Farewelling a Princess

Hi, it’s Karen here, Magnum’s mum.  Since Magnum kicked off her memoirs last week I would like to indulge myself a little by telling you about how we laid her to rest and celebrated her beautiful and inspirational life.

I collected Magnum’s ashes from the hospital one week after we said goodbye.  The staff gave me a beautiful book entitled “Dog Heaven” with lots of lovely messages of support.  I was really touched.  I knew that Magnum had worked her charms on the hospital staff but it was still very warming to my heart to see that we had left a lasting impression on them.  Her oncologists summed it up – “….it was a short but wonderful time to have her in our lives.  I can only imagine how wonderful your life with her was. Thank you for the love and care you gave her during this time….….I will miss her visits here, she gave us so many smiles and was always so happy…..”

It was important to me to give Magnum a “proper” funeral in the same way that you would for any beloved family member.  To my naive surprise no-one within my circle of friends or acquaintances had ever done anything like it.  But, thanks to the support of a few close friends I arranged for a private service three weeks after Magnum left us.  It was a special and moving experience.  (Note from Magnum –  Mum’s grief was all consuming, she couldn’t feel me by her side as she read out a letter she had written to me.  It was so heartbreaking to witness her anguish. She still carries way too much guilt in her heart and the very foundations of her faith have been shaken. Hence why I feel the need to take a little time out from Rainbow Bridge to help her write our story and regain her faith.)

We celebrated Magnum’s wonderful life the following day with her closest friends and the pawrents of some of her best doggie friends including the pawrents of her favourite “boyfriend” who had left for Rainbow Bridge the year before.   While it was Magnum’s day it also gave everyone present the chance to honour their furry friends (past and present) within a warm, supportive environment of people who (mostly) truly understand what it means to love our dogs as treasured family members.  Inviting the doggie friends (some of whom I only knew by the dog’s name, I didn’t even know the humans names!) was inspired by the amazing support of the Tripawd community.  The comfort and support I found from Tripawds made such a difference in my hours of need that I was inspired to tap into the flesh and blood support in my local community and was humbled by the response.

Did it help me find closure? No!  I hate that word, closure.  I don’t want closure. There can never be closure for the loss of someone you love because they will always be in your heart.  I long for peace, for fewer tears and more smiles when I remember my beautiful little girl……………….. What it did do, was begin the long road to healing my broken heart.

During the weeks prior to and following Magnum’s death we had beautiful autumn weather in Sydney after what had been a very wet, cool summer.  I hated those sunny days following her death. All I could think about was how much Magnum would have loved sitting in the park watching the world go by.

It has now been six weeks since we lost Magnum and while the heart wrenching sobbing has lessened not a day goes by where I don’t find myself in tears.  I wish I could say that the emptiness in my heart, the terrible ache in my soul, has eased, but it hasn’t. Not yet. Not for a long time.

Thank you in advance for letting Magnum and I share our story with you.  During Magnum’s illness I kept a daily diary.  Re-reading it has been bittersweet as I start thinking about how to narrate her journey. However, there is  one light that stands out…… we did a lot of living, truly living in the moment, during those extra eight months we were given together.  I have no regrets about time well spent.  If nothing else, Magnum taught me a lot about how to “BE MORE DOG”!


About princess

Almost 10 year old loyal and courageous rottie! 30 May 2002 to 5 May 2012 Lost her leg to osteosarcoma on 1st Sep 2011 and did 6 rounds of chemo with carboplatin. 3 lung mets found in Mar 2012 and 1 month of Palladia done before it was stopped due to GI issues. But it was metastasis to the back right hip that finally took our little girl on 5th May 2012. She was happy, contented, relaxed and very loved when she peacefully slipped away in her mum's loving arms.
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4 Responses to Farewelling a Princess

  1. etgayle says:

    we agree, closure isn’t practical…our pups will always be in our heart, we don’t want to have closure or ‘move on’, we all just want peace and comfort with the wonderful memories – until we meet again. thanks for sharing magnum with us.

    charon & spirit gayle

  2. My sister gave me that Dog Heaven book when we lost our beagle, Bailey in 2009. IT is a very sweet book. I got it out again when Abby’s turn was up, and I noticed the only dog name in the whole book is Abbey. A different spelling, but still. It seemed like a little message? Hope you have gotten a message from her that she is ok.

    6 weeks is still not very long. Heck, we are at 5+ months and I still cry almost every day. I do manage to skip a few days here and there, but boy I miss my girl. It’s a looong process. Hang in there.

    I’m glad you did the service for her. It is a lovely idea.

  3. Dakota Dawg says:

    Closure is a silly word and an even more ridiculous concept. If we close it, it’s not visible any longer. Who wants that? My heart dog, Belle, left us in July 2007. That’s almost 5 years ago. I don’t cry about her loss, but neither is she closed off from my thoughts or my heart. There are pictures of her through the house. And I tell my bad dog Evelyn quite regularly how Belle would never do some of the stuff Evelyn does. Belle is alive here because we keep her in our hearts.

    Magnum’s loss will gradually become that way for you, too. You will always wish you could have her because she was wonderful. But as long as you let her live in your hearts and your words and your thoughts, you will experience the beautiful part of her that you loved so much.


  4. kviz says:

    I am feeling your Mum’s pain, Sweet Magnum! It is breaking me up…my heart dog left on May 23, 2008 and I have a calendar on the wall that still registers that day. I can’t bring myself to change it. It reminds me that he was ….and always will be a huge piece of the fabric of my life.


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