Most kids would love for summer to slow down and then be able to stay out of school a little longer. For the Berry family, we have experienced the slow-moving months of June and July this summer. Which is unusual for us, because we are usually left with wanting more of summer.
Our beloved older pets, Honey, 17-year-old dog, Cameron, 16-year-old dog, and Tiger, 14-year-old cat, started succumbing to their old age at the beginning of June. We spent two months of long nights laying beside them as their bodies failed and their time to die drawing near each day. We went to numerous vet visits, hoping for a simple answer or maybe an antibiotic would keep them with us. But no, their time to leave us was near. And we knew it.
The vets were surprised by their ages, but we wanted more time with them. Honey, Cameron, and Tiger were our family. When we went on family trips, they would pile into the camper with us. The stories we have to tell and laugh over, because they were sharing our experiences with us.
During this time, from June to the end of July, time seemed to crawl. And isn’t that the way it always is when a loved one is sick. The suffering seems endless and time almost stands still. Once they are gone, time to grieve is fleeting. The world has a “just get over it” perspective on death, suffering, and pain.
But maybe if we paused long enough to wail from the belly, sob until our tears run dry, and shout our indignation at losing a loved one so loud it echoes within the earthly barriers; maybe then we would carry the laughter, the love, and the good memories longer in our hearts.
Now as July comes to an end, we only have Daisy (7-year-old dog) left, and our other baby’s ashes, along with wonderful memories and an immense love for each of them. As for us, we still tear up when we talk of our pets and will for awhile. And even though they are gone from our earthly lives, they always live within our hearts!