Till We Meet Again
May 3, 2011 10:01 AM   Subscribe

Help me find this story (or poem) regarding the death of a pet.

It is NOT The Rainbow Bridge.

I remember reading it about 12 years ago. I recall there being a pool of water, the pet's owner, and the pet. They part ways as the pet goes his heavenly way (I almost want to say that the pet crosses a bridge, but then we're in the Rainbow Bridge territory). I also recall that the story MAY be talking about a dog.

We had to put our cat down yesterday and I'd like to find this story to offer me a grain of comfort.
posted by Sassyfras to Pets & Animals (6 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I'm sorry for your loss. It's such a hard thing to do. There's no pool of water in this poem but someone sent me this when I had to make the decision for one of my cats several years ago. Damn, I just read it through again and am crying now.

If it should be:

If it should be that I grow weak
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then you must do what must be done,
For this last battle cannot be won.

You will be sad, I understand.
Don't let your grief then stay your hand.
For this day, more than all the rest,
Your love for me must stand the test.

We've had so many happy years.
What is to come can hold no fears.
You'd not want me to suffer so;
The time has come -- please let me go.

Take me where my needs they'll tend,
And please stay with me till the end.
Hold me firm and speak to me,
Until my eyes no longer see.

I know in time that you will see
The kindness that you did for me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I've been saved.

Please do not grieve -- it must be you
Who had this painful thing to do.
We've been so close, we two, these years;
Don't let your heart hold back its tears.
posted by essexjan at 10:10 AM on May 3, 2011 [3 favorites]

Only thing I can think of is this story.

(and darnit, essexjam! *dries eyes*)
posted by xedrik at 10:13 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

Song for Sampson
T. Alan Broughton

What did we do for Sampson our cat?
For years we opened cans for him,
we spread out feast after feast
of golden-fleshed salmon, fine bits
of chicken in thick broth, and he ate
both morning and night. Each day
after he scratched his litter box
we emptied whatever he dropped.
Our laps spread like grassy plains,
and he alone was the pride, sunshine
flowing around the slats of the house
that was his cage, spreading over him
like honey, and his fur grew warm.
At night we gave him whatever place
on our bed was without the kicking feet
of our dreams, creatures he could not see
or smell. Often he lay on the rise and fall
of our breasts, the tide of breathing
and slow slap of heart as we rowed
toward morning. We took from him
all propagation and its will, left him
uncertain why faint odors of a passing female
made him stretch and sniff as if he sensed
his own life embalmed in air, a pharaoh's soul.
And this is why he pissed on our shoes —
not out of anger but to help us carry him
with us wherever we walked in the wide
world he could not enter, spreading musk
of Sampson over the surface of earth,
until he became immortal as the darkness
we eased him into, leaving us blessed.
posted by TAP at 10:56 AM on May 3, 2011 [11 favorites]

Is this it?
The Greatest Gift

I always knew this time would come,
From the very instant our eyes first met.
How I loved you then! How I love you now!
I made a promise then, and I keep that promise now...
You will not suffer from a pain that will not heal;
You will not know the loss of a life remembered, now gone.

It is for me alone to make this decision,
The price for the bright joy and pure laughter
You brought me during the time we shared.
I am the only one who can decide when it is time.
When my hope dies, and my fears ride high,
Just when I need you most, I must let you go.

It is for you alone to tell me when you are ready
For without your guidance, I will not know
When to lay my grief, my guilt, my anger,
My sorrow and my selfish heart aside
And give you this last gift, this greatest gift.
Your eyes will speak to mine, and I will know.

The pain of this moment is excruciating.
Tears stream down my face in a river of sorrow.
And my heart drowns in a pool of grief.
For you have spoken and I have listened,
And unlike other decisions I have made
This one brings no relief...no comfort...no peace.

For if there's one thing you've taught me,
If there's only one thing I've learned...
Unconditional love has a condition after all,
I must be willing to let you go, when you speak to me
I must be willing to help you go, if you cannot go alone.
And I must accept my pain so you can be free of yours.

Go easily now, go quickly now,
Do not linger here, it is time for you to leave.
Go find your strength, go find your youth.
Go find the ones who've gone before you.
You are free to leave me now, free to let your spirit soar
Rest easy now, your pain will soon be gone.

I pray I will find comfort in my memories...
In the dark and lonely days ahead.
I cannot say I will not miss you, I cannot say I will not cry.
For only my tears can heal my broken heart.
But, I promise you this: as long as I live,
You will live, alive in my mind, forever in my heart.

So I give you this last gift, all I have left to give,
And this will be my greatest gift...sending you away.
It is the measure of my unconditional love...
For only the greatest love can say,
"Good-bye, go find the bridge, we'll meet again,
Loving you has been the greatest gift of all."

author Karla Bertram
posted by rmless at 11:08 AM on May 3, 2011 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: Perhaps I'll never find the story again, but thank you for these poems and words of comfort. If any one has any more to share, I'd love to have them.
posted by Sassyfras at 5:20 PM on May 3, 2011

Something I have saved to bring comfort when I am missing my companions... may it bring you a bit of comfort as well.

Death is nothing at all.
It does not count.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
Everything remains as it was.
The old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by the old familiar name.
Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no sorrow in your tone.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effort
Life means all that it ever meant. It is 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 but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner.
All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting, when we meet again.

-- Henry Scott-Holland

I am so very sorry for your loss.
posted by vers at 5:41 PM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

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