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How Do I Lay My Best Friend Ever To Rest?

20 16:47:01

Hi Kris and thank you in advance for any help you can provide.  I was touched by your views above and feel that at the very least you can empathize with my grief.  Thursday my best friend ever Sampson or Sam for short died in my arms after an extended illness.  I adopted Sam nearly 16 years ago and since he was a full grown stray at the time it is impossible to say how old he really was and I'm grateful for every minute of those 16 years spent with me and that it was only in the past six months or so that he had any health problems.

I myself am gay and for me Sam was the child I will never have, but more importantly I am HIV+ and have been for nearly 20 years, and as a 'long-term-survivor' I believe that Sampson more than anything or anyone was the key to my survival, my reason to live so to speak and a daily source of happiness and joy while dealing with what is a relatively unjoyful existence.  He was there to get me through the very worst I had to deal with including the loss of my partner of 18 years and now that Sam is gone I feel my own mortality is vulnerable.

I can go on but have already taken too much time so let me get to the question.  My Sam is next to me here laying, seemingly quite peacable in a straw basket with my favorite sweater under him and covered up to his neck with a blanket.  I do not know how to lay him to rest as the ground outside is frozen solid and I cannot dig, the method I used to bury my one previous cat Strummer who died before I found Sam.  Having him 'disposed' of by a veterinarian or animal hospital is out of the question and following a $2000 vet bill in December I'm not sure I can afford a proper burial at a pet cemetary.  My grief is that much more uncontrollable as I am here with Sam two days after his death and my emotions are uncontainable, but more importantly my wish is to give him a burial that is dignified and worthy of the greatest love I have ever known.

I should say I'm an Atheist and hold no metaphysical beliefs about an afterlife for myself or for him, but I do feel our souls are and have been intertwined in life and now in death as well.  They say one can look into the eyes of an animal and see it's soul and this has not only been true with Sam but it was a deeper experience than any I had with not only any other animal but with any persons as well, and something that always puzzled me deeply.  I claim to know no definitive answers on the mysteries of life but I often wondered if he in fact was or represented those of others who have passed before including my parents who both died young.

My heart is broken but my sole concern now is how to lay Sam to rest in a way that is dignified for him and will not create any guilt for myself that I haven't done everything possible.  I apologize for the length of this and thank you in advance for any suggestions you can provide.

Peace - Wayne & Sampson

I'm sorry to hear about Sampson and ANY cat should have a proper and dignyfied burial.  Now, my two suggestions are dignyfied for you and Sampson, but as I have never done this myself, I have no idea how much it will cost.  My only advise on that will be concidering it an investment on perserving Sampson's memory and keeping his soul alive.  The first one is cremation.  You can see about any place that will cremate him and keep his ashes in a nice urn or his favorite spot.  If you're able to do so, pick a spot to place his urn, add some memorable pictures and maybe a few flowers.  My second suggestion is taxidermy.  No matter what you do to bury your cat will be hard, and the grief is overwhelming.  And although, this is generally the last thing on your mind, but will fill the void in your heart is to get another kitten.  It is hard getting a kitten this soon, and you won't fill attachment to him just yet, but that will come in time. And you still will grive, but when you start feeling grief, give the kitten the attention.  Soon the grief will be transfered to the kitten, eventually you will accept his death, put it behind you and focus on the kitten.  Tell yourself that you gave the best years of your life to Sampson and now it's time to give a new kitten a chance at a good life.  Could it be possible for a friend to come over and bury him for you?  Please let me know how it goes and if you need someone to talk to when the greive gets to hard to bear, you can email me privately.