I’ve been thinking about this post for a while now and I’m still not entirely sure what to say. Please bear with me while I try to figure this out.
It’s been 6 months since Lucky died. I can’t quite believe it’s been this long. It has gone by incredibly fast and incredibly slow at the same time.
I remember all the details very, very clearly. Maybe that’s because I actually remember. And maybe that’s because I had a very clear vision of how it would happen. That sounds barmy, I know. But I did, for some reason.
When I found out that Goldie (my sister’s rabbit and my rabbit’s sister) had passed away, I knew exactly what fate would befall Lucky. Whether I actually knew or I simply guessed because I’m fantastic at expecting the worst, I don’t know. But I did know how it would happen and it turned out to be so very real.
When Goldie died, it was during the early morning hours. She was not in pain, her heart simply stopped.
I knew right then that Lucky’s passing would be completely different. Maybe my brain was simply suggesting that it would be the opposite, because the rabbits were opposites in every way. Or maybe my brain went immediately to the most extreme outcome. I don’t know.
Goldie and Lucky were a surprise. Not completely, of course, we knew we were getting rabbits, but when we visited the breeder for the first time, we didn’t know that we’d be able to take them home with us already. We thought we’d choose ours and go and get them a week later or so. But the breeder, he was a really nice man and took care of his animals beautifully, said they were already good to go (not nursing anymore and standing on their own four feet), so we took them home.
I don’t remember ever having been so sure of a choice I made. Not before I chose Lucky and not after. It was love at first sight. She was so tiny (the runt of her litter) and so fluffy and so beautiful. I’d never seen her coloring in a rabbit before (they call it blue), only ever the typical black-and-white and tan ones. Obviously, she wasn’t actually blue, but had this lovely dark grey fur that was just the softest thing I’d ever touched. And she’d gotten some of her dad’s Lionhead genes, because she had a little tuft between the ears.
For the first week, we kept them in a big laundry basket, because Dad hadn’t finished building the hutch yet. But when it was done, they moved in and lived happily ever after. They truly did.
We’d thought we’d have to separate them eventually, because they’d fight, but they never did. They’d bitch at each other, but real fights never broke out (and they can get vicious, as we saw with the little ladies later on). They literally lived together their whole lives. Well, almost.
Which is why I thought, when Goldie died, Lucky would follow soon after. I thought she’d miss her and wither away without her. And Lucky did miss her sister. I know that. I saw her sniffing and looking. And I remember how miserable she was when Goldie was sick and had to be kept inside under supervision and we didn’t know if she’d make it through the night. I remember how miserable Lucky was then and that we actually had to take her inside as well so she could be with her sister. Which is why I was worried about her when Goldie died.
But Lucky lived on and did her sister proud. She grew older and older still. Her fur started losing it’s original color and began turning light brown in places. She went blind, one eye first, then the other. But that did not stop her either. She went deaf at the very end. Even that could not faze her.
So it was quite horrible to always have that vision, that premonition of how her death might come to pass. And in the end it was way worse than what I’d imagined.
Some people say it’s good not to know when your pet will die, because you’ll never live with the fear. Some people say it’s good to know when your pet will die, because you can prepare yourself. But as someone who has experienced both, I can honestly say that it’s never easier, one way or the other. It’s never less painful or less of a shock.
When Goldie died, I saw this image…this image of someone going to check on the rabbits and coming back saying that Lucky didn’t look so good, that she was barely moving. It was getting darker outside in that image, so I always thought it would happen in winter. Which I mused would be great because Lucky would have been around to see another summer. One more time in the green grass.
On December 16th, around 5 pm, my brother went to check on our rabbits and he came back worried. He said Lucky, who was always more of a scaredy rabbit and moving around a lot, even when she was already blind, was just sitting there and not moving at all. And that is when I knew. I immediately started crying; just like I am right now, typing this.
My Dad said he’d go look at her and he did. He did not come back. I went out to see her myself and he said her breathing was very labored. He actually didn’t need to tell me this, because I knew. I simply knew. I took her from him and my knees buckled and almost gave out. She had lost weight and was way too light.
I knew the time had come to keep the promise I’d made to her the very first time I’d seen and held her. The promise to keep her safe, to keep her away from harm and to never let her feel pain or distress. I told her it was okay and to not worry about me.
And then we took our very last trip.
Whether you believe what I did was right or wrong, I do not care about. I firmly stand by my decision. I did right by her and that is what counts. She took her very last breath with me there, by her side.
We buried her in a beautiful, handmade little casket, in a shadowy corner in the garden, next to her sister. Laid down flowers and lit candles.
I’ll often sit with her, just like I did when she was still hopping around. I’ll talk to her, sometimes. And sometimes I’ll simply be there, in the moment. And remember my beautiful girl.
Brought her flowers today. They were blue-ish roses and the most extraordinary of all of them. I thought they fit perfectly.
The worst part, I think, is that I’ll never feel or smell her again. Sometimes, when it’s really bad and grief is a real pain, I’ll cuddle Minnie, who, as you might know, came along right before Lucky passed. And she’ll sit there and let me, almost as if she knows, because she’s really not that much of a cuddler. And then I’ll sit there and cry.
The crying has gotten better, I think. I’ve never really dealt with grief before, at least not at this level and I was surprised at what it brought along. In the beginning I was crying every day. And then at random moments. I’d just break out into tears.
And the anger.
I already deal with anger issues, but I’ve never felt it like this. I didn’t even realize this was caused by grief until I watched someone’s video about what grief feels like to them and that’s when it hit me.
The anger has gotten better as well, I think. I don’t feel so unstable anymore.
It’s still painful, obviously. But after almost twelve years together, that’s to be expected, I believe. And warranted.
We recently renovated their graves, so to speak, and made their little resting place into a beautiful stone garden. I’m currently looking for a way to engrave stone, so I can make her a little headstone, or something like that. And I’m on the hunt for a 4-leaf-clover plant. Because, as you probably know, they’re lucky.
There’s this song that I heard on one of my favorite shows. I played it at her funeral. It’s called Fare Thee Well (Dink’s Song) by Oscar Isaac and Marcus Mumford.
<< …I remember one night, a drizzling rain
Round my heart I felt an achin’ pain
Fare thee well, oh honey, fare thee well… >>
It fits, I think.
It’s been six months. I can’t believe it’s been six months.