Carlotta, the new mother the Manhattan SPCA rescued from the streets, died 14 years later in the warm comfort of a New Haven, Connecticut vet office. I was with her. I dreaded returning home to Jason without her. They had been best buddies since she was nursing her kittens and Jason, who adopted me at the Humane Center in Eatontown, New Jersey, pitched in and helped.
My focus had to shift, obviously, from my own grief to keeping Jason functioning. On the way home I bought chicken I would be cooking for him until the worst of his shock and pain was over.
Usually I take pet grief very hard. My hunch is that my clinical depression 2003 was precipitated with having to put down two dogs, months apart from each other. Therefore, it was a surprise to be sorting the bills for my tax return and stumbling on the vet bill for Carlotta's passing over. It was dated February 2012. That seemed impossible. I hardly remembered her.
The lesson in this might be to ease our pain, any pain, by giving to others. Jason, despite his 17 years, is thriving.