Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I have often heard it said that the dictionary defines one big word with another. In many cases, that seems to be true. It's no different with the word "poignancy", which is defined in my book as "the quality or state of being poignant". Rrvit! And then, of course, I had to look up "poignant" ... "deeply affecting the feelings".

There's really no one word that can adequately describe how one feels when a member of the family dies, one you have lived with and loved for many years. Poignant is as good a word as any, I guess.

Yesterday morning, Polimom wrote a beautiful post about the loss in her family. It moved me deeply. I was going to publish this in response before I left to play in the tournament, but I got caught up in reading some of my previous posts - the ones where I spoke of my love for cats - and there just wasn't enough time left to do it justice.

Why am I speaking of my love for cats? Polimom lost a member of her family!

Well, it wasn't a person who died. It was Pounce, her beloved cat. Cancer took him. I couldn't believe how fast he went! A really good thing. And he died where he knew people loved him. Polimom didn't have to undergo the horrendousness of taking him to the vet to be 'put down', thank goodness.

[She and I spent the better part of an hour in the late afternoon talking about him, about the other pets in the family and pets in general, and about feelings. I figured she needed the emotional outlet and was glad I was there to provide it.]

To honor Pounce - and especially in memory of my own Serendipity, who died fifteen years ago this Valentine's Day - I'd like to re-publish a poem I wrote for her that dreadful evening when I came home and discovered that she had somehow managed, in her terribly weakened state, to climb up onto my bed before she took her last breath.

My Valentine

Words cannot begin to describe how I feel
Now that my pretty one's insides have begun to congeal.

I cannot stop petting her -- her fur is still so soft
I suppose I'll continue to find fleas until summer -- even in the loft.

I hated to leave her this morning ... she wanted to lay in the doorway -- ajar
(I guess) so she could see what she had (seems like just yesterday) chased from afar.

Queen of the fence, rooftop, trees
She went exactly as she pleased!

Now my lovely has died on my bed, her head near my pillow, her mouth open, quite dead.

I don't want her to awaken ... there must have been pain
I wouldn't want her to have to go through all that again.

Tears shed on my bed. I've dug the hole, but will have to make it deeper ...
Can't stand the thought of yukky bugs and God knows what all getting at my beautiful sleeper.

Oh, Serendipity! My unexpected pleasure!
You were such a wonderful treasure!

The above poem was written the evening Serendipity died and was first published on this blogsite here, almost two years ago. I couldn't stop crying until I wrote it. It made me feel a little better to get all of my raw feelings down on paper. I imagine, if I'd been blogging way back then in 1995, I'd have written about it.

Anyway, perhaps - for those of you who have experienced similar losses - this post will help alleviate your pain. Hugs, Polimom!


Polimom said...

Thank you, Goldenrod.

It's wonderful how writing about sadness -- in whatever form and from whichever approach -- helps soothe our souls.

We can never replace, individually, these lovely members of our family... but we always remember them.

Hugs back to you.

Craig Peihopa said...

ALl the best to you Polimom, I understand and relate to these raw and important feelings. Goldenrod, an interesting poem. but certainly one straight from the heart and an interesting thought blend. I liked it!