You Can Find Love Again
by Susan "Susie Squillions" Lynch © October, 2004
(edited in September, 2011)
We lost Bingo (aka: King Bing, The God Cat) on September 23rd, 1993 after 14 marvelous years with him. He had been diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and Congestive Heart Failure five years earlier and during those five years, we were fully aware that every day we had with him was a gift.
Bingo lived for my son and me, guiding us through life and teaching us how to take live it well. Mike was only two years old when Bingo joined our little family, and my two boys always went to bed together for stories and lullabies before drifting off to sleep. Bingo even curled up on the top bunk most nights while Mike lay sleeping below. Brothers. When my husband (then boyfriend) came into our lives, King Bingo accepted him with open paws.
On his last day, while my son was at school and I was at work, Bingo ate his breakfast and then went downstairs to the basement where he fell asleep on a pile of our laundry which had yet to be washed. There, surrounded by the smells of our family, he peacefully left for the Rainbow Bridge. No fuss, no fanfare; just a graceful exit from his time with us. His work here was done.
When I returned from work that evening and found my beautiful guru lying so still, I was certain that my broken heart would never heal. Bingo was the defining cat of our lives. He had taught us so much about how to live, and do it well. He had the biggest heart ever. How ironic it was that the condition that took him was an enlarged heart.
One month after Bingo left, on October 23rd, we brought TJ into our lives. We fell instantly and hopelessly in love. TJ seduced us through the grief, and showed us that we could love again. In June of the following year, Buddy joined our family. Both TJ and Buddy found their own places in my heart, never intruding on Bingo's spot. I have now learned that no one else will ever intrude on their places in my heart either. Buddy joined Bingo at RainbowBridge in early April, 2004 and we lost T.J., my soul cat, to a brain tumor in March of 2010.
After losing Buddy in 2004 we opened our hearts and home to two more kitties; Stevie Raow Vaughn and Gidget. Since losing T.J. last year, the two of them, both former strays, have helped me to heal from that most devastating loss, taking turns to soothe my bruised and battered heart.
Please believe me when I tell you that it is possible to love again, and to do it well. Never feel guilty for bringing a new animal into your home and heart. The new one can never take the place in your heart that is held by your Bridge Kid, but your heart can grow to make room for the new ones if you allow them to snuggle into their own spaces. No matter how deeply you have loved, you can do it again -- and you should; for your sake, and for the furries who need good homes and have so much love to share with you.
When the time is right, honor your Bridge Kid’s legacy by making room in your heart for another one who needs you; one who has been sent to help you heal from your sorrow. You'll enjoy every minute of it.