Grief Comes In Small Packages

This morning I saw a female cardinal out on the patio. I knew the male couldn’t be far behind. They often mate for life.

Do you know what it’s supposed to mean when you see a cardinal? There are different meanings for different cultures.

A cardinal is a representative of a loved one who has passed. When you see one, it means they are visiting you.

They usually show up when you most need them or miss them.

They also make an appearance during times of celebration as well as despair to let you know they will always be with you.

I’ve been thinking about Abi a lot. One of you just lost two dogs in the space of two weeks. How truly devastating. We’ve been emailing each other about our grief.

Was it you, Abi? Did you come here, in the ice and snow flurries, to give me a message?

Will you always be with me? Please promise me that you will.

Nearly three years you’ve been gone and I still can’t even think about you without crying.

I hold you in my heart, pressed against the part of me that beats my forever love for you.

MY SWEET ABI ROSE

2006-2018

Grief, I’ve learned, comes in small packages.

Handed to you from time to time when you least expect it. But you reach out your hand and accept it, even knowing what’s inside.

For to grieve is to remember. And that memory is love.

“I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.” – E. E. Cummings

So fly, little bird. Fly up into the sky and go where it is warmer.

Be safe, little bird.

Come see me in the springtime. When the flowers are rising up to greet us.

15 Comments

  1. Yesterday was my anniversary. It’s a day that often has me thinking about my parents, my mom was such a big part of that day and my dad was there in my heart. When I woke up and walked into the kitchen, there were flowers from my husband, a card and banner from my kids and in the window two of the brightest male cardinals, sitting in the snow. They were there only long enough for me to see them…and wonder…same as you…

  2. What a sweet post. I love your Angel’s name, Abi Rose. I have a Chihuaha named Georgia Rose. Rose sure sweetens alot of things, and sounds like your baby surely lived up to her name. I think our animals are family members and all have their distinct personalities, just like us humans. Hold onto the memories and she will always be in your heart..which you know. Sweet birdie story!!

  3. Our truly unique and outstanding dogs we never forget I think. Last time I “heard” our beloved Ebony was about 4 yrs ago…more than 6 years since she passed. Shaking her coat as she usually did to get our attention when we were sleeping or not looking at her. I was in a totally silent apt getting ready to leave with Hubby who was already waiting downstairs in the car…no one was there with me. Did not see her…but I HEARD her…and it was during a very hard time. We shall meet again, not a single doubt in my mind…when my dad comes to leave this veil of tears. Until we lost her, I never dreamed I would hear her several times. But she was the best dog ever. As Hubby said when we lost her, why should we not grieve for her, she loved us far more than most people. VERY VERY TRUE!! Dear Abi…listen for her…you never know…I do think the veil between this life and the next must be rather thin…

      1. I sure understand that grief… I lost my funny Edie Rufus on May 10, 2019. I have gotten another little dog to love, Jovie. But she couldn’t be more different than Edie. What happens to me—Edie always scratched the grass after going potty—Jovie NEVER does that. A few times she has and it’s like Edie saying “I’m still here! “
        The memories of our special friends have the power to make us sad and happy at the same time!

        1. We have not been in places that we could have dogs since then…and now it would be too hard to take care of a pet with my husband’s health issues. But there will never be another Ebony anyway. She also lived with us and comforted us through some of the deepest valleys and griefs of life. Whatever would we do without them in such times?? Angels with fur on they are!! I hope your new pup will be of joy to you always too!!

  4. Brenda, I get so excited when I see a cardinal because I know it is my little Muchen coming to say hi mom! Loosing a pet is incredibly difficult and something you never get over, how could you ever get over loosing a little being that it with you through the good, the bad, the ups and downs and ALWAYS ALWAYS loves you, no matter what. Abi was a special pup and it is understandable that you miss her, cherish the beautiful memories of this sweet little girl as well as your time with Ivy and Charlie. Have a wonderful weekend friend! And thank you for visiting!

  5. It hurts so much when we lose our loved little fur babies. I have lost three dogs in my lifetime so far and I miss each of them everyday. Even with having other fur babies to love you still never get over the loss of any of your pets. Death is part of life but it can be so hard when your heart hurts and misses your sweet loved fur babies. I am glad you have Ivy and Charlie to help with your grief process.

  6. True about grief hitting you in small packages. I lost my 2 sweet yorkies in a tragic accident that I still blame myself for in 1989. Even after all these years, it will hit me every once in awhile and I start crying. It doesn’t happen as often now but it still happens. I’ve lost other dogs since then and it happens with them too from time to time. But I think it was worse with the yorkies since it was so sudden and tragic and I feel guilty about it.

  7. Brenda you are blessed with loving memories of Abi and the companionship of Charlie and Ivy. I can’t imagine how it hurts to loose a fur baby. Thirteen years ago I got my first dog and she is a joy to be with every minute of the day. Grieving is a testament of how much we love someone or our pets. We are alike in being retired and homebodies. It is a blessing to have a roof over our heads and fur babies to snuggle with. We are ready for more bad weather (ice) tomorrow. Stay safe everyone.

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