It’s hard to verbalize the intensity of the grief in the days following the passing away of a pet.
The memories are fresh and powerful; the tides of sadness raw and thumping.
When our pet ‘Twinkie’ passed away, we buried her by the woods in the backyard and decorated her little grave with flowers and pebbles.
Later that evening we lit a candle in her memory. I looked at the candle and it struck me as symbolic of her life; glowing bright and strong at first.
But I knew it wouldn’t be long before I witnessed the diminishing of the flame, as the candle slowly burned towards the end of the wick.
A tiny, frail flicker then lingered for a short while before the dreaded moment when it died out altogether, leaving me to relive the still-vivid memory of Twinkie’s last moments in my arms.
And then there was ‘Cookie’, the other pet, who was gone so unexpectedly, out of the blue, from one day to the next, that it left us completely unprepared for the abruptness of the loss.
With Twinkie we had time to brace ourselves for the inevitable, ever since the vet had pronounced the verdict we had feared – that her condition was incurable. But Cookie? Gone like that, overnight? That was harsh, its randomness much harder to process.
So now there are two teensy graves in the backyard by the woods, both decorated with flowers and pebbles.
It’s touching to watch the kids mourn, each one in their own unique way. One pays a daily visit to the little graveyard, standing there in silence while the other places a fresh sprig on each grave.
Until we’ve healed and the pain of the loss is only in memory, we’ll have to wait with putting away our pets’ toys and with looking at the many pictures we had taken of them. We’re not ready yet.
I’m sure you’ve noticed I’ve left out which type of pets they were. That’s because all pets, regardless of their type, are worthy of our grief. We loved them dearly, our beloved companions. Does it matter if they were big or tiny? White, gray, or striped? With round ears or spiky ones?
Rest in peace, little darlings.
By Didi Gorman
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