Saying goodbye to Milo…

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The Rainbow Bridge

Today, I read on one of my friend’s blogs (Melissa over on “Melissa’s Meanderings“) that her beloved cat of 16 years old, Milo crossed over to The Rainbow Bridge today from cancer. 16 years! I’ve never had a cat live that long with me and for some reason, I’ve been asking people I know, how they let go of animals they love so dearly and how did they move through the grieving process.

I know many people whom don’t view their fur babies as than anything other than pets and think it’s just another sad factor of life and that’s that. But if you know me at all through my blog, my two cats, Miss Bella and Sele mean the world to me and the thought of one day having to say goodbye literally hurts my heart and soul.

I’ve written before aboutf Tabitha, one of my beautiful girl cats who I had to say goodbye much too early. I don’t know if it’s any better or worse having to say goodbye when you haven’t known a beloved pet that long (as was the case with Tabitha) or having an animal companion like Melissa’s “Milo” for such a long time. I don’t think either case is easy, it’s just inevitable.

I worry about myself sometimes and how devastated I’ll feel over loving Miss Bella and Sele, but in some strange way, I know I won’t be the only one who will miss their furbabies more than they miss their human family members. O.k. some people would consider this very morbid, but I’d rather not know them. I’m not that close to my parents, and I’m not saying that I wouldn’t grieve horribly for them when they die, but it’s not the same. One thing we all do share in common is our deep love for our pets.

My dad and stepmom had a Sheltie dog named, Mandy who really was like a daughter (more than I was :wink: or probably ever will be and she grew sick as she grew older. My father’s mother was also dying at 100 years old the time Mandy grew sick. When my grandmother died, a funeral was held and life went on. But when Mandy passed, and I called to talk to them, there was a message on the telephone to anyone who called, saying that they just weren’t in a place to talk to anyone because of Mandy’s passing. I felt closer to them than, and really “got them.”

Thankfully Miss Bella and Sele are only six years old and in very good health. Well, Sele is a little chubby, but she IS healthy and Miss Bella is sleek and quick. Yet, I know that the only permanent thing in life is impermanence and one day they won’t be with me on the physical realm. I refuse to believe that there’s any form of heaven where we won’t be greeted by our furbabies.

So, I’d really like your help in knowing how you manage to deal with the knowledge that one day you’ll have to say goodbye to your furbabies, or how you have in the past.

I found these resources on pet loss and just wanted to share them.

Ten Tips on Coping with Pet Loss by Moira Anderson Allen, M.Ed.

and here are some books I happened to find that I know won’t save me from the impact of losing Miss Bella and Sele but will help me feel, that I’m not so alone or strange when they both cross over to the Rainbow Bridge.

“Cherished: 21 Writers on Animals They Have Loved and Lost” by Barbara Abercrombie

All Pets Go To Heaven: The Spiritual Lives of the Animals We Love by Sylvia Browne

Goodbye, Friend: Healing Wisdom for Anyone Who Has Ever Lost a Pet by Gary Kowalski

So, please if you want to, stop by Melissa’s blog and let her know you care, or light a virtual candle or just say a simple prayer or blessing, that would be wonderful.


© 2012, Wendy S.. All rights reserved.

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About Wendy S.

I'm slightly "mad" with a good shaking of whimsy thrown in for good measure. When I'm not up, I'm down and sometimes if I'm lucky I'm somewhere in between due largely to having Bipolar Disorder and crazy genes ; ) I'm pagan by nature and witch by choice and I have two very beloved and spoiled feline familiars, Miss Bella and her sister, Sele. Am I a crazy cat lady? I'm an introvert in the "real" world but I love meeting new friends especially in the blogosphere where I've been blessed to meet many of you. Please introduce yourself if you'd like so that we can get to know each other better, especially if you have a blog that I can visit. And thank you for flying the friendly skies of United Broom Stick Airlines with me. Hold onto your hat, it's going to be an interesting ride.
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13 Responses to Saying goodbye to Milo…

  1. HRH will be 17 in April. She is in decline with kidney insufficiency and I know we will have to let her go sooner rather than later. I’m focusing on enjoying every day with her and trying not to think too much of the end. It will get here soon enough and I will deal with it then. It will be hard to say goodbye, I know, and I will miss her terribly.

