The death of a loved one

Author's note: this is poem dedicated to something that happened on the 1st June 2002. Our cat died that day. I loved her like a part of me, simply because we grew up together. I lost a childhood friend that day, and I grieve her loss so much. The person "you" refers to my brother who was the one to tell me about what had happened. She refers to that which we lost. Cherry Blossoms are symbolic of purity and innocence. I realise that this is long, but I had a lot that I wanted to say. I felt as if she was my daemon (anyone who has read His Dark Materials will understand the reference) I miss you my darling, my soul , and I hope to see you again.

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She was the first thing I remember

From the days when I was just one.

The shocking black and whitish fur

Became my shining sun

I always used to love her,

Protect her from fellow cats.

We'd chase them off together

And laugh when that was that.

At 19 they said she was old

But I didn't believe a word.

She looked as beautiful as ever

Any anything else was unheard.

My siblings talked of funerals

For the cat that yet still lived.

I spent every second with her

To treasure what she'd give.

But that night I left her

Under the table asleep.

I had no reason to believe

That would be the last memory to keep.

Until that morning all was well

I had no reason to be upset;

But you were going to tell me

Of the secret they had kept.

I knew it from the way you were

With eyes so puffed and red.

In a trembling voice you asked me

If I had been told that she was dead.

My eyes flicked towards the table

where last night she had lain.

Why should I have had to think

That today wouldn't be the same?

"She's in the dining room"

was all that you could say.

Tears were falling down your cheeks

like mid April summer rain.

I didn't want to do it,

I didn't want to see,

I didn't want to see the love

that they had taken from me.

But I had no choice, I had to know.

It was some form of bravery I chose.

You supportably followed behind me

continuously wiping your nose.

But the room I entered all alone

And for that I was silently glad

For the sight that lay before me

Had made me temporarily mad

There she lay, as still as stone

With no drawing of living breath.

She didn't move, how could she

When claimed by the Black Death?

I wish that I could have gathered

Some strength from inside of me

But I could not stop my mournful voice

From betraying me.

"We should bury her" I said to you,

feeling nothing but despair.

I thought "It wasn't real, it wasn't right

To take the youth we shared"

I picked her up in trembling arms

Her body frozen and stiff.

And then we went outside

Towards the emotional cliff.

You see she was more than an animal,

At least she was to me.

She was the one who woke me up

She helped me eat my tea.

We always played together

We always fell apart

We always made back up

She was never meant to depart.

Everything had frozen,

But still I longed for her

I wanted just one more time

To hear her pleasured purr.

But she didn't make a single sound,

And she gazed at things unknown

And it was me that broke into tears

At the things that I'd been shown.

During my tears you'd waited

matching that which I could not hide

"A cross I will build her"

to give her a spiritual guide

A blossom tree outside my window

Was the place we chose.

To bury the motionless body

Under blessings of all that know

We played under there as children

What better place to put her down?

Where the happy little memories

Would protect her in the ground.

You put the cross in the earth,

Your hand bleeding from the wood

You dug the hole in front of it

As deep as your pain could.

But while you dug that tempered hole

For where her rest would be.

I swear against my breast

I could feel her breathe along with me.

But it was me that put her in the ground

But it was not flowers that I left:

I left a little piece and part of me

And hope that she was blessed.

And then she vanished under brown earth

Cherry blossoms showering from the tree above

And away close to the forest

Escaped a fading dove.

We stood and watched in silence,

My arms still lingering from the touch

Of that blessed animal

That I loved far too much.

And in the sun I could only hope

That she would find a way

And maybe-and I hope it so-

We'll meet again one day.

That is where we left her

The spirit that is free.

Just before my window

Underneath the cherry blossom tree.