The sadness I struggled with then was overwhelming. Though losing Orbit was no less painful it has helped tremendously to have someone to share that grief with.
Enter "mom". Call it selfish, but sharing the sadness of this past week has made the burden slightly easier to bear. When we first brought Orbit into our home after not having him living with me for a short time I was concerned he and my wife wouldn't take to each other.
I was wrong in my thinking, and at times I think she's taken his passing harder than I. Sure, I've known him three times longer than she has, but they hit it off pretty well from the get-go, and the two of them have been together every single day since we moved south about four years ago.
My wife and I also find comfort in knowing that Orbit was in the best hands he could've ever been in when he needed medical care. Since moving to Wilmington we'd been taking him to Atlantic Animal Hospital, and we can't thank them enough for their excellent care and compassion they've shown, especially during this past week.
The day after Orbit passed away they sent us this beautiful arrangement.
And then just the other day we received this very thoughtful sympathy card from them, signed by the hospital staff.
We wanted a private cremation for Orbit, and we picked up his ashes this past Saturday. They gave him a beautiful polished urn for his final resting place, along with his paw print in clay and a sprig of rosemary, the herb of remembrance.
My co-workers also gave us a colorful arrangement, hand-delivered by my supervisor. Together they make a beautiful, thoughtful tribute to Orbit.
Though I'd previously taken it down since he was no longer able to manage the steps, we've since re-attached Orbit's perch, and we've placed this sweet memento on the upper step and top platform in his memory.
The urn, which is in my lap as I write (where Orbit spent nearly every morning in life) came with a brass plate, which we'll have engraved.
Although we've begun the process of dealing with all things Orbit, which has been a difficult task for my wife, especially, we've set aside some of his things. We're not in any rush to get rid of everything, we're just not ready to part with it. This past weekend my wife washed out his litter box, and rolled up the extra piece of carpet we kept under it.
She'd already washed out his dishes and put them away, and in time we'll decide what to do with the rest. There's no rush.
My wife and I are deeply moved by the outpouring of sympathy, kindness and understanding everyone here has shown during this very difficult time, and I wish I had the time to thank each and every one of you individually.