left him in the car, he would move to the driver’s seat and waited for us. When we came back to the car, he would obediently move to the backseat. What a lovely boy. His life was all about being with us, going for walks, car rides and food.
I used to say “I cannot live without Tob” not knowing that he would be taken away from me so unexpectedly and suddenly. The lifespan of a staffy lab cross was supposed to be between 12 to 16 years. Toby almost could not even make it to his 10th birthday but thankfully he did and passed away three days after his birthday.
Mummy miss you so very much, my dearest Toby. I am so heartbroken without you, Tob and have no idea when my grief will end, if ever at all.
Five years ago, we lived in a big executive family home. That was before the kids decided to move back home and it was just me and him. We seemed to have everything – the house was like a resort with palm trees and a fully automatic heated salt pool so deep at one end that you could dive in. We even had a dinghy and had fun playing row, row, row your boat in the swimming pool surrounded by manicured garden.
Something was missing in our lives. With two adults living in the big house, everything was in place, tidy and immaculate. At one stage, I felt I was living in a motel and not a home and…
Mummy had been living in denial since you left us. Talking to a ‘Ham bag’ filled with your old toys, collar, cushion and seat cover. Your resting place in our backyard will soon be a beautiful garden. Mummy visits you several times a day to feed you breakfast, dinner and treats every now and then. Those blackbirds and tui must love you, Tob. They ate your food happily.
Mummy spent the whole night compiling your photographs into a book to celebrate your life, a life with so much love only to be taken away so suddenly.
Tob, Mummy had been recording each day, taking photographs of you every precious day since you were diagnosed with the deadly cancer that took your life. We prayed every day and night, asked God to take away your pain and grant you another day on earth. Our consolation was that you did not suffer and we still managed 13.5 quality days spent together, including walks and lots of kisses, cuddles and massages.
Those photographs and dates made Mummy realised that I got the date of the day you left us wrong. At your final moment, you walked to Mummy’s room with all the remaining energy and will power only to collapse as hemangiosarcoma won. You were a fighter, a loyal pet and companion and you departed and breathe your last, lying in your little bed in my room, looked deep into mummy’s eyes but there was nothing mummy could do but only to stroke you and comfort you, held your little paws and gave you the warmth, calling your name so you were not alone. You left us at 8.15pm on 22 (not 21) Aug 2019. Half of Mummy died with you. You were not just a pet, you were my everything, my pet, my companion, my baby, someone so dependent on me. In a way, Mummy was also dependent on you. All these 10 years, you had became a part of me, someone who comforted me by just being there for me, the joy I entered the house to see you with a toy in your mouth greeting me at the door, the kisses (licks) you happily gave me showed that we loved and cared for each other even though we are two different species, some people call it a dog and a master. To me, I am your Mummy and you were and will always stay as my Tob boy (baby).
Mummy will correct the date on your memory pebble tomorrow.