We came home and I absconded to finish painting his birthday gift as we waited for friends to come over for a pre-birthday hangout with fire and s'mores.
As the night went on, I noticed stress and worry on my brother's face. He's not prone to either the way that I am, so I asked what was wrong and he said their (his and his girlfriend's) bunny had been acting oddly, not eating as much as usual and being a bit lazy. I assumed the heat was probably just getting to her but figured I'd give her some feel better petting. However, upon touching her I had the overwhelming feeling that she was dying. Not wanting to worry my brother, and having no explanation for my feeling other then I just felt it, I gave him the name of my vet and told him to take her in the morning.
They took her in, my brother went to work, telling me they needed to take her back for blood work in the morning. With that I put all thoughts of the previous night out of my head and Joe and I spent the afternoon lazing about playing video games, which is all he wanted for his birthday. No more then an hour and a half later, my brother's girlfriend rushed out of their room, panicked and hysterical, cradling the bunny who was wide eyed and shaking. I took the bunny from her and told her to get her things, I'd rush them to the vet. However, as I held the bunny I felt a tug on my guts and a sort of shift in the air and knew she had passed. I hadn't felt her stop breathing, but when I put my hand to her ribs, felt her heart had stopped. I layed her down on her blanket, petted her head and wished her a safe, peaceful journey to the Otherworld. My brother and his girlfriend opted not to bury her in our yard, as the clay soil gets too hard for us to dig without an auger past a level of about 1.5 feet and something, I suspect a fox, has dug up the baby bunny I found under the hazelnut tree and buried on May Day.
Not the bunny in this story. This is one of our wild rabbits who I call 'The Strawberry Thief'.
This is the first time I've held a dying animal fully in my arms. I've held the paws and kissed the heads of many of my beloved pets as they've passed over in the vet's office over the years, but I was loaded up with grief and never experienced the feeling of passing. Not the physical feelings per say, but the indescribable feeling of knowing without knowing. It was a strange feeling, not uncomfortable but not like anything I've experienced before. I've been coming across the dead more often recently, it was only a matter of time before I would come into contact with the dying. However, it effected me more strongly then I anticipated and I spent a good portion of the night in thought or in tears. I think I owe my husband another special day, for being awesome, comforting me and not once being at all annoyed that I was like this on his birthday.
An odd, full circle sort of weekend. A celebration of birth and the passage into death. Have you held an animal as it crossed over before? How did it effect you the first time? Do any of you walk a path where the dead and dying are very much a part of it and if so, would you care to share a bit about it?