Two days ago our beloved pet rabbit died.
We had Poppy for 7 years. Got him because of my oldest child, who is on the Autism Spectrum, needed an emotional support animal and rabbits were the only kind of animal that he wasn’t scared of.
I had asked my 13-year-old son to check the food and water levels of the rabbit. He said, “Mom come quick. Something is wrong. Poppy isn’t moving. At all.”
My heart dropped to my stomach and I told him to take his little brother into the other room and I would see what’s wrong.
I knew. I hoped that I was wrong, but I knew. Sure enough, our sweet bunny laid there, eyes open, not breathing.
Crying, I went to my son and hugged him. I didn’t really have to say anything. He whispered, “Oh” and cried with me.
We managed to put Poppy in a bag and found a box to fit his body. I made sure my son held him one last time so that he could accept that the rabbit was, in fact, gone. Something I regret not giving my daughter the opportunity to do, but it wasn’t her pet and I wasn’t thinking.
The ground hadn’t yet froze. I’m very thankful for that.
We found a nice spot in the backyard and dug the grave. We took turns, crying and digging. At the point when I thought my heart couldn’t take anymore and my arms couldn’t dig one more shovel full of dirt, my son pointed out that there was a rainbow over us.
I have told a few people about our rabbit dying- I had to explain why I was crying at work an hour later -but I haven’t told anyone about the rainbow. It didn’t last very long. Just long enough for me to point out that God was there with us.
That reminder of God’s love gave us the strength to finish the grave; the tears flowed more freely, but we finished. We buried the box and talked about what plant we are going to put there come spring. It will definitely be a flowering plant.