Memorial Writing

Someone posted this nice memorial to a Canine Liver Disease group that I belong to. I thought it was very well written and poignant

Written and © copyrighted by Terri Onorato

I know what you’re thinking. You think I’m dead. Because you cannot see me
with your human eyes, cannot feel me with your hands or hold me in your arms
you think I am gone forever. You recall how I looked when I left this earth
and you cannot remotely imagine that I am alive in another place. You are
racked and torn by the pain of our separation and it blinds you to that
which is right in front of you…me.

How many times since I left your immediate sight have you been told that I’m
dead and you should “get over it”? How many times have you cried yourself to
sleep because you feel like an outcast, believing you’re supposed to get
over me because that’s what people say is normal but somehow you can’t and
no one seems to understand? How many times have you put yourself through
such excruciating pain because you aren’t willing to consider that I am not,
by any means, dead?

I want you to do me a favour and go back in time with me. Remember the
glorious day you brought me home – was I not the most intriguing creature
you’d ever met? Did I not make you laugh and giggle? Did I not look at you
with such adoration that you wanted nothing more than to spend the rest of
your life with me? I wanted this too.

Remember the days when I was in my prime and we did many things together.
You were so proud of me! I was a good friend and I took care of you when you
cried, were angry or felt down and unhappy. When you didn’t have a lot of
time for me because of your obligations, I waited patiently for you. I was
always there when you needed me. Did I not look at you with such acceptance
and patience that perhaps at times you felt a bit unworthy? You were never
unworthy in my eyes.

Remember when age crept up on me, my bones became stiff and my movements
slower. Still I met you when you came home and followed you around. We’d
been together for so long, I was your very best friend regardless of what
you were doing, saying and thinking. Did I not look at you with such
kindness and understanding that you felt overwhelmed? I couldn’t get enough
of you.

Remember the last time we saw each other with earthly eyes. You tried to be
brave but I knew you were crying…I know you so well, better than anyone
else in the world. Did I not look at you with such pure trust and love that
you yearned only to hold me close and keep me with you always? Did you not
promise that you would love me forever? I believed you.

If this is so then why have you let me go by thinking I no longer exist?
Remember the depth of love in my eyes when I looked at you.
I am no longer an earthly figure, this is true. My
body was only part of who I really am and it would have been but a mere
shell on earth if it were not filled to overflowing with my soul, my spirit
and my loving light. When we met you thought I was cute, pretty and adorable
What kind of relationship would we have had if this were all that I’d been?
How could you have loved me if I’d had no spiritual substance?

We are all made up of energy that resides far deep down inside of us, it is
our core and our soul, spirit and loving light. It is the energy that is all
of life…it has no beginning, it has no end. It simply is and always will
be and without it there is no life. You can’t see it with the naked eye nor
can you hold it in your hand, it is simply a certain knowing that this
energy does exist. It’s a knowing just as you know that our love existed on
earth – you couldn’t see our love in a solid sense, you couldn’t gather it
all up and confine it to one place. But you *knew* it existed. There was no
doubt in your mind.

There are those who demand you get over me, insisting that I’m dead and you
ll never see me again because animals don’t go to Heaven. Oh really? I’m
here to tell you different. You were as worthy of my love and undying
devotion on earth as I was of yours. Do you really believe this love would
be snatched from us *forever* simply because I wasn’t
human? Was I not a living, breathing creation with personality? How could I
have been so if I didn’t possess the energy of soul, spirit and loving
light? And if this energy is and always will be, then how can it be that I
am dead? If my core is not the energy that is all of life then I was never
alive to begin with. But you know better.

You cry because you miss me, this I understand. I miss you too – I miss the
belly rubs, hugs and kisses that we shared. But life does go on beyond these
wonderful, fulfilling physical connections. I came to this place to continue
on in a new life, not because I didn’t love you anymore or because I wanted
something better. I came here because it was time for me to go to the next
phase of my existence, something all living creatures must do eventually. It
is the normal progression of life. I was not taken away from you because you
cannot take away that which was never owned. My presence in your life was
and is a gift to be cherished and honored just as I cherish and honor you.
Life is not simply about being born into a body, living a certain number of
years and then dying. Energy cannot die. We are blessed with time in a body
so that we can learn, share and grow. It prepares us for the next phase of
our eternal life. The body holds within it the true life force of our
existence…our soul, spirit and loving light. Without these our bodies
would be empty, blank, void of feeling and expression. Without our energy we
would indeed be dead and could never have experienced our love for each

You say that all you have left are memories but this is not so. You see,
when I took leave of my earthly body I left a little something behind for
you. You can’t touch it, hold it or examine it, for what I left behind is
far too uninhibited for confinement. I left in your tender care a piece of
my soul. I placed it right next to your own which is quite fitting as we
were always side by side in our earthly life together. I love you too much
to have left you with nothing but memories that tend to fade and grow cloudy
as the years go by. I love you too much to have vanished without a trace.
How selfish it would be of me to remove love and light from your life.

