Welcome to Simon's Rainbow Bridge Memorial Residency
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Memories of Simon
My dearest baby boy,

It's been just over a week and tears are streaming down my face. I can't begin to tell you how much I love you. You truly are the greatest love of my life. I don't know how to do this without you. I walked in to my room today and I so wanted to see you lying curled up on my bed. I miss you scolding me and trying to herd me. I miss the smell of your fur and your sweet breath. I miss the personality of your tail. I long so badly to hold you in my arms again and I pray and pray and pray to God in Jesus's name to be reunited with you again in heaven. I believe our God is a good God, and I know he was so go to us by bringing us together, and then reuniting us again after four years. I have to remind myself of these things because I am prone to wander and I have never talked to anyone who has been to heaven before so I don't know what it is like. Simon even after they said you were gone I still felt you there by your body, and I know I told you to go on to heaven. I want you to know that I did that out of love. I didn't want you to be stuck in between but I want you to know that if I could have kept you with me and felt that it was right I would have done so. But I wanted you to be at peace and to be made new again. I pray that when I cross over you will be the one to lead me to our Lord and I pray that from that moment on we will never be parted again. I know we spent time together but I wish we had spent even more time together. Simon mommy has a special favor to ask. Could you come visit me in a dream, a dream I will remember, and let me know that you are okay and reassure me that we'll be together again? Thank you sweet boy, and God, please take extra good care of him, and please help me get through this day and through this life without him with the hope that this time of grief and this time apart is only a great drop in the ocean of eternity.

Love, Mommy

Dear Simon--yesterday I picked up your ashes and your collar and they made paw print of you. Can I tell you how much I miss your sweet paws? I loved how you let me kiss them, and you acted very regal about it as well which I loved. I think about you all the time. You made home "home" for me and it is so lonely without you. I am trying to take good care of myself. Today I want on a run and my leg felt better. We saw a bear which was cool but I would have much rather have seen you. Something I've been thinking about is how the last year in particular you would lift your head while lying down and watch me. It was as if you were memorizing me... and though I loved it this scared me to because I felt like you knew on some level that a separation was near. I can't begin to tell you how dear and precious our time together was to me. When I got you back after those four years you were with Terry I want you to know that I didn't take you or your devotion and love for granted for a second. I want you to feel joy where you are now, and I hope you are making some new friends and finding some old ones to keep you company. There's Ross of course (I miss you Ross and so do the Allen's... especially Max!) but you might also look for my childhood cat Rajah and the kitten we lost to FIP who's name was Jeremy. You reminded me a little of Jeremy. My parents had to have him put to sleep while I was visiting my grandmother. I remember both of them picking me up from the airport and waiting until I got into the car and then telling me. I cried and cried and cried. I don't understand why, when love is so pure and precious like what you and I had, why we have to be parted. I oscillate between being grateful to have had you for as long as I did to being angry at God for not providing me with the immediate comfort of being able to visit with you in a dream. I know this is childlike of me to be temperamental about this, but I am because I miss you so much. So I'm going to keep asking, you and our God (who, the bible tells me listens to a squeaky wheel) to let me see that you are okay, to provide me with the assurance that I will see you again, and to reunite us in heaven so that we will never be parted again. I miss giving you kisses on your head, and rubbing your nose, and stroking your eyes closed, and making funnels with my hand for your chin which I know you loved. I miss tapoting you... that was hard the final few months because you lost so much weight and I didn't want to hurt you. Right now the final days and your parting are all too present in my mind, and I want to find a way to focus on the times in your life when you felt your best. But I do remember thinking that final month as you were fading quickly, how beautiful you were even as you were dying. I remember that night... I think it was a Friday... less than a week away from your parting, when you got up on the couch where Miguel and I were sitting underneath Mom's decorative throw (which we're not supposed to use) and you sat for such a long time on my lap and I loved every minute. I didn't want to move and I didn't want you to ever move. Later that night, when you were on the leather couch, I sat on the floor at your feet and I believe you were purring and I just had this very strong sense that you as magnificent as you were, were something far more majestic and magnificent than I could ever know (at least before I pass on to heaven). I can't believe you hung on the way you did, but Carla our vet made me realize that this was your choice and that you wanted to stay with me for as long as you could. I can't begin to tell me how much your love and devotion meant and I truly don't know how to find again the kind of joy I had with you. What scares me is this notion that my life will be a lesser life without you in it. But then, I know God tells us not to lean on our own understanding. I know I'm rambling. I just miss you so very much. I want you to remember me, and I want us to be reunited by I don't want you to hurt the way I hurt right now. I know that heaven is a place where there is no more sorrow and suffering so I'm going to trust in that. My sweet baby boy... I love you.

