Well, we had a good run dear Jazzy Girl, didn’t we? Today was peaceful, well as peaceful as a vet office can be for a skittish girl like you. For the most part it was just you and me kiddo, until we saw your vet who was kind and gentle with you as always. I think you and me both were ever so grateful for the soft quilt they laid on the floor just for you. Mamma even got down on the floor with you and we snuggled up close as they gave you the first shot. You fell asleep so fast and my resistance told me it was too fast. Even though I had already said a thousand goodbyes there really could never be enough.
I’ll bet you know that I never let go of you for one second and never stopped telling you how much you were loved. When they began to squeeze the blue stuff into the vein on your leg to stop your heart, you did your little dream whimpers like you were having fun chasing the squirrels. I buried my head into your beautiful, soft, white fur that was so fluffy from the bath I gave you this morning. When you went silent and still and I could no longer feel any rise and fall of your belly, your doctor listened for your heartbeat and finally confirmed that you had passed. I stayed with you for a little while, knowing you were gone, but you were still so warm.
It was a fleeting memory that I had while I stayed with you. Remember when the kids were very small and were scared of the dark? I would place my hand on their heart and have them place their hand on mine and you’d always appear, squeezing your nose in there, making sure it touched the outstretched arm of the frightened child. And I would look into their eyes and say to them, “I send a bridge of protection and loving light to your heart” and they would repeat it, sending that loving light energy back to mine. You received some of that loving energy too, because it was always in abundance and there was plenty enough to go around. I calmly reminded them that the bridge was our connection and that our love kept it strong and no matter how far away I might be (which at bedtime, this usually meant I was merely in the next room) that bond could not break. And they felt safe. I just want you to know that I loved sharing little moments like that with you.
I couldn’t help but shed more tears into your fur before I left, trying to get a handle on my emotions and not letting guilt take over my heart because Little Love, it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. But sweet Jazzy Girl, I must put trust in the fact that you are no longer in pain and I take comfort in the fact that you were able to pass over with dignity and grace. Until we meet again my sweet girl, my heart sends a bridge of protection and loving light to your heart, and I can feel that same bridge of deep love and protection from you, connecting us between the worlds. You will be so greatly missed by your family, but I don’t really need to tell you that, Little One. You already know.
March 30, 2009 – January 30, 2017
This morning I passed by the family room altar with a pile of clean laundry. As I dumped it over the top of the couch and thought about how I needed to dust, my eyes landed on a “memorial” of sorts for Jazzy. Call me morbid, but in trying to work out how I was going to help my children deal with the transition, I made something to be placed on our altar a few days ahead of time. Just a small, framed photo and poem about the “Rainbow Bridge”. I was too distraught to even create my own poem. Hell, I could barely even do that little bit of copy-paste.
Each family member added something that reminded us of her. I planned on placing her collar and leash on the altar when I came home without her. My youngest daughter crocheted a small cotton yarn bracelet and hung it from the corner of the frame to be charged. She asked if I would place it on Jazzy’s left foreleg before she was “gone” and to tie it snug to make sure it stayed there “through what they, you know, do with her body after”. When I told everyone the good news, she immediately took the bracelet and with a big, beautiful smile on her face asked me to tie it snug to her wrist.
It’s many days later and our altar has slowly changed shape and form, but I decided to leave the picture itself there for the time being (interestingly, I never placed the date of her death on it). I feel it’s a beautiful reminder to us about life and the afterlife. The soul to soul connections we create (or continue) with loved ones during our incarnations are powerful and whether or not the “Rainbow Bridge” exists on the way to the Summerlands is really irrelevant at the moment. But I do think it will spark some creative conversation about how as individuals we feel about the cycle of life, death, the afterlife, and rebirth. There will be so much to talk about, and I’m curious to see what they spill out after being raised in a Pagan/New Agey/Touch of Wiccan/Zen Moment Reminding/Goddess Worshiping home. It should be interesting and I’m bound to gain new insights on how their own unique individual thoughts and feelings about their spiritual paths are evolving. They are old enough now to be able to make distinctions of what resonates with them and what doesn’t. And that’s what I want for them.
I think that some day next week we will sit down as a family and together write (or draw, or paint, and/or collage, etc.) something meaningful about our own personal connection to Jazzy in the Here and Now and create something special, perhaps a small hand-bound scrapbook or something that we all have contributed to… I don’t know yet, right now I am just too damned exhausted. My hope is that it will open the way to contemplate our own lives, the lives of our loved ones, and to remind ourselves of what we take for granted. I want it to help each of us to realize and appreciate every moment we have and every meaningful memory we create in the Here and Now. Because really, the Here and Now, this moment, this breath, is the only thing we know is for certain.