Sophie’s letter after Freddy the Rat died
Being the mother of two animal lovin’ girls, I face the challenge of loss much more often than I’d like to think is normal.
Sophie and her Maine crab
My daughters (10 year old twins) have grown up through the years investigating and loving everything that has a heartbeat– and I mean everything.
Oh, the treasures they have brought me throughout the years! They have adopted and cared for lizards, beetles, wooly bears, birds, worms, lightning bugs, lady bugs, a praying mantis, Freddie the Rat, frogs, snakes, squirrels, hermit crabs, dogs, cats, mice, guinea pigs, and chickens (the list could go on forever).
It’s a new guinea pig!
They have bandaged, wrapped, and nursed to health (most of the time successfully) birds that couldn’t fly, kittens that were almost road kill, and snakes that, well…were.
I have spent more than I’d like to admit on various types of cages, hay, toys, chews, treats, food, bowls, litter, pet beds, and replacement animals.
Vets for Halloween
They even proclaimed their future careers at the ripe ol’ age of three to be veterinarians. (But, of course!)
Well, with that plethora of small animals has come many the memorial service followed by a ritualistic burial complete with a resting place, headstone, and a prayer (we must all be present for).
These moments aren’t easy. They come with sadness, a few giggles (stifled), and the feelings of great loss–really. It’s heartbreaking to watch your child mourn the death of something they have loved, played with, cared for, and of course named.
Ash was an especially tough loss
In fact, I cannot count the times I myself have shed tears over the furry little bodies we’ve buried and the eulogies we’ve delivered.
But, truly, what do we have to gain if we never jump off that cliff–never love even though it ultimately may bring pain?
I do believe that Alfred Lord Tennyson said it best, though, “‘Tis better to have loved and lost/ Than to never have loved at all.” (“In Memoriam” line 15).
I have enjoyed these experiences and have been able to let the “true” animal lover in me come out as a result. I’ve been able to let go of my inner OCD issues (sort of) and embrace all things living.
My girls love hard, care brilliantly, and respect living creatures in a way that still amazes me, and I will forever be grateful to them for bringing their animal love and all of the madness that comes with it to my world.
Me and my girls
Sophie and lizard
Raffey finds a clam
Sophie and her Maine crab
Raffey finds a crab
Look what I caught Mom!
Chickens and TV
Sophie and her catch of the day
Wanda the chicken
Raffey and her guinea pig
Raffey and Macy
Sophie and her guinea pig
Raffey and Boogie’s baby
Raffey loves her cats
Broadie and Boogie
Ollie is a Falcon’s fan
Sophie holding one of Boogie’s babies
Boogie is cool
Sophie loving on lab
Horses in Savannah
Sophie and turtle
Raffey and turtle
Sophie gives Boogie a trim
Raffey trains dog
Jelly Bean and her man
Jelly and Raffey
Elvis in Christmas costume
Boogie and Ollie keep an eye Darwin
Found treasure: Bob the Hermit Crab
Kittens in dresses
Jelly Bean learns to swim
Jelly Bean waiting for Santa