Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Happy Holidays!

I'm leaving for Christmas holidays in about 45 minutes, but I just wanted to wish you all


I hope I will have the opportunity to update my blog at some point during the holidays, but I won't guarantee it, as I know I will have limited internet access.

I will be back again - hopefully with lots of lovely photos! :) - on January 3rd ... though I won't be home until about midnight, so I don't think you can count on an update before January 4 at the earliest.

Take care, and I hope you will have a lovely Christmas holiday!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

An UpsideDown Day!

Today has been SO strange and massively confusing!

This morning was really slow, though I had hoped to get things done. I went to Uni around 10, although the buses weren't exactly running like schedule!
I went straight to Uni and managed to get some stuff printed, which was way overdue! *oops* I met a friend there, and I got a nice surprise! :) She took the Old Testament course last fall (spring 2010) where I was mentor, and all the students as well as me were invited to our teacher at the end of that semester. I took a few photographs, but apparently so had she, and she gave me one with me and the professor of OT and a few other students! Nice! :)

I spent about an hour outside the library going through the material for the seminar (and I ran into one of the attendants of the seminar, a guy who does research in NT, then - I haven't seen him for a while, so it was nice chatting to him!) - and then I met another friend ... we took New Testament Greek together last spring! :) I spent some time talking to her before the seminar.

We had one of few Old Testament seminars (mostly for post-graduate students and researchers - and New Testament is so much more common), on Leviticus and "leprosy" (sorry, not quite aloud to all it that after today's seminar!) .
I don't know why, but for some reason, it felt really good. I'm usually quite intimidated by these seminars, since they are above my level, but today it felt really good. I knew everyone attending, and I followed the discussions in a good way - and even though I didn't have anything to say myself, it felt really good.
I took a few photos, some are from this morning but I took a few after the seminar on the way to the railway station.

And then the problems started...
YES we've had snow in southern Sweden and yes, it's created the usual chaos! *sigh!!!* A 15 minute train trip took over 2 hours today - SIGH!! I was eagerly awaiting two packages, that I felt simply HAD to arrive ... not to mention part of the two packages was quite important - it was a Christmas gift for my mother and a birthday present for my father ... none of the packages had arrived! *very annoyed*

I had hard to focus for quite a while - so this evening hasn't worked out great!! It's 10 p.m. I still have tons to do tonight and I'm guessing I have to get up about 4-4.30 a.m. tomorrow ... *great - not!!* Ah well ...
At least it feels "good" (if you know what I mean) that I don't have to drag Zorro through the journey tomorrow, especially since no trains seem to run on time these days ...

I will make a last entry before I leave, not sure if it will be a late entry tonight or an early one tomorrow though ....

Monday, 20 December 2010

A Bit Of This And That

I still feel sleep deprived which is starting to take it's toll on me. It's not that I can't sleep, the problem is that I can't fall asleep! It feels like I've tried everything, but so far, no luck! I guess I have to hope that my holiday trip will make things change.

Speaking of which ... I will leave on Wednesday morning to visit my families for the holidays, and I will be back late on January 3rd. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone, but it will be tough since it will be my first trip there without Zorro in a long time. It will also be quite difficult to celebrate Christmas without him.

This pas Friday, finally, my Les Misérables in Concert 25th Anniversary DVD finally arrived - yay! :) I got an email on November 24, saying it had been shipped, so I was starting to get seriously worried - but at least it did arrive and of course I watched it almost immediately! :) I won't make a real review of it, after only having seen it once, but I don't think I can help myself from making a few comments!

I love the fact that the 25th anniversary concert is so much longer than the 10th anniversary concert (TAC), they have included almost the entire musical which was fantastic! That being said, I was absolutely horrified to realize they removed "Little People"!! *gasp* I'm in love with the Original London version so I was a bit let down when they changed it to another version - but removing it completely (almost), that's almost criminal, isn't it?
I have to say the stage in general was better than in TAC, more props and set pieces, which made for a better dynamic on stage. Unfortunately I felt that many of the performers didn't quite take advantage of that. They still use microphone stands - is it really that impossible to use head-mics?? - and that made a lot of the cast just "stand there" instead of trying to interact with one another.

