Tuesday, 27 August 2019

What's next? Let me tell you....

After losing so many pals on Twitter lately, both fur and human, I told Muvver it's now the time to tell this story. Tis a true story that happened to Muvver many years ago even before I was born and me been in Rainbow Bridge 4 years. So was probbly about the time of the pyramids. She used to tell people dat lost their furbabies to try and help them and give them some comfort, because she knew they would understand. She didn't make it public knowlege cos she was afraid people would fink she was a bit weird. Well we all know she a bit weird but in a nice way. BOL Anyway here it is, in her own words cos she sed if me wrote it it be hard to understand! Pffft....... 

So What Next? Where are they now? 

I want to tell you the story of dear little Bramble, a little whippet I fostered while his elderly owner was in hospital with cancer, not expected to live. I will tell you because it is comforting and helps tremendously with accepting things at a time when we wished or hoped it could be different or that it's unfair a loved one leaves us. 

I fostered little Bramble who was very ill, it was done through social services, its so long ago I can't remember how it came about, but anyway Bramble was very poorly, he was on meds which I had to get from the vet after it being confirmed each time by social services, and the social worker dealing with the owner's case. Bramble couldnt stand on his own to toilet, and I had to carry him out and hold him while he did his business. Then carry him in again. he could just about totter around indoors but only a few steps then collapsed and laid where he dropped.

One night in the early hours he was in a lot of discomfort and was howling with pain and in distress. I tried to comfort him, I gave him extra pain medication but it didnt help very much and in the morning my late husband drove me to the vets (8 miles away) where I had to leave Bramble, and they told me to phone them at midday to ask about his progress.
My hubby drove me home and went off to work himself.

We lived on a mobile home park then, we didnt have much money, we hadn't been married very long. Anyway we didnt have mobile phones back then and we didnt have a landline. The nearest phone box was a mile away at the top of a leaf covered lane, with high cornish banks each side. It was very beautiful like walking through a leafy tunnel with high sides clothed in wild flowers and ferns. 

Near midday I started my walk to the phone box.
It was a beautiful day, birds were singing and the buzz of the bees was almost too loud as they darted to each wild flower that nestled in the banks. A wood pigeon cooing soothingly high up in a nearby oak. 

About halfway to the phone box I heard a noise behind me and turned around. Far into the distance I could see a dog racing up the lane toward me, so far away that it was just a dot really. Then it got closer and closer and I remember thinking 'that little dog looks like Bramble' but I knew it couldnt be because he was at the vet in Camelford, I didn't know of a whippet in the local area but thought maybe there was one I didn't know about. But my eyes were glued to this tiny shadowy figure coming towards me.

As the dog ran closer the shadowy figure became clearer and I saw it WAS Bramble. He was beautiful, tongue lolling out the side of his mouth as he ran, eyes bright and shining and those little spindly legs were strong carrying him towards me ever faster. I thought how well he looked and how he must have looked like this years ago in his younger years.

Then he was gone. Vanished. In a second. In the blink of an eye. And a shiver ran up my back. Had I blinked and missed as he darted over the bank? No I don't remember blinking and the bank was too high, maybe 10ft high and very steep, almost vertical and he was so small. He'd never have managed to get over the top.

I turned back toward the end of the lane and walked to the phone box. I was confused, didn't know what to think. Had I imagined it?  I'm sure I hadn't. As I came upon the phone box I opened the door, it was very stiff.  It was hot and stuffy as I opened the door and stepped inside. It didn't smell particularly nice either, phone boxes didn't back in those days. I picked up the handpiece and dialled the vet's number, putting my money into the slot. I got through to the vet straight away and asked how Bramble was.

The receptionist put me through to the vet who was having his lunch in the office. He was very solemn and told me that the cancer on Brambles liver had grown much faster than anticipated and was now so huge it was causing him severe pain and there were other tumours throughout his little body that weren't there before, so he had put Bramble to sleep to end his suffering and had called the social worker to inform her. 

It felt like a huge boulder had suddenly appeared in my throat, almost choking me, my eyes really hurt and filled with tears, and the pain in my chest was horrendous.

I asked through the tears speaking as best I could what time was Bramble euthanised. At 11.45am.  The time I saw Bramble running toward me up the lane. I thanked the vet and stepped out of the phone box into the sunshine. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I walked back down the lane. 

I looked for him on my walk back to the mobile home park, trying to convince myself I'd been mistaken and it was another little brindle whippet I'd seen earlier, but there were no other dogs around, just the buzz of the bees and the birds noisily chattering and singing in the trees.

I knew Bramble had come to me to let me know he was no longer in pain and that he was safe and happy and most importantly physically whole again, or what we would think of as physically whole. Because in their world they are intangible, indescribable beings that we can't touch but we know they are there. We can only feel their presence if we are lucky enough or sensitive enough. 

I hadn't had Bramble with me long, yet he used so much of his spritual energy to come to me. That in itself is amazing, but it showed me and proved to me that there is another existence after this life. And it has brought me great comfort when any of my furbabies, or loved ones, have taken the next step into the rest of their life.

I have found over the years that when our loved ones or furbabies us they need a few days to adjust or to gather strength peraps to somehow use their new existence or energy to send us signs. I am just guessing this is how it works, I don't know for sure, but it seems logical to me. 