    • avatar Wendy S. says:

      Debra, I know how much HRH rules the roost and your heart and I have to keep reminding myself that to truly love an animal the best we can do is to love them in the now. Not hang onto the past and not to live in the future. HRH is very blessed to have such good mommies who love her so much.

  2. avatar Melissa says:


    I can’t thank you enough for your kind words over at my blog and here in your post today. I imagined how horrible this time would be when it finally came and I realize now that I seriously underestimated how bad it would be. As awful as some people may think that this sounds…I feel that sometimes our love for our furbabies can exceed that of other human beings due to their sheer purity of spirit of unconditional love. I know that I’ll never stop loving and missing Milo and can only wait for the day when it hurts a little bit less. Even Piper is grieving:(

    I am going to go light a virtual candle for him…just as I burned a white candle during his burial and each night since. The flame that is his spirit will never fade.

    Extra hugs and kisses to the girls.


    • avatar Melissa says:

      PS. When I am feeling up to it I will check out those links.

      PPS. I hope to be around a bit more in the future…I sort of dropped off the face of the earth since his diagnosis.

      • avatar Wendy S. says:

        Melissa, you don’t need to apologize to me about taking time away from the blogging world with Milo’s illness. Believe me, I get it. The fact that you were able to even blog about his passing, says a lot about you and how much Milo is still in your heart and pushing you on. Animals offer us such a pure love that you’re absolutely right that some humans can’t give us, heck, most humans can’t give us. I know how much Milo was your “heart kitty” as Marg said and again, sending you many blessings of comfort and peace.

  3. avatar Marg says:

    That was all said well about losing our fur animals. I just lost what I call my heart cat a couple of weeks ago and it was devastating for me. But you just have to remember all the good times and also the fact that they are probably much happier where they went. I believe there are many many people that think of their animals as their children. I know I do. I spent the day yesterday a nervous wreck because I had two kittens at the vet get their lady ectomy. I sure send lots of purrs to Melissa and her losing her kitty. It is sooooo hard. Take care.

    • avatar Wendy S. says:

      Marg, I”m really sorry about you aving to say goodbye to your “heart cat” which is a PURRRfect description of an animal that is so beloved. I’ve loved all my furbabies, but you’re absolutely right that there are just some of our animals who we feel a closer connection too than others. I totally get the nervousness you felt with your girls “lady ectomies.” I’ve never heard that word used before and I love it, lol…purrs to you and all of yours.

  4. avatar Phoenix519 says:

    Hi Wendy,
    I have been following your blog for some time now and have found it to be amazing. I kept thinking that one day I was going to let you know how much I appreciate your openness in discussing what you are experiencing; I can empathize with so much of it. Also, I LOVE hearing about your girls…their antics never fail to bring a smile to my face and I warm glow to my heart.

    I held my 18 year old darling cat Topaz in my arms as he crossed the Rainbow Bridge 4 years ago. I still cannot adequately put into words how I felt when he told me goodbye. He had been with me for a big chunk of my “adult” life. His presence saw me through many milestones, including the death of my father and mother and discovering the wonderful man who is now my finace.