It was great to see that they included the speeches at the end (Cameron McIntosh, Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg) - I still will never understand why they removed the TAC speeches from the DVD when they are included in the video.
The finale with the 1985 cast was absolutely amazing! While I think only Michael Ball from that cast are among my favourites, it was fantastic to see them all on stage together - and the four Jean Valjeans (Colm Wilkinson, John Owen-Jones, Simon Bowman and Alfie Boe) was also wonderful (gotta say, that was a really nice version of "Bring Him Home"!)!

Oops, quite a few comments there ...:)
Unfortunately I won't get the chance to watch the DVD any more before I leave, but I will try to watch it and make a proper review when I get back here in January.

While I haven't been at Uni that much lately, I made an appearance there this past Friday. I didn't get that much done, but I managed to borrow a book from the library, and I also ran into an old friend there, that I haven't seen in quite a while. We ended up talking for about an hour, and that was really nice! Not much has been working out at Uni lately, so it came as a bit of a list. We also found out we'll be going to the same seminar tomorrow afternoon.

This weekend has been a bit tough, with regards to Zorro. It goes up and down, which is only natural, I guess... At times, things work, and I can go about my business without constantly thinking about him - but then at times, the grief just stabs me like a knife straight though the heart - and just trying to grasp the fact that I have to live the rest of my life without him, and that I will never ever see him or hear him or feel him ever again ... well, that's what makes me lie sleepless at nights ...

I'm right now in the middle of the last preparations for my trip but I will hopefully be able to update the blog at least once before I leave.
Take care!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

4 Weeks ~ 1 Month

Yesterday it was 4 weeks.
Tomorrow it will have been 1 month.
Still finding it hard to believe.

I know there are a lot of people out there who doesn't quite understand this - and naturally everyone handles grief differently and not everyone looks at animals and pets the same way. I get the feeling that I "should be over this by now" ... and I'm not. I know that most people would never say "it's just a pet - it's not so bad" or words to that affect, but somehow that's the feeling I get anyway. And I can't help feeling the way I do. I spent almost every day for ten years and four months with Zorro, occasionally I would leave him for a weekend and a couple of trips to London but that was it ... Also taking into account that for the first say four-five years we had together, I did not feel well at all, I was on sick leave and was home basically 24/7.
We did develop a very deep relationship, and I know several people who spontaneously told me that after having seen us together - and I don't think I will get over his death any time soon.
I know I have to deal with the realities of life, and I think I have started. I felt a bit more in sync with life at the end of last week and naturally life does go on - but I still think I will be grieving for a long time yet.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Up And Down!

I know I basically have at least one picture of Zorro in every entry I make right now, but you are going to have to live with that for the moment. He is almost constantly in my mind, and this is one way for me to share something of him and all my memories ...

Basically, I tend to go on an emotional roller coaster right away. The first completely paralysing grief has passed, I think (though it was very strange in the beginning, so I don't know if I really experienced it then either), but I tend to at times get completely and 100% caught up in grief. This passed weekend and the beginning of this week was like that. I could do nothing at all, I mostly sat in my couch with candles and wrote in my diary non stop - and cried. It's been a lot of crying lately, that's for sure.
Now for the past few days, I have felt better. I am always sad inside and when I remember something very distinctly or come to think of something special I truly hurt, but otherwise I can cope.

The thing is I was on the verge of changing a lot of things in my life before Zorro passed away. I have had a few "revelation-moments" this fall and I really felt like I was about to do some real changes, I had figured out what had gone wrong and I pretty much knew what I had to work with to change it. But since Zorro passed away, all that has been put to a halt. At first, I felt there was no point in trying (and I still have, at times, a bit of that feeling left) - now that I didn't have Zorro, what was there to fight for, what was the point??
I now know, most of the time, that I do need to fight and I do need to work at certain things and I do need to change a lot of things. Hopefully I will be able to start putting my thoughts into action as well.
I have a meeting with my professor today (as I had to cancel Monday when I had my "breakdown"), and I am hoping that a discussion with him also will make it a little bit easier to start working on my life again ...

Monday, 6 December 2010


I guess it is painfully obvious that I'm really not feeling well right now.
I've been having a bit of a cold the last few days, and it was a fair bit worse this morning. As I mentioned in my previous entry, I had a meeting with my professor today, so I stuffed myself with various medications and figured I'd survive the trip to Uni and the meeting.
I was wrong.
I basically had a collapse at the railway station, quite disturbing, and had to turn around and go home. I think that since I'm not in a great shape in general, I tend to be a bit more "fragile" when it comes to purely physical symptoms as well.