My Baby,

It just keeps hitting me over and over that you aren't here. I walk around the house and something will flicker and for a moment I'll think it's you but then it's not. I miss you so terribly much. You were the most pure love in my life that I have ever had or known... other than Jesus of course. I hope Jesus is holding you right now. But I wish selfishly that it was me. There will never be another you for me. I hope when the time comes for me to cross over that in retrospect it will seem like only a blink that we were apart. I have to tell myself this because nothing else makes sense. I love you, I love you, I love you. Please come visit Mama in a dream.


Its been just over a month. I had a panic attack the other night. I woke up at 2 am suffused with dread and it just reminded me all over again of your last night and morning on earth. I wish I had stayed downstairs with you all that night. I wonder too, if I should have waited a little longer so that you could have just died at home without getting into the car. I don't think I will ever have clarity about how I could have best handled things. Right now so many reminders are of the last few months... and of course how much I miss you. I'm going onto a hike tomorrow, and I haven't been since last summer, and always the night before having to get up early I'd just want to stay up late with you and not have to go so I could just cuddle at home with you. And then coming home, the joy of getting to see you... It's so hard not having you to come home too. It's been extremely hot and I've been thinking of how much you loved the sun but then that point you'd get to when you even started to feel a heat wave had gone on too long. Your death brings up so many existential questions... Why do we have to hurt so much? And of course, always in my life you were my greatest source of earthly comfort during my other depressions and hard time. It's really hard to do this without you here to comfort me. I know I'm having a down day. It confuses me how quickly I can flip from being okay to falling apart. In those final days, in the moments when you were free from the pain of the cancer, you truly were one of the most ethereal beings I have ever encountered. Please God, please send my boy to come visit me in a comforting dream... and please give me the comfort to know that we will be reunited again. I love you kitty. I love you, I love you, I love you. May a thousand kisses rain down on your head as blessings of peace. I want to beg you come back to me, but I know this cannot be, so my only hope is that the time will feel like a blink before I see you again.


I finished the tree painting yesterday, the one I started drawing out as you were dying. My eyes well up with tears as I remember the agony of these days. That tension of wanting your suffering to end and simultaneously not wanting you to go. I worked on the painting with Nikki... it was so stark and dead and barren and I nearly quit after at least the first three sessions. I think it was Larry who kept me going because he really seemed to like something about the tree, even in its most ugly and raw and dead. Thanks to Nikki, who always teaches me so much, the tree is finished and it's exquisite. It is magical and mystical and in my mind I am calling it "Return to Eden." You are so much this painting and of it's mythology. Truly for a while there it looked as I imagined the Dead Marshes from Lord of the Rings must have looked and that is the level of hopelessness I felt in the final days of your life, and the devastation and despair I felt after you were gone. I understand that I cannot bring you back but I do hope and pray so very much to see you again restored and resplendent. Sometimes I do think that I feel your love from a "thin place." This morning after looking at the painting I heard in my head three things in succession. 1) "Your kitty is in heaven now." 2) "Who else would this be?" 3) "Why don't you believe me?" I find this very hopeful and encouraging though it brings up a lot for me to think about in terms of my queasy faith and my tendency to believe, in my weaker moments, that God isn't really going to come through for me. I know this is not God but the Enemy trying to steal my joy. I also know that you had to die to thwart the enemy (embodied in you in cancer) and so in this way perhaps I can come to see your death as a triumph. You are just a gift from God and a shining embodiment of the love of Jesus. I know in these days of sorrow that I am not to lean upon my own understanding. I miss you and can't wait to be reunited with you. Our tree, which is how I'm going to think of the painting, gives me hope. I love you, I love you, I love you.