    I wish I had some wonderfully insightful advice to give you concerning Miss Bella and Sele, but I don’t, not really. The only thing I can offer is the same thought I gave to T. (my fiance) when we suffered through the devastating loss of our Gypsy (our Pomeranian babydoll) due to the contaminated dog food and treats we unknowingly and unwittingly gave her. We had another fur baby, Champagne, still with us at that time. She was Gypsy’s older “sister” and was mourning her loss just as we were. Chammy would barely eat anything and wouldn’t play with us or her toys. She would lay by our front door with her nose on the threshold; every time the door opened she would jump up and run outside to our vehicles looking for her best friend. When she couldn’t find Gypsy, she would put her little head and and tail down and mope back into the house. I told T. that if we didn’t do something, I was afraid we would lose Chammy, too. He said “No way! I am not getting another dog. I cannot go through losing another baby! I don’t want to get attached again (Gypsy was definitely a ‘daddy’s girl’!). I can’t get another animal and have them replace Gypsy in my heart.” I was trying to find a way to explain to him what I wanted to say. I finally told him that we could never replace Gypsy and the place in our hearts that was hers. Both of us would always have that Gypsy-sized space in our hearts, but that didn’t mean our hearts couldn’t grow and get bigger and make more room for another child (all of our children have four legs, except for our fish!). He stared at me for a minute then I saw him “get” it. Shortly after that, we were the proud parents of not one, but two more babies. Chammy went back to being her fun-loving, happy self…and T. and I both have bigger hearts.

    • avatar Wendy S. says:

      Wow, Phoenix, thank you first for your compliments and how much you love my blog. Blogging gives us access to friends we might normally never meet and hearing someone else say that they love my blog and my openness just keeps the blogging fire in me burning : )

      My heart breaks for you when I read about Gypsy dying in such a horrible way and how you kept your fiancée’s heart open and Chammy’s as well when the death was so devastating to you all. Most of us who really love from a soulful place our pets, know loss better than those who don’t (IMO) and we also know how to love well. I can’t even begin to imagine having to say goodbye to Miss Bella and Sele if I’m fortunate enough to have them live with me for so long as Topaz did with you, but I know that having them alive that long is better than saying goodbye to them too abruptly. My girls have already seen me though some of the roughest and happiest times I’ve felt and when the day comes that they ask me to release them, tears and heartbreak will be inevitable. Thank you so much for sharing your stories and heart with me. YOU made me smile and I”m so glad you have two new babies!

  5. Wendy – You are very much aware how deeply I love my pets and I consider them part of my heart and soul. I have had to say goodbye to far too many, but I would never not do it again. The unboundless love they give us far outweighs any pain we may feel at their loss. And yes, the pain never does quite go away. You must go on, but a part of you is taken with them. I believe that is because they are waiting for us…

    My heart goes out to you Melissa and I will be keeping you in my thoughts….

    • avatar Wendy S. says:

      You’re absolutely right about the path of loving our furbabies despite the inevitable goodbyes, we all have to face. As my spirituality deepens, more toward a Buddhist path, I’m learning about loving detachment, but I know that even the most devout and “enlightened” person always stuggles with this one the most. I have felt my past furbabies actually show up in some ways which comforts me (some of them feel like they guide me to my animals after that come into my life) and you’re a great role model in learning how to love so fiercely and passionately with your babies and how to keep going.

  6. I am so sorry for Melissa’s loss and believe me I know what she is going through after having lost my soul kitty (Bobo) when he was 18 back in 2007. I had had him since he was 6 mos old.

    I did a book review this past Monday that has a beautiful quote in it about then a pet dies….it is from the review that I did of “Raising My Furry Children”…I have also addressed losing a beloved pet in a host of other blog posts.

    Check out the review, I think you will like it.

  7. avatar Theresa says:

    I’m so truly sorry to hear of your friend’s loss. It is extremely difficult to lose a pet – especially one who is a loved member of the family. My furries are my children. We nearly lost our dear Willow twice last year. It was heart-wrenching and I am not sure how I would cope – seeing as though I have raised her since she was a wee 8 weeks old. I am just cherishing each and every day I have with her. Her medications are doing wonders – but both me and my hubby know that someday we will have to say goodbye. It will hurt and strike directly to the heart. But life will go on – it has to. I will keep my sweet’s ashes and find the perfect place outside in which to honor her memory. We have taken the ashes of our dearly beloved furry babies and given them places of honor in our yard – planting beautiful trees and shrubs that make me smile whenever I see them. That is how I have dealt. Thank you for sharing such vital resources – I am sure they will help your friend and anyone else in need.

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