The boys and I finally managed to bury our gerbil, Feynman. We had him put to sleep (yes, you can have a gerbil euthanized at the vet’s) over a month ago after a large tumor on his shoulder extended through the skin. He was bouncing along fairly well with this, but when bone was visible, my older son decided to let him go. While he opted out of being in the room for the injection, he was able to say goodbye in the exam room and see him again after his death. The front desk staff commented on the peaceful nature of our family during our visit to the clinic, and while our eyes were dry, I think the statement spoke more of our spirit than our outward appearance.
So why are we just burying this little critter at a date so distant from his passing? Four inches of rain the weekend of his death made his spot in the freezer quite secure while we waited for the yard to dry. The immediacy of the situation left, to be honest. We recovered from our first non-flushable pet loss while the ground soaked up the rain.
Today’s weather drew me outside for one of the last gardening hurrahs of the season. I find post-summer clean-up a bit sad and not nearly as fun as spring gardening, so neglect sometimes occurs. The boys and I planted about 50 tulip and daffodil bulbs when my mind turned to Feynman in the freezer. I asked my older son if he’d like to bury him with some of the bulbs, returning the gerbil to the earth. He heartily took to the idea, and now Feynman rests among a cluster of red tulip bulbs in our backyard flower garden. Spring blooming will hold special meaning in 2009, knowing that our friend is part of the cycle of the universe.