November 17, 2010

Ashes to Ashes

Yesterday, I received a voicemail message I had been dreading.

"Ms. Singleton, I wanted to say, again, how sorry I am and to express my sympathy at the loss of Precious. I also wanted to remind you that you requested a private cremation and we have her ashes here for you to pick up."

I felt sick.

Making the decision to euthanize my sweet dog a couple of weeks ago had been heart wrenching. And in that moment, I also had to decide what to do with her remains. Did I want to take her for burial? Did I want her to be cremated? Did I want to keep the ashes?

I couldn't imagine trying to dig a hole to bury her, or if it would even be legal for me to bury her in my back yard. I also didn't think I would be able to handle carrying her body out to the car, emotionally or physically. But I had never thought of cremation. Knowing I needed to make a decision and fast, I just chose cremation and decided I would deal with the cost and consequences of that later.

It is now later, and I have a small blue tin sitting in the living room with the ashes of the dog I loved so much. I still walk into the house and expect her to meet me. Having her remains here does nothing to change the loss. 

So, on Thanksgiving Day, when I leave the house to go celebrate with my family, I will take the little tin along. And sometime that morning, I will walk up to the stand of trees overlooking my parents farm and scatter those ashes in the same spot where my childhood dog, Spanky, is buried.

I will probably cry, I will try to pray, and I will be filled with gratitude yet again that I was able to lovingly return my pet to the one who made her.


Megan Willome said...

Blessings to you. We're nearly there with our oldest dog.

Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus said...

I am not a "dog person." But I am a "love person." And your love causes me to grieve with you, ... and for you, dear one.

Jenn4him said...

My mom and I carried around the ashes of our two Siamese cats for more than 16 years, just finally putting them to rest before she sold her home this summer. I am glad you will have a special place to take Precious. (((hugs)))

Ann Kroeker said...

Oh, are so good at expressing yourself and sorting through these emotions. You are also so good at honoring people and events and all that you love.

Thank you for sharing this part of the story with us. I'm sighing. You write well, and I feel the throb of loss.

Thoughts for the day said...

wow~ that was a pretty tin they gave you. Our animals came back to us in a 'box' with a ribbon tied with a poem attached.
It doesn't make the saddness go away but I am with you on this one I could not 'bury' my animals and I also could not 'let them go' somewhere and not ever know where. Your peace will come... and maybe someday love will come again when you are ready.

The Soap Sister said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm with you, getting the ashes back didn't "help" one bit...almost seemed to increase the pain. I think scattering them in such a special place may, helped us a bit, and I pray that it gives you some comfort.
God bless.

Charity Singleton said...

Thank you, friends. Your stories and condolences are true comfort.

KJ said...

Oh...I am a dog person...and a family person. When my mother in law passed 3 years ago I actually found peace in the 24 hours we had her ashes in the house. I felt her presence.

Maybe you want to hang on to your tin a little longer and feel your dog with you until you are ready to move on. {maybe you are right now...if so, then it sounds like you have a nice place to leave her}

It's "ruff" but, this too shall pass.

David Rupert said...

My dog wagged his tail right up to the last day. When I took him to the vet for his final nap, He looked up at me and smiled and wanted to go play.

God gave us these animals for comfort and joy I am convinced.

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