On January 26th 2019, our lad Roo’s 5th birthday we woke to find that he had crossed the rainbow bridge. He had passed peacefully in his sleep, in his favourite cozy spot as if he’d followed his nightly routine just as he had done so for so many days & months before.
Instead of celebrating his birthday i was choosing a final resting place for the little soul who had been my best friend for 5 years. Looking back over the past few months, i had noticed Roo sleeping a little more but this is rather normal for a bun his age, he was drinking more water perhaps however not enough to cause worry, still being very active during the day, nailing his food and maintaining weight… so a vet trip was never considered – he had also been for a general check up only 3 months ago. The day before he passed he did have one episode of thumping and running up the hall grunting (also not completely odd for a rabbit) but then was completely normal till we put him to bed at 11pm. All these things are just me trying really hard to understand what might of happen.
Being so unexpected, Roo’s passing consumed my heart with immense grief, anxiety and an overwhelming sense that the world was not being very kind to me of late, having only recently lost a brother to suicide & my mother 2 years prior to illness. I’ve come to understand through my journey that sometimes it’s just people’s time to leave this earth. However for others you/they may feel very different – and that’s ok.
When you lose a pet you are close too, the grief is very similar if not the same for losing a hoomin loved one. The same heartbreaking realization that they are gone and they’re not coming back. When you tell others you lost your pet, people who know you well will console you…. but from others you may receive comments about them ”just being a pet” or ”just a rabbit”…. ahhhhh if only they knew.
As days pass & you come to terms with event it gets harder before it gets any better. For me the hardest part was not having my lil boy with me at all times. A normal day for me was to go straight to his pen, let him out…. we had breakfast together, did all the chores around the house, & because i work from home he even sat with me while i worked. Whichever room i was in he followed, like a little shadow. Every time i looked down he was there saying hello, waiting for a pat or another treat. Now he wasn’t….. my heart will forever burst at the thought of how connected we were.
Everything felt much more real when i received Roo’s ashes back, but also a sense of relief that he had been returned to me. I chose to keep his ashes in a little wooden box that my Grandad had given me when i was a child. It’s a special box gilded with hearts – perfect i thought. His ashes are in a beautiful teal velvet pouch & clipped to the pouch a bunny charm with his name inscribe (given to me by a gorgeous person from a local rabbit group).
The instagram & facebook community was an incredible part of my healing and still is, because of all our online buddies flooding in messages of love & understanding i really felt i wasn’t alone with my heartache. They too shared the sorrow of losing Roo as his photos & life had been posted in our account (@thesmooshies) from the day i brought him home at 8 weeks old. As the inspiration behind my business, my customers also felt his loss. Im forever thankful to all of these people and the support they gave without ever actually meeting me. Mind blowing….
Now 2 months on, each day i choose to remember Roo by surrounding myself with photos of him, i fill my mind with happy memories and make sure i spend lots of time with our 3 other bunny boys. I like to talk about him, light candles for him and always remind myself we gave him the most wonderful life & he chose me to be his best friend forever. Rest in Peace my lil lad, love forever & never forgotten.
If you are struggling coming to terms with losing a loved one, please know you are not alone, you matter, your thoughts and feelings are normal & very real. Its hard, its hurts and it’s ok, not to be ok. Reach out to friends and family.