I still feel pretty shaky, so I guess I'll have to stay in for a couple of days now and hope it will get better. I know the best thing for it is to sleep, but that doesn't really work for me right now. I was surprised that I slept as well as I did after Zorro past away, but I actually did - I think it's caught up with me now, because I can't for the life of me fall asleep, no matter how hard I try! Last night, I wandered around the apartment, moving from the bed to the couch to the computer and back to the bed and the couch again until 3.30 this morning - and I was up and about again at 5 ...
Ah well - guess that's the way it is ...

Everyday Life - 3 Weeks.

I know that my everyday life has to go on now, and in a way I guess it does - but it is difficult ... Today it has been three weeks - and ironically enough I have a meeting with my professor at Uni during the exact hour which was Zorro's last, three weeks ago. I have a feeling I will have some trouble focusing during the meeting.

Like I said, my everyday life is moving on - I have no other choice as you can't stop time, no matter how much you would like to at times. My grief after Zorro tends to vary a lot which is only natural I guess. At times things move along fairly well, and at times I just break down completely. This weekend has for some reason been extremely difficult. I don't know why, but Zorro seems so close to me now, closer I think than he has felt to me since he past away. I tend to relive moments and memories and they are extremely clear and vivid, and it's excruciatingly painful to know I will never experience that in real life again.

As for what the future brings, I don't know. At this point, I cannot plan far ahead, I just don't have the energy or the focus and concentration to do that. I am working on my master's thesis as best I can - which also varies depending on how I feel. What is decided is that I will leave for my Christmas holiday on December 22nd (it's going to be difficult to ride in the Animal's Compartment on the train all the way, but I booked the tickets before Zorro fell ill), and I will probably go back here on January 4th - I will try to book those tickets today.

Finishing off with some photos I took a few days ago - and a few photos to show that it actually has been snowing here, even though there's not that much snow on the ground.

Monday, 29 November 2010

2 Weeks.

It's hard to believe it has been two weeks since Zorro past away.
I'm working at getting back to life, it feels like I've been living in a bubble more or less constantly since it happened. I have never experienced true grief before and certainly everyone deals with it in different ways. For some reason, I seem to make things quite difficult for myself, so I am struggling with a lot of things right now.

I don't really want to go into detail here, partly because it's very hard to put words on what it is I'm feeling and thinking and struggling with. But things have not been very easy the past two weeks, that's for sure. I know I have to "move on", at least in some sense - but that is part of what I'm struggling with.
I know I cannot stay in this bubble forever, and I'm hoping to be able to function in a better way - and also update the blog in a better way in the future.

Monday, 22 November 2010


I just received this poem from my friend Debra on Facebook and I felt I had to share it here right away - I think it's really really beautiful!!

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...

1 Week

I can't believe it's been one week. One tiny little week. One immensely long week. I guess this entire situation just feels completely unreal, so it's not that strange I have no time conception whatsoever ...
I don't know how to summarize either, because it feels pretty much impossible! My Mum came here on Wednesday, basically a "rescue-operation", and while I think I could have coped without it, it felt really good that she came. I'm an extremely private person, and I cannot share really intense feelings with anyone ... but I think what did help me was the fact that we got some practical stuff DONE - which I probably would have completely ignored if I had been on my own! I got the apartment at least fairly clean before she came, we did a ton of laundry, we did some major grocery shopping and cooking (so I have lots of food stacked away now!) - and we also made more of a fun outing to IKEA in Malmö on Friday ...

On Saturday it was time for mine and Annika's annual Christmas tradition (see entry below), so my Mum and I went to Gothenburg together, and when I met Annika, my Mum went on home.

I think the main thing I'm feeling, besides the complete and total emptiness and loneliness that comes with missing someone close to you, is an extreme fear of forgetting!! I know I will forget, time inevitably causes you to forget, and I don't want to forget!! I guess some people will say I'm torturing myself for nothing, but I don't see it that way ... I don't care how much it hurts (and it hurts A LOT!), I do NOT want to forget anything about Zorro!!!
I've come across with people who deal with sorrow in a manner that is basically 'forget-and-move-on' - and that is totally not me! I think they feel that if you "get on with your life" and go about your normal business, the pain will be less. Maybe it will, but I still don't ever ever ever want to forget ... and I'm really scared because I know that the more time that will pass, the foggier the details will be.
I mean, I will always remember specific incidents regarding Zorro - when we visited my Dad and his family, when we were in the summerhouse, his train trips etc. - but it's the ordinary daily routines that I'm scared to forget. They were so natural for such a long time, and I know that when I start developing new routines that doesn't involve him (which I already have!), the old routines will fade!
I'm trying to write as much as possible in my diary about these ordinary things (such as the fact that we had our very own language!! *smiling!*), so at least I will have it there .... but it's still extremely difficult to know that all these little things that have been a part of my life for the past 10 years will just fade away ...

