During one of those “oops we’re having an existential conversation” moments, Mom asked me once, “But you do think people are more important than animals, right?” I don’t remember what prompted the question, but I remember saying, “Some people.”
I’m not quite as bad as one of David Sedaris’s sisters, who, according to him, when she sees a car wreck says, “I just hope there wasn’t a dog in there.”
But if I’m honest, I’ll admit that the deaths of animals I’ve loved, in general, hit me harder than people deaths.
I wrote the following last night and this morning. I don’t think in sonnets, but I do process the world in sonnets a fair bit of the time.
Jack Baptist though I am, I hold out hope
For Heaven. Please don’t tell me if you don’t,
Not right now, not when my Buddy Cat is gone,
And by the time he went, a bag of bones.
Don’t tell me that in all the universe
This dusty planet’s all there is for us.
I live as if there’s nothing more than this.
Or do I mean I live as if there is.
I want my cat restored, purring and fat
With all the other cats and dogs I’ve lost,
And all the people, too. If I can’t have that,
A holy mountain where life is joyful and just,
I’ll settle for love, work for justice, etcetera,
The everbearing blessing of now. Small comfort.
This blog with pictures from dueling-banjo church signs is comforting, though–I particularly love the tone and the end. Of course, even as a Jack Baptist (my version of Jack Mormon) , I immediately began hunting for verses that hint at animals in heaven. My faves: Isaiah 11 where the lion and lamb hang out on the holy mountain, and God’s covenant post-flood, which was with Noah & his Mrs. AND all the animals.
This isn’t the stuff of argument for me, though. It’s in the realm of faith & hope & quantum physics & the changing nature of matter on the nano scale. It’s hard to see what’s there and hard to understand what we do see. Meanwhile, the everbearing blessing of now, however small that comfort is.
Another the C. Century should find on their desk. “I hold out hope for heaven. Please don’t tell me if you don’t.” So true. One belief carrying so much freight we can barely discuss it, for fear our world will shatter to pieces or we’ll be discovered as the only one in the room without a heart.
Peace to you in your grief.
bonnie allen——i understand what you mean—when one of my animals die the pain is huge—–it is because of all the shared love…..
I am sitting here applauding you on a dreary post Christmas Day with three of my four pugs snoring at my feet! I just had to have my 10 year old boy, Ed, put to sleep on 10/24/2011. I cried more over him dying than I did when either of my parents did. My parents were a total burden on me (mother died from lung cancer and father had Alzheimer’s) and I took care of them both. Ed was with me from the day he was born (2/2/2001) until he passed away at my Vet’s office. If my past pets aren’t going to be in heaven, what is the point in going? I have always said that hell is right here on Earth and anything after this life has got to be an improvement.