This is going to be a bit of an essay so I apologise, but my heart hurts so much and I need to get this off my chest.
Two weeks ago, I had to make the heartbreaking decision to assist my beloved bearded dragon, Seymour, over the RB. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my 23 years of life...he was the first pet that was really MINE. I had cats and dogs growing up, but Seymour, I actually decided to purchase myself, I researched the species for a year and a half, I saved up pocket money from doing chores until I had enough to buy everything I needed. In 2012, I went to the pet shop and came home with Seymour. I didn't choose him, he chose me. There was an entire tank of baby beardies at the shop, and she got them all out and put them into a tub so I could see how they moved around and interacted with me...I thought "I'll put my hand in there and see what they do". So I did. Every single one of them ran away from my hand, except for my Sey Sey...he jumped right onto my hand and he just sat there and smiled at me and that was that.
I had 7 glorious years with that boy, he came with me through some of the roughest times in my life. He was my little ray of sunshine, my baby, my best friend. When my friends or family all failed to comfort me he was always there, sitting on my lap or my chest and licking me as if he wanted to tell me everything would be alright. He hated seeing me cry, and if he was out he would always come running to me and climb up my leg to sit with me, or if he was in his viv he would bang on the glass till I took him out and held him. He would snuggle into the curve of my neck and watch TV with me, and I'm reasonably sure he used to balance his veggies on his head on purpose just to make me smile when I was sad.
About 2 months ago, I noticed he was dropping weight. A lot of weight, despite me feeding him well (and actually even MORE frequently because I was worried maybe he wasn't getting enough food and that was why he lost weight) and not changing the kinds of food I fed him. I took him in, they tried a blood test and he had a raised blood cell count, vet felt a lump in his tummy so they suggested an ultrasound. Did the ultrasound, got called into the back room. As soon as I looked at that screen my heart sank, because from that moment I knew my precious boy was going to die. It wasn't a matter of "if" anymore it was a matter of "when" because that dang tumour was even bigger than his liver .
Still, he was my baby, and I'd promised to always do whatever I had to do to take care of him, so we kept trying. Went home with critical care food which I spoon-fed to him 3x a day, and vet visits twice a week to monitor his white blood count etc, and general condition. For a while, he seemed to improve a lot and I thought "maybe I was wrong and this is going to be a miracle recovery". I wanted to believe that, I wanted to believe I at least had another 1, 2, years with him, just that little bit more time to prepare for the inevitability of his passing to the Bridge. But this tumour had grown so big that even he got tired of fighting it, 3 weeks ago he stopped fighting. He wouldn't even eat the critical care, he wouldn't drink, wouldn't bask or do anything he used to do. He'd lost the life in his eyes and I knew that was his way of telling me "mommy, I'm tired, please let me go"
My dad drove us to the vets so I could hold him close to my heart the whole drive there, and the vet we saw just happened to be the same one who did the ultrasound scan, she was so very supportive and even let me hold him while she did the injection. I held him on my chest and talked to him until he went to sleep, I told him he was going to grow his dragon wings and he wouldn't be hurting anymore and he smiled at me one last time and then he was gone.
It's been two and a half weeks, I collected his ashes yesterday, the vets put him in a beautiful wooden casket with a carved name plate, he lives on my tv stand now because he always liked to go underneath it when I'd let him out to play. This week just gone I could finally go back into the lounge where the empty viv is, and I could sit there to watch TV without sobbing, I thought I was going to be okay...and then, I heard Owl City's "Vanilla Twilight" on the radio and it hit me all over again:
The silence isn't so bad
'Til I look at my hands and feel sad
'Cause the spaces between my fingers
Are right where yours fit perfectly
I'll find repose in new ways
Though I haven't slept in two days
'Cause cold nostalgia chills me to the bone
But drenched in vanilla twilight
I'll sit on the front porch all night
Waist deep in thought because when
I think of you I don't feel so alone
I don't feel so alone
I don't feel so alone
As many times as I blink
I'll think of you tonight
I'll think of you tonight
When violet eyes get brighter
And heavy wings grow lighter
I'll taste the sky and feel alive again
And I'll forget the world that I knew
But I swear I won't forget you
Oh, if my voice could reach back through the past
I'd whisper in your ear,
"Oh, darling, I wish you were here."
I'm sobbing and cuddling this wooden box with one hand as I type this with the other and I feel so....so, silly??? I've seen a lot of cat and dog posts here, and a couple other small furries, but none for reptiles and I feel so stupid that I'm this cut up over him. To everyone else he's "just a lizard", gosh some people even called him "disgusting" before they even got to know him. But I loved him more than anything, he fit in the palm of my hand when I got him and I raised him and watched him grow up, and held him right up until he crossed the Bridge...
I've cried more over Seymour these past few weeks than I've ever cried over anyone or anything before, and I've lost all my grandparents bar my one nanna. I never cried this much when they died and that makes me feel terrible.
I know it's not been that long, and grief takes time and so forth, but I don't know what else to do so I wrote this.