After we made the difficult decision to have the vet put Smudge to sleep, lady_curmudgeon was asked to make several more decisions about what would happen next. Curmudgeon already knew that she wanted to have Smudge cremated and the ashes returned. A very nice urn to hold the ashes was chosen from the assortment we were shown and an ornament found for it, to help make the memorial more unique. Before we left that night we were told the cremation service would send the urn and its contents back to the vet. Once it arrived, the staff at the vet's office would call one or both of us to let us know Smudge was ready. When we asked about the time frame, we were told the wait would be between one and two weeks. That was October 27th. Last night, Curmudgeon came home to find that she had received the voice-mail we have both been expecting and simultaneously dreading: Smudge's ashes and her urn are ready to be picked up.
Because the vet is so much closer to my home than Curmudgeon's (and closer still to my office), I have volunteered to go up to Schaumburg during today's lunch break. I'll bring Smudge's urn back home with me and keep her until Thanksgiving, which is the next time I will be able to see Curmudgeon up in Kenosha.
I teared up and stopped several times while I was writing this, because it reopens all the sadness and hurt. I'm going to hit the "post entry" button in my LJ client, then I'm going to go sit in the living room and hold ra_kitty in my lap. He's going to be given some very good hugs and petting before I shower and get ready for the day ahead.