I make sure to drink all my water, not to leave any, as you might tip it over in the night. I roll my pillow into a ball, to leave for a spot for you to lay, when you come in later tonight. In the morning, I reach over to touch you, eager to feel the kisses on my face. Sometimes, if you are feeling sassy, you bite my nose. You follow me around for most of the morning, until it’s hunting time. During our morning walk to the park, you follow us most of the way, talking as you go. I’m not sure what you are saying. Maybe it’s, “wait for me”, or “watch out for those pesky dogs on the way”. You are waiting for us when we return. I pick you up, and carry you on your back, like a baby. For some unknown reason, you love this part. You even reach up with both paws, as if trying to bring my face to yours. You bring your face to mine and kiss my neck…
I’ve been following the same routine for the last 22 days. It’s been 22 days since I lost you. 22 days since you went to the bridge. The kids are very candid about the way the way they remind themselves about you as well. They ask, “where’s Leroy?” and then, “oh yeah, he died.” It’s hard to hear those words, but it is a reality that we must face when we choose to rescue a pet.
Leroy was a 10 year old tabby cat. The grips of multiple diseases followed him for 3 years. We treated him the best we knew how, but we all lost the battle on Aug 26th. It felt unfair that we only got to share him for 10 years. But they were 10 awesome years! Rest in peace, buddy. Leroy 6/05/03-08/26/13
Tonight I found a really great place to find support. It’s called RainbowBridge.com is a virtual memorial home where you can share your story, and place a memorial for your pet. belovedhearts.com is very helpful for all phases of grief. You can learn how to talk to your kids about losing a pet, or how to support someone else going through loss. It has references on how to memorialize your loved one. And even a chat room, to talk to others.
I leave you with this poem that I received from the crematorium when we brought Leroy home.
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
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….