Grounds for Sculpture

Grounds for Sculpture

Thursday, December 29, 2016


During Alfie’s life, he came first before making any decisions. He was my priority. Always.

I wanted him to have a truly comfortable life. 



My most faithful companion. We were more alike than different. He would awaken during the night and I would know it. He’d lift his head, searching for me, and I would kiss the bridge of nose to assure him I was there. Down his head would go and all was well. This was just one of our many silent dances.

Alfie and I simply belonged to each other and aside from my beloved grandmother, he was the only other being who solidified a rock solid belief in destiny within my soul.

We chose each other. Plain and simple.


Two days ago, I could not stop crying all day. I even cried myself until I was so exhausted, the exhaustion must have finally offered me respite. Well, it turns out that that was the day my boy was ready to return to me. The Vet’s office said they left me a message, but I had no voice mail on my cell or landline. Their office was closed the following day and today was the day I learned I could bring him home.

I have been struggling with who I am without him. And I realize that in a tangible way, I struggled so deeply with the separation in this final reconciliation, wanting to have him here. When he was hospitalized, he did too. He only started eating again after they allowed me to see him. He wanted to come home to me. Not having him with me did not feel right, and my soul must have known he was close the other day as it has been yearning to bring him home.

I have been Alfie’s mom for 14 years and right now, I don’t know who I am without that role.

He was always acting like a sprite little pup, until changes began within this last year. Like he began to show me he didn’t want to do stairs anymore. And he couldn’t make it up onto the bed on his own.

When he became ill, I did anything I could for him and everything to keep him steady and calm. Like during hurricane Sandy. All I remember about Sandy was making sure that Alfie was warm, fed, and never felt afraid. I carried him up and down the stairs using a well-lit torch lamp, and I made certain that he never saw fear in my face or felt it in my body. It was the same during his illness.

What I struggle with now is all those nights. I don’t want to share what happened because caring for this exquisite being was tender and so intimate and breaks his momma’s heart into millions of pieces. But my boy stayed so safely locked into my eyes and never turned his gaze unless he was resting. He was so brave and would awaken with so much light and grace and a love I have never known before.

He let me feed him by syringe every two hours, this little man of mine. Day after day after day, until the days became weeks. His body completely at ease, taking a resting pose and even anchoring his paw around the side of the bed as I had the many syringes lined up for each feeding. And I didn’t know why. Until I did. Because he didn’t want to be without me. And he didn’t want me to be without him. He was preparing me.

Years ago, when a girlfriend of mine broke up with me, Alfie socked her in the eye the instant she said the words.

My heart warrior. That love.

When my hand was shaking last week upon signing his cremation papers after being asked if he had ever bitten anyone, that memory came right to mind. “Does a sock to the eye count?”


He was there when I lost my family. He was there when I bought my home. He was there through 3 hip surgeries, one spinal surgery, one shoulder manipulation, lots and lots of rehab, lots of yoga and even more rest.

He made me smile and laugh every single day.

He was the recipient of countless kisses.

He was my one and only.

He belonged to my tribe. And I belonged to his.

And all I know right now is that even though I am completely lost, I am so grateful he is home. With me.

Jill Bacharach 

1 comment:

  1. Oh Jill,

    There are no words. You loved each other so beautifully. Sending love ❤️ and support and healing blessings your way.