Albert’s Ashes


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All Is Well 

Death is nothing at all,

I have only slipped into the next room

I am I and you are you

Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.

Call me by my old familiar name,

Speak to me in the easy way which you always used

Put no difference in your tone,

Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow

Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.

Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.

Let my name be ever the household world that it always was,

Let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.

It it the same as it ever was, there is unbroken continuity.

Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near,

Just around the corner.

Everything is OK.

April 14, ‘15

I picked up Albert’s ashes from the Vet this afternoon.

Inexplicably, from the moment I accepted the small shopping bag containing his earthly remains, I’ve been feeling less sorrowful than I have been these past few weeks – as if a corner has been turned in the grieving process, as if the Pall has been lifted.  As if he’s home and under my care, even in his transformed state.  As if his dear little ghost has gone to rest.  I won’t be looking for him throughout the house because I know where he is.

The box containing what’s left of him is on the corner of a wooden chest under the window where, when it’s sunny and he would surely be sleeping.  The flower blossoming in the pot behind the small box with the plaque on top is the flower I bought him for his birthday.  I told him it was for him, in celebration and honor of his life.  I placed it in his sleeping spot when he was no longer able to jump up to his spot.  For the next week he put his front feet on the corner and sniff the flower.  Then he’d cross the room and climb back into his sick bed on the couch, next to me.  On his last morning, he attempted to sniff the flower but was too tired, beyond handicapped, too desperately ill to do this thing his body could no longer do.  He twice flopped on the floor, gasping,  to rest before he could make it 10 feet across the room to me and climb into his sick bed.  That moment, when he tried, but failed, to make it over to the flower was when I knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that it was time for me to call the vet.  He’d reached a point where he was suffering more than I.

Someone at the Crematorium made a small plaque out of clay with Albert’s footprint and his name across the bottom.  I didn’t expect this plaque but am grateful to whoever made it as I find it very comforting as a memento mori.

I can’t help but wonder if the plaque was fired at the same time as Albert.

********

While there’s certainly been much sorrow in my life these past few months, there is also joy.  I move along and slowly, things get done.    Progress has been made in my Work.  I’ve done small amounts of Yard work and Gardening.  I’ve rearranged some aspects in my house, washed windows, cooked and cleaned.  Yesterday, out on the porch on a sunny day where the temp almost went to 70 degrees, I cleaned my cat carrier, Albert’s litter box and the rubber mat where I’d put his feeding dishes.  I used a small amount of bleach and left those things to dry in the sun.

This past Friday, I said yes to 2 kittens who need a home.  I’m to pick up those 2 kittens this coming Saturday at 9 a.m.  I’m psyched.  I texted back the woman from the Rescue Service that “I will be there!”

I know little about the kittens, even though a photo was texted to me,  except that they’re both boys who will be 9 weeks old on Saturday.

I have a list of names for these 2 boy-cats, just as I had a list of names when I went to meet the kitten who turned out to be Albert, not Stanley or Raymond or any of the other names I favored.

I’ll know who these 2 kittens are when I meet them and then I’ll share.

I’m generally a Skeptic when it comes to a carefully laid plan more than a week prior to the event, so I can’t be absolutely sure this will actually happen and am somewhat braced for possible disappointment.  But, I’m hoping this plan works well.  Anticipating un-named kittens and having Albert home feels like a healing antidote to sorrow.

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5 Responses to Albert’s Ashes

  1. Thank you so very much for sharing.

    Tom

  2. Sue says:

    This is good to hear, Gretchen…. I thought it was a lovely gesture re: the footprint plaque. And look forward to hearing about your new arrivals, should all go to plan. And The Naming of The Kittens!

  3. beetleypete says:

    Albert is back with you now, and the small plaque was a very nice touch too.
    Good luck on Saturday, I hope that it all goes to plan, and you will be busy with two mischievous kittens all weekend.
    Best wishes from England. Pete.

    • Thank you, Pete. The anticipation for Saturday and kittens is mounting as well as the suspense regarding names. I’m getting suggestions from so many people. There’s an air of festivity as I’m also planning lunch for a few friends on Saturday to meet the 2 new kittens. It’s good to have Albert back and to be anticipating new kittens.

      Best to you, GG

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