I understand your tears, each one you shed is testament to your love for me
and I am honored and humbled. But don’t forget the good things we shared -
remember and smile. This is an honor for me as well. When you need me I will
be here. Close your eyes, relax, take slow, deep breaths and picture me in
your mind. Shut off the world and your notions of what you think death is
and give me a chance. Look for the subtle signs I send you. Don’t stop being
proud of me, I am a friend to be proud of, I am still your friend and soul
mate. Don’t memorialize the death of my body but instead honor and celebrate
my never-ending life for it is eternal and forever as is my love for you.
Until we meet again…

February 26, 2009 by Lisa  
Filed under Blog


6 Comments on "Memorial Writing"

  1. Aida on Mon, 18th May 2009 5:55 am 

    Thank you for this website. We just lost today our beloved golden retriever mix — Patches. She didn’t show any sign of liver disease until Wednesday night when she threw up and refused to eat by Thursday morning. We took her to the vet and came home with antibiotics. Friday, we received a call about the diagnosis. We gave her more medicine, with the hope that it will make her feel better. But her condition just got worse…and now she’s gone. The Tribute I just read here reminds me not to think only of Patches’ material body. She’s not really gone, we will meet again. God bless!

  2. Lisa on Mon, 18th May 2009 4:19 pm 

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Our situation with Reiley was similar to yours – 2 weeks between diagnosis and when she left us. We were stunned but in a way thankful that we didn’t have to see her suffer for a prolonged period of time. We miss her every day but are now able to remember the happy times rather than her sickness. I hope time will do the same for your family.

  3. Deb on Fri, 4th Dec 2009 4:11 am 

    I am so grateful for this website. I am saddened to think of the pain that caused its existence, but I am grateful for the knowledge and hope that Reiley is sharing. This website is the only thing that has brought me any measure of peace since my 7 year old jack russell Grace died in October. ears, the thoughts were Cushings or diabetes. All the testing that’s been done, was centered around those concerns. And it’s so clear now: it was her liver all along.

    Maybe if I’d found this website earlier, she’d still be with me in her earthly form. Or at least her end wouldn’t have been a sudden catastrophic illness lasting two days at the emergency vet, ending with 10 minutes of reassuring her, loving her, and thanking her for being my dog, and holding her as her heart was stopped from beating. and walking out with the empty leash, stunned and heartbroken, not understanding what happened.

    Or maybe not, maybe the result would have been the same. The regrets have been sharp — not enough internet research last year when her liver enzymes were elevated but then normalized; all the times i was impatient with her…

    I was unable to start researching what happened to Grace until about a month after she passed, and found your website almost immediately. Everything crystallized, and it all became clear – all the symptoms over the years, right down to the head pressing.

    I thank you for all you have done to help bring awareness of this issue. The memorial writing in particular comforted me, I really can’t think of the words to express how it felt to read that, it was exactly how I feel about Grace. And it makes more sense to me than anything else I’ve heard or read about the topic.

    Thank you to everyone that has shared, and thank you for giving us all this oasis of peace and hope to come to.

  4. John and Robert on Tue, 20th Apr 2010 10:38 pm 

    Today marks the first day in the new life that Robert and I have to face.

    Our Boy, Rowley is scheduled to leave the ICU of our local pet hospital to come home and live out his remaining few days as he will never recover form his Cushings and Diabetis (DKA).

    Weare trying to prepare for his passing and have put our extremely hectic and stressful jobs on hold to spend his last days at home with him as he’s relaxing by the pool, barking when the mailman arrives, and anticipating the pool man (who without exception) he looks for every Friday afternoon because he always leaves him a doggie treat (which he enjoys excessingly) as the pool is being cleaned! How sad that our pool man is on disability while he is healing from knee surgery. When he is well enough to return to work, he will undoubtably be saddened that Rowly will not be there to greet him at the backyard gate.

    We will keep your words in our hearts and refer to them when we need strength.

    My tears have now subsided. I will walk away with a bit more spirit in my hearts and hope that I can carry this strength with me.

    Thank you for your posting.

    John and Robert

  5. Lisa on Tue, 20th Apr 2010 10:52 pm 


    I am sorry for what you are going through – I know how difficult and heartwrenching this can be. I hope that time will heal your heart – Rowley is a lucky dog to have had you as his family and he will always be in your hearts.

    Lisa Smith
    Founder, The Canine Liver Disease Foundation

  6. Kylie Batt on Mon, 24th May 2010 2:37 pm 

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