Sympathy Letters

9 Mar

I’ve received some really awesome feed back from a lot of people about Peaches passing away through Facebook, Twitter, and the blogging world, so I wanted to share a couple of the letters I’ve received that have really helped.

The first one is a handwritten letter from Ben’s mom:

March 3, 2010

Dear Lauren,

Sweetheart, if I could, I would take away the pain you are feeling every time you think of Peaches. The only way to remove the pain of loving someone is t take away the memories and that of course, we would never choose to do.

“Pain now,” said C.S. Lewis’ wife, Joy, “is the price we pay for the joy then. That’s the deal.” It’s a price we, who love passionately–risking everything–willing pay, every time.

Wrapping you in healing hugs.

Much love,

Michelle

She made the best point ever by using that quote and it really makes perfect sense out of the situation. I am a passionate person and because of it my emotions are felt so intensely compared to some. Her letter was so unbelievably sweet, so heartfelt that I couldn’t help myself but cry. If only my own mother could be as sweet as Ben’s mom.

If only mom wasn’t so evil and conniving, making me feel worse about the situation and assuming that Ben hurt Peaches to the point of death. She doesn’t have a way with words like Ben’s mom, but she could still be more compassionate, more sympathetic (if not empathetic) towards me during this difficult time. But her actions are a result of having a terrible mother of her own. Fortunately I’m not like that.

The next letter is from my friend Amy, a college girlfriend, who now lives in Austin. During the cross country journey from Arizona to New Jersey I made it a point to pay her a visit, and during the visit she allowed Peaches to relax in her apartment while we went to grab some breakfast at a nearby diner. In her letter/card, which I received today, she said:

March 1, 2010

Lauren,

I’m writing because I just found out that your kitty, Peaches, has passed away. I lost my long-time pet, Cinnamon, about a year ago so I know how painful it is. Eventually you’ll be able to give another adorable animal (or two or three) a great home. Sometimes, losing an animal is worse than a person, which might be a sad symptom of how society works, but I’m just going to take it as an example of a human’s capacity for compassion. So hopefully Peaches Honey Blossom is chillaxin’ in feline heaven with Cinnamon! At least you had had her long enough to enjoy her company, and maybe her mission in life was just complete after a while. I’ll be sure to write you a proper letter soon.

Love,

Amy

The part about Peaches mission being complete really got me teary eyed. It was actually the first time I cried since last Tuesday, the 2nd, over Peaches untimely death.

I do believe that Peaches & I were a destined match and I remember the day I found her at the Phoenix SPCA. I held her in my arms and she was so relaxed. Upon looking into her bright blue eyes, I just knew that she was the right one for me, that I wanted to take her home and spoil her.

This was the first picture taken of Peaches the day I brought her home on June 13, 2008.

She was literally the center of my universe, she got me through so many hard times, and I looked forward to coming home anytime I left to see her prance right up to greet me smiling and meowing so softly. Vacations were even difficult because I couldn’t stand to leave her for more than a few days, but that is how strong my attachment was with her.

The best part about Peaches (and with any pet) is that they love you so unconditionally: they don’t guilt trip you or show disappointment, they never judge you or put you down, they simply love you with all of their will power for being their parent, for loving them so unconditionally.

Even now, a little over a week since her passing, I can’t help but blame myself for her death, because I mistook her strength during the road-trip including the many hotel stays, as a sign that she would transition fairly easily when arrived at our new house. I assumed that because she handled the 2,500 car ride so well that she would walk right into the house and take over just like she did in the three places we lived in Arizona.

I didn’t consider the stress of the situation on her, so I didn’t read up on how to transition a pet like that, and I believe that not only did the drastic change in climate affect her but also the stress of a not-so-comfortable house, which is a far cry from our luxury apartment on the rich side of town. I didn’t think to provide her with a safe room like we have with Bellatrix, a place where she can start out and learn some of the scents of the new house. I just let her loose in the house and assumed that she would adapt to it as easily as she did during other moves we made.

My lack of preparation, I feel, is a definitive reason for her death. That and the fact that I misread her symptoms of illness which included all the hiding and the recent case of halitosis. I though that she was just afraid of Ben for some unknown reason but I figured it would get better with more attention from both Ben and myself. He, specifically, went out of his way to show her affection and made a lot of progress with his efforts. In the end, though, it was my own blindness that caused her to pass on.

Like I said before, I wish that my mom would have considered these things as the reason for Peaches death, but it isn’t in her nature to consider this part psychological-part physiological reasoning. She just feels like everyone has this the deep, dark hidden side to them because everyone she has ever known (for the most part) has one and has hurt her in some way.

Unfortunately she is too unaware of this to take into consideration the fact that not everyone is evil, that not everyone has some dark hidden side to them. She would have never thought that maybe the transition didn’t go nearly as smoothly as we had hoped it would, she just felt because Peaches was hiding from Ben that he must have hurt her in some serious way.

If only she could have sent me a nice little card or letter telling me things like Amy and Ben’s mom did, than maybe we would be on speaking terms. If only she didn’t tell Ben that I needed to “grow up” and “wake up” and “be realistic about this” behind my back. If only she weren’t so evil. I was realistic about the situation, which is why I chose to send Peaches to kitty Monaco, yet she can’t give me credit or recognition for my bravery in the situation–for doing what was right based on my love for Peaches.

If only she would understand that just because she is my mother doesn’t mean that she can control my life or make unauthorized decisions for me behind my back; her parental status doesn’t give her the right to be so evil, even if she thinks its best for me, because she doesn’t always know what’s best for me, only I do.

Like Amy said, maybe her mission was nearly complete, maybe Peaches was meant to come into my life and be there for me during my darkest hours and my shining moments? And I must say how incredibly thankful I am to have had Peaches for the length of time that I did because she was so much more than just a pet, she was my child, and we were so connected. Kind of like when you’ve met someone for the first time and swore you knew them before, like you knew them in another life–that’s how I felt with Peaches. I feel like we were close companions during another lifetime and we will, again, be close companions in a future life.

I’d like to thank Amy and Ben’s mom for their thoughtful letters: they truly mean the world to me and have assured me that there are people out there who genuinely care.

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One Response to “Sympathy Letters”

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