Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Another Shoebox Funeral ....
Lost a little loved pet this weekend. Our Daisy.
We learned last week she had cancer. I had taken her into the vet(I saw the staff tittering behind their hands when they saw I had brought a guinea pig in. I was probably the only person in their collective living memory to have taken a guinea pig to their office). But the vet actually did a thorough and professional examination and pronounced that Daisy likely had cancer. I felt about four years old instead of (mumble, mumble) as the tears welled up in my eyes when the vet handed over her death sentence.
But we brought her home and turned her cage into a luxury suite with every ammenity a small rodent could wish for. When it was clear she was living her last moments, we all surrounded her, pet her, cried our tears onto her.
We got a shoebox just the right size, from our avavlanche of shoeboxes that we keep in the attic for school dioramas and the funerals of small pets. We gently placed her in, atop a bedding of soft-as-a-cloud tissue, and put in a few of her favorite things: some hay, a couple yogurt treats, a few grapes. Some of the kids put poems, drawings, cards alongside her as well. One wrote:
I only hope she lives on in heaven. May God bless her soul. From death comes life. Amen.
(I know this all seems overly dramatic, but we're a dramatic-type family).
We buried her out by the old wishing well. In truth, we've buried a number of small pets around this well. To the point that I have to silently pray we don't dig up any previous remains when we start a new hole. It's getting to the point of grisly. Perhaps I should contact Stephen King to see if he'd be interested in doing a book-turned film of little zombie hamsters and toads digging their way out of their graves by moonlight and descending upon our house en masse as we sleep.
Probably not a whole lot of fear factor there, I guess.
Anyway, she was buried, and prayed over, and her name was carved into the well post alongside all the cherished pets of our past.
James painted me a picture of her (above, right) which I will eventually, if my procrastinatory ways don't get the better of me, frame and hang. In the meanwhile, I will try to comfort the children when they miss the way she unabashedly begged for produce and squealed for attention. I will pull them close and impart my words of wisdom that it's better to have loved and lost than....
"Hey, stop texting, I'm trying to comfort you."
"... than to have ....Mister, get off that bike and get over here this instant. I was saying, it's better to ...."
"Put that popcorn back right now, we are not snacking, we are grieving..."
Oh forget it ....