On January 16th, 2009, my best friend and soul mate Destiny lost her battle with CRF (Chronic Renal Failure).... to those of you who have had the kinship with an animal understand that this was not just the "passing of a pet"... her life, her death, and her message to me was more significant than can really be explained.
Upon her passing, a friend sent me the poem "The Rainbow Bridge"... and told me that in the days following Destiny's death, to keep an eye out, because all pets send a sign to the ones they loved here on earth letting them know they arrived safely at the bridge.
At the time, I was comforted by the words, and felt the sentiment was sweet... but honestly felt the harsh reality of an empty apartment, empty food dishes, unchewed toys, an empty bed and a hollow heart. Because Destinys battle to hang on had been a long fight, I was left exhausted and weary. It was a sad, miserable and lonely time and I ached for her to be with me.
Deep down, I knew my mourning was selfish, I knew she was in a place with no pain, no needles, no sub-q fluids, no medicine. I knew she was running free. I had vivid dreams about us playing in the snow, bounding, laughing, running and chasing. The dreams were lively and fun, but they didn't diminish the anguish I felt every day when I woke up to realize she was gone.
I wrote about her daily in the blog I started when she was first diagnosed with CRF. Until she became seriously ill, and until the day she passed, I had no idea that so many people followed and read her blog. I posted about her running on a beach, and accompanied a song by Kenny Chesney "On the Coast of Somewhere Beautiful" and then posted the blog on Facebook. When asked to decipher the "captcha" phrase so I could link the blog to my Facebook wall... I gasped when the words popped up "Paradise Found"
In that moment, I felt peace. I knew she had arrived. She had found her paradise... and over and over again, this phrase has found it's way to me when I need it most. Destiny not only sent me a sign to let me know she arrived in Paradise... but she reminds me, in her own sometimes stubborn, and sometimes not so subtle ways that I too am in Paradise... especially when I take the time to live in the moment with a grateful heart.
Destiny's legacy lives on - her adventures, her love for life, and her ridiculous loyalty and bravery is what I base my life on. Seems a little silly to some... but it seems perfectly Cilly to me.