Normally, I don’t post as much about our older Caterpillars, for their privacy. It’s hard enough being a preteen/teenager, it can only be worse if your Mum is constantly putting everything you do on her blog. However, CW came to me and ask me to post about Mary so there would be a memorial to her online and so that other boys his age could see it is okay to cry and be upset if you lose a pet.
I felt strongly I needed to honor his request, so this blog post is about Mary. We let CW choose how to deal with her death, and he was very adamant that he wanted to build her a coffin. I am grateful to the older gentleman at Lowe’s who didn’t talk down to CW or make him feel like his request was stupid, but instead took the time to help him choose the best lumber for the job. It was very important and meaningful to me to see this adult treat my son with such respect.
CW wanted to bathe Mary, himself, and spent a lot of time drying her coat and taking care of her, while crying on and off. (He has asked us to not yet move her cage out of his room, but says he will ask Papa to move it soon.)
Otto finished up his work early to get home as quickly as possible to help CW, and sat beside him when CW just wanted to talk. I found an old piece of yellow fabric to line the coffin with, and CW wrote a beautiful letter to print out and go in the coffin with her. His letter is below (and I haven’t changed anything for grammar, other than his name):
I wish you were back with me right now. I will and always will miss you forever. I think you will have a good time up in heaven, I wish I could be with you now. We will have lots of fun when I go to heaven and come home. I will pray for you always, and I hope you meet lots of people. You will love all the treats that are up in heaven. Go meet all our family and love them a lot. I hope you get to move in to our house or your house and put up lots of pictures.
love you mary.
CW knows about heaven, but was asking lots of questions – after explaining that I can’t speak truth from Scripture, I can tell him what I think happens. I believe that animals are in heaven (and will be on the New Earth), because I don’t believe God will reject the creatures who never rejected Him. I also believe that all the people on earth who were allergic to animals – they aren’t when they get to heaven, and I believe that Mary is being well loved and taken care of by those people, until CW arrives. I believe my grandmother, Mimi, is spending time with her great-grandson’s guinea pig and loving her lots. I believe that God sees a child’s heart and allows it to grieve and heal.
CW asked me to seal the lid of the coffin, so he wouldn’t have to nail the top on. While I was doing that, he and Otto went to the backyard to dig a grave, below a tree that CW particularly loves. Otto said CW did most of the work, and after he placed the box in the grave, he wanted to cover it up himself. We quietly stood by and respected his wishes.
It was a horrible day, and I know my son is devastated. But I am grateful for a husband who hurries home to help take care of the *heart* of our child and that I have a son who trusts that we, as parents, will stand by him and respect him and love him.
~Mummy Butterfly )i(
(This post was written with permission and encouragement of CW.)