I know I have to "get on with my life", which at the moment is extremely stressful, especially regarding studies ... but I'm not sure how I'm going to do that! I have written almost all day today, but I probably won't have time to go through all I want to go through - and I'm still not sure that will prepare me for full-time studies and then some.
At this time, I don't have the energy to worry too much about it, I'm more in a "let's try it and see what happens"-mood right now. So I guess we'll have to see what happens ....

Annual Christmas Tradition!

This Saturday Annika and I met in Gothenburg for our annual Christmas tradition. I think we decided that we probably started in 2002, and since then we've missed out on one year (2008, I think), so this is really a true tradition - soon celebrating 10 years! :)

As my Mum had come for a short visit to help me out, I went with my Mum to Gothenburg. It was nice to have company, even though we unfortunately didn't get to sit together during the bus ride.
I met Annika at 11.45, and said good bye to my Mum, who continued up north that afternoon.
Annika and I had lunch at Burger King, like we usually do, before walking down to Liseberg (the amusement park in Gothenburg), where they have this huge Christmas market. We were there right after they opened at 1 p.m., and I don't think we've usually been there so early because it was surprisingly light outside! :)
I have to say the weather was really good too, better than we've had on several other occasions! It had snowed during the night but temperatures had risen during the day so it was quite slushy, but at least it didn't rain or snow, and temperatures were decent as well! Nice!! Since we were there so early we really had the time to walk around in peace which was quite nice. We took our time, and it felt like Liseberg was a lot bigger this year! :)
It still felt a bit strange it was so light out, and all the lights on the buildings and trees weren't quite so extraordinary as they are when it's darker - but it was still a really really nice visit!!

After a couple of hours we went back to the railway station for some Christmas cookies and presents! :) I got a really nice collage of pictures from when Annika and I have met, and a few other great presents as well - big thanks!! :)
My bus left at 5.05, but the trip home felt really long, basically because I was completely exhausted and because I had a totally annoying kid in the seat in front of me. I usually really like kids, and I think I'm pretty patient with them ... but this little guy was pretty much a terror the entire trip. I had a change in Helsingborg and luckily for me, the bus from there was a little late so I just made it, and didn't have to wait for a train (which would take a lot longer!).

Coming home to an empty apartment after having been away for an entire day was PURE torture ... I mean, I know this is the way it's going to be from now on, but it's torture all the same ... So it was a painful end to an otherwise really nice day ...

Some pictures from Liseberg!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Loved Always. Missed Forever.

This blog entry will be about Zorro. I feel I really want to make a proper entry, about who he was, what he experienced in life, what he and I shared and what he gave me ...

Zorro was born on July 5, 1997 as the oldest of three siblings. After him came his brother Zimba and a sister. They are pure bread and therefore have other, "formal" names as well.
Zorro was Escaroth's Foxy Felix, Zimba was Escaroth's Flossy Filip and the little sister was Escaroth's Fairy Fleur.

My mother had Zimba and Zorro first, she wanted a pair of kittens and having two brothers seemed to be perfect. And I guess it was ... in a way. What nobody expected was the intensity of these two brothers, who made sure to give my mother a run for her money. They certainly entertained themselves in her apartment with both this and that - and got away with a lot because of their adorable looks! :)
I have no idea why, but I somehow connected more with Zorro than I did with Zimba. I loved them both, but Zorro found it easier to come to rest in my lap and was more cuddly towards me than Zimba was.

My Mum moved in 1998 and got a place with a patio out the back. She had a net put in so the cats could be out there ... but that didn't work out so well. Zorro has always been very intense, very friendly toward people but not that fond of other cats ... and when he saw other cats through the net, he went for the cat he could reach - his brother!
We realized they couldn't stay together in 2000, and I found myself being a cat owner! :)

Zorro moved in with me on June 9, 2000 - and at first we were about anxious about this move. He had always been with his brother and we didn't know how he would cope. I made sure to give him 100% of my attention, and for the first few days I basically carried him around my apartment, in order for him to feel safe and loved.
He finally came to peace living with me - and I eventually got used to having a pet! :)

In 2001 (June 12) we moved to southern Sweden, and from what I can remember, Zorro handled the move very well. I was home a lot in the beginning to, and I think that we settled well together. We lived in an apartment that had a garden attached to it, and it was nice to be able to take Zorro out on occasion - even though I had to have him on a leash.

