WE ARE FAMILY
In the last two years I had to put down my 14-year-old beagle Lucy and Tuesday my 16-year-old cat Thomas, who within a matter of two days diminished into a cat I didn’t know. His kidneys just went. I adopted them at the same time. Needless to say I am numb, broken-hearted and grieving.
Both deaths were beautifully sacred, full of light and love. Myself and my boys had the opportunity to prepare ourselves, as much as possible. We said goodbye in our home, creating personal ceremonies with candles, flowers, blankets, and toys that our pets loved. We spoke words of tenderness, endearment and thankfulness holding them. We communicated with our souls.
We decorated the vets room as well and carried out services, being fully present when the final injections took place. It was a privilege and an honor. There is beauty in death if one chooses to accept it as a transition and honor the process. Both animals left being thanked with gratitude and love. This doesn’t take the pain away. Grief does not have an expiration date.
I don’t think our culture honors this transition with their pets. Death is a rite of passage. Ceremonies and rituals are celebratory and healing. Death can be beautiful. A eulogy praises someone. An obituary is an announcement of the death with a biography. My question to you is have you written an obituary about your furry family member? As you know they touch our lives, souls and hearts in ways that human beings can’t. I will be writing an article which is a combination of both eulogy/obituary for my animals Lucy and Thomas honoring them both in life and the transition into death. It is important. It will include who they were, their personalities and how my animals affected my life. Our special bonds and relationships. If you would like to write a short obituary about your loved one and send it to me, I am collecting them to be published.
This is the poem I wrote for Lucy, straight from the heart of grief in 2012.
There Is None Like She and There Will Never Be
I have a very good friend of mine actually she’s the tops
We met years ago on a hectic day, when I saw her I had to stop
I walked in and said “hello nice to meet you” her welcome to me was pure joy
I knew then and there we were destined soul mates and that we would then walk out the door
The moment we met and now 14 years later we never have had a fight
I’ve ripped into her a few times that’s true but she responded in pure loving light
My agenda to bring her into my life was I knew that I needed a friend
What she’s brought to my life has been so much more I’m in debt to her up to the end
See she saved my life literally yes she did, I was living in darkness alone
I was isolated, confused, abandoned by me, I couldn’t even pick up the phone
Depression moved in, I was starting to spin, light too much for my soul to bare
But when I brought her in she was bigger than me and I had to deliver on my plan
I was in New York City a hustling bustling town I had made that city my home
The people the sites the noise and bright lights and yet still I felt alone
The glamour, the people, the culture, the vibe; laughter interaction is right by my side
How could this be with excitement everywhere that I would be stricken with my soul’s despair?
So I let her move in and we started a life I would wake up and grumble I don’t have the fight
She would just nudge me and patiently wait till I got on my feet to start a new day
“A walk in the park sounds like fun” she would say and I so had to fight the words “please go away”
“Just one walk at a time it might change your mood” and it did she was right we began a routine.
Three times a day we would go to the park and slowly I crept on out of my dark
Sun, rain, and wind we would get up and go, out of the door and on with the show
I always had her by my side when I felt awkward talking to others standing by
What she taught me is get up and get out, get moving, all is well if you only will start
That first year of friendship she changed my life
I lived in the daytime and not the nightlife
Our relationship continues it is so bigger than me
Every big event wedding, babies, divorce, moves, she never craggy
She just flows how I roll and is always just she
The years have been kind to my beautiful friend
This life is not forever there will come an end
She’s slowing down with the physical stuff
Her hips and her eyes and her fears are getting rough
but we handle them with dignity and grace
She IS wisdom, grace, peace, joy, love and bliss
She IS an angel a messenger of faith
She lays asleep on the floor snoring, not because she is bored but because all is well in this race
She is my dog Lucy
These words are inadequate.