Monday, April 2, 2012

I've Been Quiet Because I've Been Mourning

You may have noticed that I've been quiet since March 23rd when I posted Betsey and Ross's obituary.

The truth is that I've spent a lot of time crying and missing them. I miss them more than words can begin to say. In fact, even writing those words make me tear up and I've gone all day without crying once. Some days, I do really well and can smile when I talk about them or see their picture. But I haven't been able to read the obituary I wrote since I posted it because to see it is too still too much.

The cards, notes, and comments from friends and readers have helped me. It's amazing how many people really understand that pets are more than just pets. They're family. And, in a way, they're more than that. Unlike some family relationships, my relationship with Betsey and Ross was never complicated. They never judged or said "I told you so." I never felt inferior with them and they didn't care if I put make-up on in the morning. They simply loved unconditionally and let me love them unconditionally. They taught me that.

I picked their ashes up on Saturday morning from March Animal Hospital to bring Betsey and Ross home for the final time. Walking through the vet's door, I burst into tears. Kathy, one of the wonderful receptionists, spotted me and brought me the package containing their ashes, in one urn, and their paw prints. Inside the velvet bag was a card with a story a co-worker had sent me earlier in the week. Each time I read it, the story makes me feel just a little better.
Until we meet again at the Rainbow Bridge . . . 
There 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 been left behind. 
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly sops 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 carry 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 career the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from life but never absent from your heart. 
Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together . . .

Betsey and Ross are playing together at the Rainbow Bridge. And until we're together again, their ashes live in a special place in my house and their paw prints hang next to the collage of my favorite Betsey and Ross pictures.


  1. I'm sorry, it's a beautiful story, but all I could think about - all that was running through my head was: "The Rainbow Connection".

    Hopefully that's not too inappropriate. I knew you would knew time, as anyone would. Still sending you big *hugs* to help you through.

  2. I know how hard it is to lose a pet but can't imagine the heartache of losing two. So sorry for your loss, Jessica.

  3. Oh, I'm SO sorry, Jessica. I am only just catching up; just read your wonderful eulogy for your beloved cats and am in tears. I just lost my 91-year-old aunt and I think it's partly because of her grief at losing her 18-year-old cat Geoffrey last year that sent her into her final decline. Our pets are truly family members and must be grieved in the same way as people are, for sure. I love the Rainbow Bridge story, I've seen it many times and it always gives me hope that maybe one day I'll see the pets I've lost once again.

  4. I’m sorry for your loss, Jessica. It's a good thing that you've decided to put their ashes on an urn instead of burying them. That way, you could still feel with you, and have something to remember them by. I'm sure you'll get over it in time. It’s going to be difficult, but slowly, and surely, you will.


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