Dear Sweetie,

Something about the changing of the seasons is triggering a new tide of grief in me. It's this sad awareness that this is the first fall that I won't have you in my life. I am angry at God today because I hurt so badly and miss you so much and I want him to ease the pain and provide me with comfort. I feel so very alone in my grief for you, and just lonely in general because you made the world a much kinder and more compassionate place. You understood me and you always knew how exactly to be with me. Memories of that last month keep coming back to me. And they are so painful but I don't want to forget them because even in your pain and illness your love, devotion, and loyalty to me still shone through more brightly than anything. I think about the reflux reaction that cancer gave you. I know that made you feel so terribly crummy and I do have this guilt that I didn't figure out a way to help you manage it. Cancer is an evil thing and I am still so angry that it took up residence in you because you are the epitome of purity and light. I am so soul worn right now in my life. I've felt so disconnected from work and friends. I really don't know how to be with people right now. I think the hardest thing of all it that I feel so disconnected from God too, who's comfort I most need right now. I am trying to hold on until school starts. I swing from being terrified of the work and the 3 years of it to hoping it might provide hope or an anchor. I want you back so badly... but I know it doesn't work that way. So then I want it to work the other way, and I want time to speed by so very quickly so that I can be with you again. I want you to feel at light and free from pain where you are... I want you to miss me but at the same time I want you to have some absolute knowledge of my return that will take away the sting of missing and only leave you with the excitement of our reunification. That's what I want for myself too and this I think I will make a prayer for both of us today. I love you Simon. I love you, I love, you, I love you. I am showing your body with kisses as I write this.

Baby Boy,

As I was walking upstairs I heard a clank that made me think of the sound your collar made when you were eating your food. It's strange how such a small thing can instantly leave me bawling my eyes out. Transitioning into fall without you has been really rough. This is cuddling season and I don't have you to cuddle with. My number one prayer is for us to be restored to each other again. So few people understand my grief so at this point except with a very small number I don't talk to them about it or even turn to Miguel for comfort. Why don't they understand that I have lost my child, my best friend, my mentor, and my soulmate all rolled into one? Anyhow, I'm really missing you tonight. I am missing the smell of your breath after eating, the clank of your collar, your routines as familiar to me as my own. Our routines. I was about to write that I don't understand grief but what I really don't understand is loss. I was thinking about those last few months, how heartbreakingly hopeful the sound of your collar against the food bowl was because it meant that there was still a chance. Now I understand that you were fighting to hang on to more time for me, and that your battle was not one that could be won on this earth. No one (aside from Jesus) has ever loved me the way you did or been more faithful or loyal. You gave me such a gift, and I just want to say how much your really were and are the great love of my life. I hope you know that wherever you are. Missing you so much my love. Mommy.

Dear Simon,

Tonight Miguel and I saw the movie A Star is Born. Many people were crying during the movie. It was really good but it didn't make me cry. Driving home tonight from the movie though, thinking about you, knowing that I am getting better in some ways, made me just start to bawl and bawl and bawl. I miss you so much. It is inconceivable to me that some moments seem "normal" now without you. I don't think I should have to get "used" to your loss. You are my angel. I don't think we should get used to death being a part of life... or at least the way death has to happen. I don't think cancer is just a part of God's plan. I think it is evil and it makes me so angry that it took you. I have been angry at God for separating us... but I know that God doesn't cause cancer. I guess I just wish there had been some way around it. I want so badly to spend the day with you, to hold you in my arms. Please Lord, bring me the peace that you will reunite me and my precious, precious white angel Simon who understood me and loved me with the most unconditional, loving, forgiving, compassionate, true love that I have ever known. Please take care of him God, and hold him tightly in your arms and give him kisses on his forehead. I love him.