It's nearly always a sign sent with one small white feather. Sometimes it can be something you see somewhere in your home that is in the wrong place, or you see a shadowy figure from the corner of your eye, or hear a familiar purr or bark. But they do get in touch. I know this to be so. 

Bonnie is forever sending me feathers or dandelion clocks and seeds. She's quite prolific in her own way and as time passes since she left this life, I am more able to see all the signs she sends me from her present life. She also sends feathers to others, she must have a huge supply at Rainbow Bridge, but the people she sends them to always tell me and they always know from who the feathers come. And I truly believe that she had such a short life and knew suffering throughout that life so that she could show others that however long or short life is on this earth, it's not the end. It's just one step to the next life. And she and Bramble have given me the trust and honour to pass that knowledge onto others. To bring comfort when it's needed. 

I hope this helps everyone that has a furbaby over Rainbow Bridge, or indeed even a human, as the I had a similar experience with my mother after she passed away. Proof enough to me, that this life on earth isn't our only life. It has nothing to do with religion, or what you believe or don't believe. It crosses all those borders and boundaries of beliefs, religions, creeds, cultures and race. It just is. And when you know it is, and it exists and we go to another existence it makes this one we live now much easier to cope with. 


Thursday, 25 July 2019

Losing Online Friends

I'm sure Bonnie won't mind me using her blog, she's given me permission so don't worry. But I wanted to say something that can't be said in a few characters in a tweet.

I received very sad news this week that a long standing and dear friend on Twitter had passed away. Scott Blystone @oliviackcs Miss Olivia's Scribe.  He was a big, gentle, highly intelligent, clever and talented man with an even bigger heart. His humour and zest for life were infectious. He would reach out and touch anyone who was going through a personal crisis even while he struggled with his own health issues. He was much respected and much loved on Twitter and also on Facebook.

People say that it's no good spending so much time online talking to friends we may never meet, they say those friends are not real life friends and only exist in our virtual world, so they're not really our friends. Well I think all of us that spend a lot of our time online talking to our friends in our 'virtual world' know that isn't correct. Our online friends are as real to us as those friends we meet in our day to day lives. Those online friends are often closer and more valuable than real life friends. We sometimes confide in them. Relationships evolve, groups and clubs form, and before you know it, you're a member of several groups and clubs of like minded people and your online life can be more rewarding and be more fullfilling and mean more than any friendship we may forge in real life.

For some, those that are housebound for different reasons, their online friendships are their only contact with other people they may be at home week in week out and never see or speak to another soul in the real world, for others they may not have such a great private real life and it helps them cope with their personal problems, and for all of us it's an escape from reality although it is actually another level of reality, I think you'll know what I mean.  And for those who live alone and live an isolated existence, it gives great comfort to know that our friends are just a keystroke away.

Since joining twitter in 2009 or 2010 I can't remember now, I've had the privilige to know and become friends with so many people all over the world and lucky enough to meet some of them in person. They have made my life so much richer and made me feel more motivated. They've helped me feel appreciated and worthy, given me a purpose and shown me I'm loved. And they've been there for me when I have been through traumatic and lifechanging periods of my life. Yes,  we love our online friends because they mean so much to each us.

So when we lose one of them, even one that may have been in a group we are a member of but we didn't follow them or know them personally, it's like losing a member of the family. That's because they were a member of our virtual family. They touched our lives and became part of us.

Several dear friends and people I, we, have known have passed away since first coming to Twitter. One instance was a lady, Gwen,  who had passed away at home, Gwen had lived alone with her cat, and only due to an online friend the alarm was raised and she was discovered and her cat rehomed and cared for. I didn't know that lady personally, but I still had a feeling of loss when I heard the sad news because she was 'one of us' and part of our virtual family.

Others I knew more personally that have passed hits me harder. Hugodad and Scott 'Scribe' to name just two. The pain of loss is almost unbearable. And it's not just those human beings that are special to me, to us, it's the pets that they speak for/as on Twitter. Sometimes we may never again converse with those pets, and sometimes wonder what becomes of them. Someone stops tweeting and you never find out the reason, the account is left in limbo. We worry about the human and the pet, are they ok, what happened?

Sometimes some pets stand out from the crowd more than others, Alfie, Bonnie, Winston, for instance. They leave their mark on people's hearts and leave a legacy for others, Winston founder of Zombie Squad, Alfie the heart throb, Bonnie Matron of Zombie Squad and Gatekeeper of The Bridge, Bella who helped SpanielHarry with Woofstock and loved everything pink. They leave something behind that we can all still share and enjoy. They teach us things in life that make us better  individuals and give us the opportunity to show empathy and love and kindess to everyone and everyfur.

Then there are all the hundreds of other sweet souls that make the journey otrb. They are all special in their own way and they all mean so much to each of us. And on their  passing the Twitter family come together, hundreds of friends, to give support and send messages of sympathy and condolences. That means so much to the owners that they can share their grief with so many who totally understand and are there for them at such a sad time.

Although it is heartbreaking to lose these dear friends and pets, rather than dwell on the fact they are lost from both the real and the virtual world, I, we should feel grateful we had them for a while in our lives and for making our lives richer, for the privilige of having their friendship and companionship in our world. We will keep them alive in our hearts forever, all those very special humans, those very special pets will live on and be loved by their Twitter family.

So let us celebrate all those dear friends who are now at peace, and thank them for making a difference in our lives by knowing them and for offering us their friendship.  They are now our Guardian Angels.