life on the funny farm

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 ....


  1. come back as a critter, and get to live at your house is a secret wish of mine...and if I can choose I would like to be a horse...amen

  2. Would that I could but grant your wish ....

  3. So sorry to hear about your little friend! She sounds awesome! I bet your vet team was not laughing, they were thinking how cool you were to bring your very small pet in when she needed help (((hugs)))

  4. Funny, I was hugging my oldest when she was crying and crooning, "I know. It's okay. These things are part of life." When her tears stopped only a moment later, she didn't skip a beat asking for breakfast. Great writing, Anne.

  5. Awwww and LOL! At least you cheered me back up. So the funeral was for mom? Kinda line when I suggest watching my favorite childhood movie for movie night and make Christopher see how good it was. LOL!!

  6. I love your attitude! So touching...almost. Thanks for sponsoring this TALU!

  7. Such a beautiful post in so many ways. The pain of loss, celebrating the relationship and then in the end, life goes on. Thanks for sharing this, Anne, and for hosting TALU.

  8. Sooooooooo weird! Just before reading this, I had the Daisy Sour Cream jingle running through my head for no apparent reason. I guess it's a good lesson for kids to go through this ... kinda like training wheels for dealing with death - start small. RIP Daisy. [#TALU]

  9. Anne loved how one minute you had me wanting to cry and the next all I wanted to do was giggle. Totally felt bad for the guinea pig, but oh my so would have been my kids with their attentions spans, lol!! :) #TALU

  10. When my beloved goldfish died, I told my mother that she couldn't just flush it down the toilet like my last beloved goldfish. So she took it in the backyard and buried in.... in a bed of poison ivy. Last goldfish I ever owned.

  11. I was pleasantly surprised that this post wasn't as dark as a post about a pet dying could be. Nicely written. #TALU

  12. Love it. We do get so attached to our pets don't we? We had to put a fish down (long story) best suggestion was put it in a nice container in the freezer and it will slowly go to sleep and freeze to death. My son, then 6, was very sad, he drew a picture of a headstone with a fish and taped it to the freezer. However, the next day he couldn't wait to see the frozen fish, and asked if he could play with it!
    Found you from TALU and will follow too. (nice rhyme :-)

  13. Oh my gosh, so many great comments here! Love it, people. Thanks!



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