When I was a kid, I saw the movie “The Vikings” which included a scene where a deceased warrior’s body was placed on a boat which was set ablaze and sent down river. It was a most disturbing image in my young life.
I wondered and asked my parents why anyone would burn a body just as we burned rubbish in burning barrel we kept in a field far from our house. (It was the early 60’s in rural North Carolina. There wasn’t trash pick-up.)
That image popped back in my head today, oh so many years later, because today is the day I return to the vet’s office to pick up our rabbit, Buddy’s ashes.
I’m feeling a lot of guilt in having his body burned, but I know it was probably the best thing. We will buy an urn and place his ashes on a shelf in our home along with his picture. It will be a small shrine to his love and our love for him.
But still there is that guilt that swept over me. This was a much loved member of the family that I used to hold. This was a member of the family that so totally trusted me that he didn’t fight at all as the vet stuck a needle with poison in him that would end his life and with it his suffering. He just looked at me with the trust and love.
And now… he’s reduced to ash.