Things in Erin’s Head
Have you ever wondered how grief shapes your heart? Imagine when we are born, a smooth, glossy, muscular heart beating steadily. Strong. Unblemished.
Over time, losses, pain, joy, and elation accumulate and etch their way across our hearts. Scars, deep and jagged, smoothed over by time, love, and memories. Perhaps some stay shallow, but raw. Paths of joy, might run through like strands of fairy hair, lighting up, glowing. Like a crazy map, with no direction, I wonder: Where do the paths cross? What triggers a memory? One that makes us chuckle to ourselves? The one that triggers a single tear?
What is the shape of your heart?
Last week I lost my beloved Cecilia.
She came to me as a guardian angel. I’ve always known it. Her soul was familiar. Comforting. Love.
Baby Cece was quarantined from the other cats in the bathroom of the local vet’s office. She climbed up on my lap, rolled around, and gazed up at me with mischievous yellow-green eyes. “Can I keep her?” I asked Jerry. She was the only cat I “interviewed,” but I didn’t need to see anymore. She was my girl.
She was Jerry’s first cat (by choice). Then came Ted. Then came Duke. Cecilia outlasted them all. We had her for eighteen and a half years. Losing her is the end of an era.
Cecilia always knew when my heart hurt. When I needed a snuggle after reading endless college textbooks, working toward my degree. She made me laugh with her little kitty voice that sounded like, “Umm whaattt?” And her eyes lit up whenever she saw me.
Her last days were filled with couch snuggles and pets with her very most favorite Love Glove (she came running as fast as her little arthritic hips could carry her when she saw that glove on my hand).
She would knead me with her paws until my tummy was sore and my skin pink with kitty claw marks. I let her and I loved it.
She’d kiss my forehead with her rough pink tongue.
She moved with us from Los Angeles, to Texas, to Florida. She was the best traveler. “Where are we going now mom?” her eyes would ask, knowing she was safe if we were together. Never particularly maternal, she would comfort her brother when these trips drove him to bury his head under his bedding with fear.
She was our only cat who played fetch.
She pounced on every blanket I ever crocheted, the creeping yard a temptation too blissful to ignore.
You’re over the rainbow bridge my sweet, sweet angel. Your legs are working smoothly again, letting you jump and pounce as you please. Your eyes see clearly, your hearing rings true, and your heart… your heart is full with my love for you and your love for me and your daddy.
Immeasurable, pure love.
Our souls will meet again my beloved Cecilia (Cece, Cece-girl, Honey Bunny, Slutcelia, Dirty Girl, Little girl, Angel, My Angel).
Mommy loves you.
Because it’s all about love
CECILIA COPELAN 2004-2023