My heart beats unevenly
Only to choke me on my breath
Reality is not my friend now
Taking the small figure in shaking hands
And leaning over the too stillness to cry
Letting parts of prayer soothe the ache
The first time I had an animal die on the farm, it wasn’t just one. It was a whole litter of seven little bunnies. I sat and held their mother and cried all over her. I think she took it a lot better than I did, though she let me cry into her soft fur for over thirty minutes after Sissy (dog) had abandoned me for somewhere with less excitement. (Sissy doesn’t take people being upset very well…or at all…she hates crying and yelling with a passion and will leave the house to get away from it if she has to.)
The next three times it happened all I could think about was how I was always the one to find the bunnies after they’d died instead of anyone else.
By the sixth time, it was a goose that had been sick and not adjusting to its new home well.
Each time it happened (bunnies, bunnies, bunnies, goatling, bunnies, chickens, geese, chickens, bunnies, more bunnies, we have a lot of bunnies…) I would wrap the body (except for the goose) in bags and say a small prayer before burying the bodies in the only place available at the time (the garbage, because the ground freezes really hard). I still don’t like it when one of the animals dies, but I know that this life isn’t the end, so that when they die they aren’t vanishing while leaving only a body that will crumble and decay behind. No, they’ve gone somewhere else.
This isn’t the end of it for them, nor is it the end of this for us.
There is more. What we each believe that more is will change, but there is something there and I take comfort in that.
This isn’t a goodbye, just a see you later.
Re-visit of Dungeon Prompt: Mortality and the Human Psyche.