In Memory of Princess-A Mon Candle Service Story
by Ginny Brancato
Candle Service Story

August 29th 2016

It isn’t for the moment you are struck that you need courage, but for that long uphill climb back to sanity and faith and security.
[Anne Morrow Lindbergh]

Those first months of losing our furbabies are mere raw survival. We mechanically perform the daily tasks of life. We hide… each in our own way until the time comes we feel safe enough to open ourselves to others and the world. For each of us the timing is different because Grief has no time limit and we all grieve differently.

We ask questions. We ask Why? We ask if we had done something differently would it have been ok? We ask “Did I do the right thing.”
Oh so many questions!

I spoke at last week’s Ceremony of Princess, my neighbor’s cat who was in end stages of Kidney failure. He asked if I would go with him to the Vet as he had made the decision this was the time. and being it was my own BABY;s first year Anniversary I found myself taking in deep breaths to catch some air, as my heart hurt, my whole body hurt...I was grieving, missing my feisty Baby girl so much...I ached to hold her again and kiss her belly…so having known what he was going to go through in compassion I said… yes of course I would go with him and help him through this horrific process of saying goodbye…Goodbye for now.

Oh I said all the right things to him in the car... I think.

I said you will feel a pain so unexplainable…you will see her in dreams...she will come to you in many ways. You will cry when you least expect will feels so lost…so alone…Routines will stay the same and then you will realize there is no need to put her food out…no need to call her in on rainy days...or at 9 O’clock… and on and on,,, can you explain the grief… It was a journey he would have to take and for some time until he was ready to talk…it would be his journey.

He called me many times. The first time was one sentence
“Ginny I want to die”. Silence as the phone was hung up.

The second call…”Ginny...Did I do the right thing”, Silence the phone went dead. The next call...Tears sobbing”. Ginny I am so ANGRY!!”

Oh yes he was angry, he was hardened… he cursed life… he cursed God and finally broke down with “I am just a man...A man who has been shot at in VietNam, had guns aimed at me and fought and saw death and I never cried… Now I am crying over this little red and white feral cat that came into my life 9 years ago. I didn’t even like cats! And I am crying. I am just a man. A broken man.”

What did I say.?
So many things. I will tell you some of it here. I will tell you.,. You who are broken tonight… you here who are angry.., you here tonight who had to make the awful decision of letting go… You here who are sobbing and asking did you do the right thing… It’s OK. It’s Ok to cry. To shout... to sob. To yell at God and admit you are just a man...or woman... A broken man… A broken woman.

And I will tell you as I told him… Give yourself the time. Hold onto your faith… Grab it tightly; because there is hope. There is hope

Don’t let this world harden you. It will wreck you.
It will break you, but when [not if] you break, remember that you don’t have to harden. You don’t have to let all the shattered pieces stay rough and jagged.

You don’t have to close off, covering your eyes, shutting down to all the bad, and consequently, all the good. You can break, and you can keep loving. You can break, and you can keep breathing. You can break, and you can resist the urge to turn away from it all, and you can uncover your eyes, rest your hands, no longer shielding and no longer pushing. And slowly, you can mend.

It’s hard, but when you’re ready, take the leap. I’ll be right beside you. We will all be here right beside you.

Ginny Brancato

In Memory of Princess
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