Little Boy,

The memory of a certain Christmas Carol (I don't even know what its called but I do know its sung by a boys choir) seems to be triggering in me a wave of holiday grief for you. I think there is yearning in their voices for something gone... at least that is what I hear and I miss you so terrible much. Always this time of year, as the tree would go up I would say "Christmas Kitties" because you were the greatest present and treasure of my life. I still don't know how to do this without you. I do feel your presence more here than I did at our old house. Perhaps at our old house what I felt and feel is your absence and here since there is forward progress I can at least hope that means I am progressing closer to you. Or maybe in someway that I can't see you are here. Plus this house, at least our room, reminds me of our Chataqua place where I first had you and Ross. I think all the time about that first day we spent together getting to know one another in the empty bathtub. And how you howled that night and we had to let you out even though we were worried about Ross bullying you... and you were so adamantly determined to cross the diagonal of the bed to lay with me. And then you were sick that first week because you had an infection and I became so desperately afraid of losing you and I knew that the way I felt about you was something fierce and new to me... a feeling I hadn't had before or at least in the same way. My heart just hurts writing all of this. I have to remember that the best thing about Christmas is Jesus birth... because otherwise it's just to sad to even think about Christmas this year. It's hard... people don't have empathy for companion animal grief the way they do for someone who has lost a human family member. So people don't exactly know how to be comforting... so I think it's an extra lonely sense of grief. I like to think of Jesus walking with you and holding you in his arms and keeping you safe and feeling loved until we are reunited. I hope that in the end it will only seem and feel like a blink that we have been parted and I hope that something good will come out of this hurt and suffering. I love you baby boy. You are my great love.

Christmas, 2018

Simon... It's my first Christmas without you and I miss you so very terribly. No one is here to comfort me. Miguel does not like me to cry so I have to hide my tears from him and my mother is out of town. I feel so very alone without you. I keep asking Jesus to hold you tight in his arms... but I really wish it was me getting to hold your restored body and soul tight in my arms. I am trying to hold on to the hope that when we are reunited that I'll look back and this life will seem but a flash. On my worse days I hope that I get taken early so that I can be with you sooner... but I know that is probably not a good way to think. But I'm being honest. I miss you that much and sometimes the brokenness and suffering of this world just seem too much to bear. I am thankful on Christmas that Jesus came into the world to overcome death and take away the sins of man. Without this hope I do not know how I would live. I have to believe that he has overcome your death as well and that our father is a loving God, and that a loving God would reunite a mother with her baby. I am grateful for the good memories I have and that we got 19 years here together. I wanted forever though. I hope that my dream I had where I felt a paw was real and that we were in a thin place and your paw was reaching out for me. I loved how you were at Christmas time. You were and are my Christmas kitty. I don't know how to do this without you. I love you.

Dear Baby,

I've really been struggling. It's January, the month you quit drinking water last year. I am so sorry if it hurt when we stuck the needle into you to give you the fluids. That was the hardest part of my day... knowing something was wrong, but you were still with us and okay in other ways... and there was thing we had to do to keep you healthy that caused pain. I miss your tail... the way you would flit it around and the way the tip would move. On bad days (and today is a really bad day) I don't know how to go on living when it seems there is no joy. You were my greatest joy. It's hard to know how to find joy in the Lord even though I know that's my only hope... that there will be a better place and that he is here when we cry and grieve. I'm feeling so lost right now in my life. I don't know what my purpose is. I do know that in painting and drawing there is something about bringing an animal to life that way. I love my husband so much but he doesn't know how to comfort me. I am grateful I have my mom... she loved you so much and I grew to love her more and more the way she helped take care of you. On really bad days, and today is one of them, I hope that I am taken sooner than later so that I can be with you. I have to remember that God might still have plans for me yet but I don't know what they are. I miss you so much. I miss stroking your body and your smell and being able to bury my face into your fur. I miss the way you waited for me and bossed me around and herded me. I loved the sound you made when you ate and I loved how you would go for the roses even though you knew you weren't supposed to... I could see you relishing in the naughtiness. Anyhow I just wanted to write and tell you I love you and that I want to be with you and hold you and I so hope that when I look back it will feel like no time passed. My child. My baby boy.


