Lisa sent this picture of the grave of her cat, Harry, who died yesterday. I am so impressed by it, and the idea of it, that I decided to post it. The stone, which I think Will found, looks like a cat and makes a perfect marker. They knew the cat was going to die and kept him at home until he did. I would never have been able to do that with any of my animals, feeling unable to cope with being that involved in the actual process. Having heard Lisa describe the whole situation, and now seeing the burial spot has had an unusually strong impact on my thoughts on the subject. I can't write about these ideas because it is too hard for me, but I do think that paying tribute to the life that is ended, the ritual of saying goodbye, is a good thing. Seeing it from a little distance rather than being involved in it personally has allowed me to see and experience vicariously what it would be like to face the death head-on. How much better to accept the end of life as inevitable and stay involved instead of trying to pretend it isn't happening. There's something very comforting about looking at Harry's little grave and the flowers in front of it. It's as if the transition from being here and being gone has been acknowledged. It has been paid attention to and dealt with. Harry didn't just suddenly disappear from the world while everyone looked the other way.
I think seeing this happen has and will be an enormous help to me in the future. Somehow the burden of the inevitable deaths I will have to face has become ever so slightly lessened.