I don’t want to write this. But I know that writing this makes it become something I can look at from an easier angle. And I really need that right now.
So this, my dear Maggie, is for you. And it is also for me.
I’m writing this so I can be healed.
You have always been there. I can hardly remember life without you somewhere inside of it. Yet I can so vividly remember finding you 18 years ago. You were this tiny fluff ball of tenderness and fright. You sat in my lap all the way home and in so many ways, you never left that space.
There was a time in my life when you were starting to show your age and your handicaps, where I felt that when this moment came… I would feel relief.
But relief is not something I feel. I feel a Maggie shaped hole in my lap.
Yesterday we held you as you left your body, and it was the most painful and tender and beautiful moment your family has ever been a part of. The four of us gathered around you in our yard; the sun was shining and snow was all around us. We watched your belly rise and fall. We kissed your nose. We held your paw. We whispered our love. And we waited right there with you.
Then we tucked you into the basket with your favorite things, and we carried you up the walkway and said our final goodbyes.
The amount of life that happened in the past 18 years, all that you got to witness… the thought just takes my breath away.
You knew me before I knew me. And I feel as though I have lost my compass now.
And I just can’t stop crying.
But the thing that makes me smile through the pain is knowing that you, my sweet Maggie, are no longer in pain.
You had been in so much pain. And I saw it in your eyes yesterday – the moment when that pain left you. You became you again.
That is what brings me peace.
The sun is still shining today. And there is still snow on the ground. Because of the snow, your path is still there. And because of the sun, I can still see it.
When the snow soon melts by the warmth of the sun, I know those prints will be gone. But your path will still be with me.
Thank you, Maggie, for everything you gave to me, taught to me, brought to us.
We are better because you were always there.
I love you, Maggie Mae.
And… even though it’s about Rod Stewart’s first sexual encounter with an older woman… the song Maggie May was the reason why we named our Maggie, Maggie.
And when we all were holding her as her breath began to slow, my daughter asked me if I would sing her song. I laughed and said, most of the words aren’t really appropriate for the occasion… but I can try.
And I sang, through snot and tears, my face pressed tightly against hers…
Wake up, Maggie, I think I’ve got something to say to you…
I couldn’t finish the rest.
But it will forever be her song :