NOTE : In this month of November when we pray for our beloved dead sometimes hard questions come up. Yes, big questions like, where are they now? Are they in Purgatory? What is Heaven like? And so on. However sometimes these hard questions are more personal: Did he know how much I loved him? Did she really forgive me? Sometimes it is after people have gone we realise how we can waste time on silly stuff, how we neglect to say what really matters.
At times people say she showed more affection to her cat, or he loved his dog more than any of us! Do you remember when Princess Diana died and the Queen was on holiday in Scotland and there was a huge outpouring of public grief and with it demands that the Queen return to London and see how the people loved Diana. In the heat of the emotion it was remarked that the Queen had more readily cried over her Corgi dogs than she did over Diana. Could this be true and does it make her a bad person? An unfeeling person?
Is this not something we could all identify with? Were we not inconsolable when Rover died but not terribly cut up about Aunt Maisie? Maybe this is because our human relationships are much more messy than those with our pets. After all Tiger, the Bengal, never argues with us, nor does Bruno the Lab cut us deep with caustic comment.
CRYING MORE FOR THE CORGIS
(To Luna, my now geriatric, but much loved Boxer)
Tonight on the stairs you struggled.
I followed behind just in case,
Your little tail not wagging now but
Clenched tightly in fear.
Stairs you once bounded up,
Now nightly Everest,
Tonight half way as I stooped, and you licked my nose,
We knew tonight that soon it will be time,
Soon it will be time, to accept that stairs like jumping into the car,
Are too much,
Too much for an old dog.
Times seven they say,
Seven times twelve…
Wow you are old, eighty four and a bit,
And it’s the bit that’s causing problems,
Problems getting into the car and
Now on the stairs.
Yes, and we know,
We know soon it will be time.
Soon it will be time for another change,
Another change closer to the time,
And yes we have talked and walked,
Walked and talked these changes together.
Neither with Mum or Dad did I talk and walk,
Walk and talk, the changes that came our way
The way we do, no, I preferred instead, like the
Queen, to cry more for the Corgis.
(P.S . Let’s not be too harsh on ourselves, our loved ones know well we loved them albeit in the flawed human way that they loved us. Love wins in the end and we have nothing to fear.)