I find myself grieving
. Fascinated, along with the sadness; grateful, along with the mourning
Jerry, I miss you so much.
And it hasn’t even been two hours.
We take these small creatures into our lives; we love and cherish and care for them, and they in turn love and cherish and care for us in their own fashions. We take them in and make them a part of us knowing that they’ll only be with us a short while. We know that far sooner than we’d like, they’ll feel the irresistible call to The Rainbow Bridge, and that then we must content ourselves with knowing that they’ll wait for us, happy.
But we know they’ll leave us.
We take them in to ourselves anyway.
Tonight, I lost a dear furred friend, a ferret who has been with me these past five years. There is grief, and guilt; had I brought him in to the hospital sooner...but I can’t dwell on that. I wish. I wish I wish. I’m sorry, Jerry, I’m sorry. I held you in the blue blanket, your nose bleeding slightly after they’d told me and brought you back out. I closed your left eye, which was open slightly, and marveled at the play in your lithe body, all fun and chuckling and self gone from it. I kissed your sable-furred pate, and gave to you a few tears and apologies before letting them take you away from me.
I’ll have you back, though; I’ll have your ashes to take North with me to scatter in the cool green grass you couldn’t dig and tunnel in when you were alive, where you can sleep or frolic or laugh with our other departed pets. You’ll all share the shade of the special pine tree, in front of a house a hundred and fifty years old; you’ll share the new grass of spring, and the laughing of the children in the schoolyard not a hundred feet from where you wait for us, your humans, always slower than you.
I can only hope that your small time here was the better for having spent some of it with me. I do know that my life was and is a less bleak place for having been able to share those hours of quiet (or chaotic) companionship; for having my nose licked sleepily when I would move aside the sweater to check up on you at night, and for the joy your wrestling enthusiasm brought your brother and I.
My younger brother, upon the occasion of the death of my first cat (he – the cat - was my age, twenty-one; I’d had him my whole life) unexpectedly recited a wonderful poem for him that I think would be appropriate for you, and I will close with it here in the hopes that you’ll pause in your romping wherever you are and perhaps just chuckle once, and do one or two ferret hops of glee, before continuing on in your place of fun and sunshine.
I love you, Jerry, and I’ll see you again someday. I’ll share a few minutes of sleep with a softly snoring ferret whom I love, and snuggle slightly into your rich fur. Good night.
/me raises full glass of Ardbeg Single Malt
Robert Louis Stevenson
UNDER the wide and starry sky
Dig the grave and let me lie:
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.
This be the verse you 'grave for me:
Here he lies where he long'd to be;
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.
requescat i pacem, Jerry. I love you.