Healing... And Moving On

Well, two days after the fateful event that caused so much trauma for our family (please click link to read the heartbreaking story if you have not already herd it), we began the process of healing, and moving on.

garfield blog1 After a morning of dispatching from our Command Post for a specific "Incident", I was unable to chaperone a field trip to the Minnesota Zoo with our youngest's preschool class that I had previously signed up for. The Incident Commanders were all very understanding, and did everything they could (and then some) to get me there - but in the end, it was cutting it too close.

This worked out ok in the end because I ended up making a run to urgent care for a persistent, and worsening cough. More on that "experience" later...

After the ER visit, and picking up subsequent prescriptions, I made my way home to accomplish the one task I had set my sights on for the day. We needed to lay Garfield to his eternal resting spot. At the family dinner table, we discussed the various options...

We came up with three viable options. The concave portion of our kidney shaped flower garden, a back corner of the yard, or under our deck where the ideas that we came up with.

We also talked about how we would mark the location...

In the end, we chose the concave portion of our kidney shaped flower garden. Additionally, we decided to "upgrade" this area, and create a small "memorial" to our beloved Garfield. We are going to put a concrete birdbath, and an etched stone memorial there too.

Planning this with the family was really nice. I really think this helped move us towards "closure".

After dinner, I started the work of cutting up the lawn (so I could put the patch back when I was done), and digging the hole. When the whole was complete, we called the kids, our next door neighbor kids, and I was going to invite the "across the street neighbor girl" (who played with Garfield every day) but, she was sick, and could not come over.

garfield blog2All of them had made cards, or picked flowers (dandelions), and came up with some things to send Garfield off with.

- I got a small baggie of Cat food for him (man, that cat could E. A. T. - It was only fitting to send him off with a little of what he liked best!).

- #2 of 5 decided to send him off with a laser pointer. (Garfield LOVED the laser pointer. We could get him to jump over 6 feet to try and "catch" it....)

- #4 of 5 use a piece to her gerbil cage (Garfield was so "interested" in the gerbils... He would stand guard, and sleep near their cage - just hoping for one of them to get loose.)

- Everyone else made cards (including the little girl across the street who could not be there).

We placed our things with Garfield, sealed up the box, and #2 of 5 lowered him into the little "grave".

More dandelions on top, and #2 of 5 asked to fill the hole back in.

Unfortunately #1 of 5 could not be with us, but he called us, and specifically asked that we say a prayer for him since he could not be there.

By the time we were finished, the kids were all doing MUCH better. The "immediacy" of the situation has passed, and as the old saying goes... "Time heals all wounds". Overall, everyone will be ok. #2 of 5 is even talking about wanting another cat. (But he does not ever want to name another cat Garfield - so he can always remember "his" Garfield the way he was...) No decisions have been made in this direction as of yet.

As promised this post includes the photo of Garfield on the Mother of Five's cel phone (the one that #2 of 5 does not want changed for a while...)

One last photo. This is the last photo we took of Garfield. It was dated 4-20-09. #4 of 5 was cleaning out her gerbil cage, and Garfield (who loved to squeeze his HUGE frame into the smallest possible boxes to curl up in) decided to do so in the gerbil's cage.


  1. I'm so sorry.
    I know it's far (west burbs of Chicago) but a good friend who is a vet has 2 abandoned cats in his care, both of which recently had litters. All the kittens are free to a good home as are the mothers(very nice cats). If you were thinking about a new kitten they will be ready to leave their mothers around memorial day. We are taking one.

  2. A lovely memorial and touching momentos. Your famly loves and says good-bye very well. Garfield was a lucky cat to spend his life with you. Your children are blessed to have such a tender, hard-working, wise dad.

  3. Very creative memorial and a nice way to move on.

  4. I love how you did that. We have two cats who are loved beyond measure, and when they pass on I'm going to borrow your idea. It would certainly help the kids be a little more at peace.


Did you reach the Bottom of this blog?

If you have read down to here and are interested in reading more, be sure to click here, click on the "Older Posts" link to your right, or use the "Archive" tool on the right sidebar. Thanks for visiting!