Tomorrow is the 1 year anniversary of your passing. It was the worst night of my life, knowing we were to be separated and feeling so powerless to help you. I hated to see you suffering so much and I doubted every decision I had made regarding your health care. Being on this earth without you is still very hard. I want to be reunited with you sooner than later and it's hard to try to live bravely. We have a new home which I think you would like. I wish I could be here in it with you. It doesn't feel right that a whole year has passed because the pain still feels very new and fresh. No part of me feels that this is just the life cycle. I don't feel good about your death. We shouldn't have to be separated and I believe the disease that took you from me is an evil thing and not of God. I do believe our God is a good God and I hope and pray that when I go to heaven God will hand you to me from his loving arms. It's hard to walk around with heavy weight. If I had lost a "child child" no one would blink twice at the depth of my pain and feeling. You are my child child and I do know there are some folks out there who understand this. I miss holding you so much. You were my most precious thing and my greatest comfort... truly the love of my life. I pray that you are lying in a patch of sunlight in heaven on something very soft. I pray that Ross is near you and that you two play together (but that he doesn't bully you.) I pray that in fun you use some of your cool moves that you developed since he was so much bigger than you. I pray that you feel the love of Jesus every second of your time there, and I pray that you forget the suffering you endured. You stayed with me and with me and with me and I needed every second of that time with you. No one was ever a more faithful servant or friend than you were. You taught me so much about love and loyalty and forgiveness and friendship. I love you so much sweet baby. My heart hurts so much, but I know that this too is an outpouring of the love I still feel so very deeply for you. You are my best friend and I can't wait to hold you and shower you with kisses and smell your fur and hear your sweet voice and smell your sweet breath. I want to kiss your paws and bury my face in you and I want to take many more naps together with you. I miss our naps so very much. I love you sweetie. Love Mommy.

Dearest Boy,

We are now at the two year mark of your passing. I can't even write this without tears streaming down my face because I still miss you so so much and because I still love you so so much. The love that I had and have for you is so specific to you, and it seems that without having you here the tears are just an outpouring of that love. I want so badly to just remember the healthy parts of your life... but I think the ending of your life on earth, in those final months, really crystallized for me just how pure your love was for me. I have never known such unconditional love and devotion in my life as what you showed to me and gave to me. You kept hanging on for me, and I think it was because 1. You didn't want to leave me and 2. You knew just how heartbroken I would be without you and you didn't want that for me. I can't thank you enough for that gift. In you always but especially in that last week I saw glimpses of what the kingdom come might be like. I loved your voice. I loved the way you would come into a room where I was and announce yourself. I loved that I would be home, and you'd be downstairs and sound asleep (unable to hear because of your deafness) and I'd take a shower upstairs and when I opened the door you'd be right there. How did you know? I loved how when you were playing with Ross who was such much burlier than you that you'd sneak moves on him that were very bold and devious... but if I happened to glance over at you you would try to place the innocent. I loved how from that first night you claimed me. That you'd sleep in the crook of my arm or cheek to cheek, and that you'd even curl up with me under the covers with me. You felt like blood of my blood. You were my very best friend, and there were several times, for example in Colorado Springs where I know the only reason I was able to keep going on was because of you. You had really good kitty breath too! And I loved the way your fur smelled and the bottoms of your feet. But most of all I just really, really loved you and I still do. I can't wait to see you again. I know that you will be one of my guides in heaven and I know that God loves all of us but I bet you are one of his absolute favorites. I know he sent you as a gift to me. Thank you. I love you so so very much. Love, Mommy.

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