That summer we spent some time in the summerhouse and one morning Zorro managed to run away!! I was SO scared, he'd always been an indoor cat, and the summerhouse is really in the country, with other cats, a road with cars and tractors, nature with lynx (though quite rare) and foxes ... It took several hours but he eventually found his way back (sort of - it's quite a long story!), and I don't think I've ever been so relieved in my entire life!!

I basically crashed in 2001 and was put on sickleave in February 2002 - and part of what held me above the water then was Zorro! He was ALWAYS there for me, and even though I didn't care about myself and I was living in a great big mess, I couldn't let things go completely, because I was responsible for him. He didn't deserve being neglected and he needed food and water, so I at least had to keep some kind of contact with reality, thanks to Zorro!

I slowly worked my way back, and I think the first big turning point came in 2004 when things really started to turn the right way - even though I had a long way to go yet.
Around this time Zorro and I had a nasty experience in our garden. We had a fairly new neighbour who had bought a Labrador puppy ... I was out with Zorro on a leash, when the puppy came rushing up to us - without a leash!!! Zorro was completely hysterical, and I went into a state of panic. The only thing in my head was getting Zorro inside - but trying to handle a cat that is hysterical is not really a good idea - so he slashed me up pretty good. It was really lucky for me, my mother was down for a visit, because we eventually managed to separate cat and puppy and get Zorro inside - but it was certainly a very very nasty experience!!

In May 2005 we moved to the current apartment, in a town about 20 km away. Zorro didn't care for this move at all, he didn't feel well!! He was very upset whenever I left the apartment, and he almost stopped eating for a while, which was quite disturbing. Eventually he got used to this new place, and I think he liked it a lot in the end. There's a balcony, which we put a net on so he could go out there without me being afraid for him.

I went back to full time studies in 2006 and while I've had some set backs (some bigger than others) basically my life is working out now ... and I have Zorro to thank for SO MUCH!!
He was been there always, no matter what! I have done some not-so-great things over the years, I have made some bad decisions every now and again, but no matter what, he has always waited for me at home, with a huge heart and unconditional love - no matter what!
I think we had a pretty special relationship from the start, early on I bonded with him rather than with Zimba, and I have had several people tell me (when they've seen me and Zorro together) that we share something special.
Also because he was with me during an extremely difficult period in my life, we connected in a very deep way. Add to this the fact that I have always lived alone and has not been in a serious relationship, Zorro and I have truly bonded. He wasn't always very sweet and did everything perfectly, we fought on occasion, I yelled at him and was annoyed at him (and he was probably quite annoyed with me too at times!) but when it really mattered, we were there for each other.

Lately I have started taking him on the train to visit my families and the summerhouse, and it has worked out really really well - and I think he really really trusted me!! He could get agitated and nervous, but when he saw that I was there, he felt me and smelled me, he calmed down. I am very happy that I was able to be there for him during that last hour, and that he could fall asleep in my lap that last time ...

I think my life is going in the right way now - a lot of things haven't worked out lately but I think I know why now and I think I know what I need to work on in order to work it out - and I have Zorro to thank for a lot of this. I'm not saying he did it all, I have fought a lot on my own, and I have gotten help from others as well, but I don't think I had gotten through things in the way I have, if I hadn't had Zorro!

People have asked me - before I had to put Zorro to sleep - if I should get another animal when Zorro wasn't around any more. Many people who have animals and enjoy that, want to continue having animals, and when you have gone through your grieving process after one animal, you want another one.
I have been a bit reluctant, mostly because my current life situation isn't exactly animal-friendly ... but after yesterday, I know I do not want another animal, at least not in a very very long time. And I also know why.
It's because I never felt "I had an animal" before. "I had Zorro." It was HIM, very distinctly HIM - and no matter what, I can never ever have him again. And to be honest, if I can't have him, I don't think I want anybody else. (yes, I know this might be a natural reaction and I might change my mind - but somehow I doubt I will change my mind ....)

So THANK YOU ZORRO for being a part of my life for such a long time.
I Will Love You Always And Miss You Forever.