Nine years and five months, that’s how long I shared my life with Cooper. I wish it could have been a lifetime. I like to consider Cooper being my true love. He taught me what love for an animal is and losing him taught me how much of our lives they fill.
It’s taken me a few months to write about his passing and updating his website. It hasn’t been easy, copping with Cooper’s loss has been quite difficult for me. I’ve been lucky to have lived my adult life without losing an immediate family member, so I don’t know what that loss feels like. But losing Cooper has been detrimental to me. Having a pet in your lives means that your life revolves around them. You have their feeding times present at all times and with a rabbit, you monitor their every move to prevent any illness. You don’t realize how much of your life they occupy until you lose them. I was very aware of this in the last few years and I dedicated my life to him. I created his website and grew his social media platforms to help bring awareness to proper rabbit care. I made a career off of this, and I’m thankful to say that thanks to Cooper I am where I am today. Wanting to help other rabbit parents pushed me to learn so much and because of this, I am where I am in my career.
There hasn’t been a day since Cooper’s passing that I haven’t shed tears. Everything that I do reminds me of him. What hurts the most, is knowing how much he suffered at the end. He should have died of old age soundly in his sleep, he didn’t deserve to suffer. This is what hunts me the most.
Carrying on with his social media platforms was something I wanted to do, I wanted his legacy to live on. But I have found it difficult and overwhelming to do. Finding images to share and reading everyone’s comments/messages are triggers for me and there are some days that I don’t want to do it. At the same time, I’ve received so many supporting messages thanking me for continuing to post and that’s what’s keeping me posting.
It wasn’t until this week that I was finally able to go through all the messages of condolence that I received on Instagram. It was amazing to see the immediate support that I received, and I’m still receiving it. It was so overwhelming that I had to open a PO box for him, so many wanted my address to send something. And I’m still receiving cards and gifts of condolence. Yesterday I was at a local store shopping with my husband, when we approached the cashier she immediately asked me if I was Cooper’s mom. We were both frozen at our tracks. I said yes and she expressed her condolences and told me to give myself time to heal, and how very sorry she was for my loss. I felt my voice cracking as we spoke and as soon as we stepped out of the store the tears just shed down my cheeks.
It’s not easy. I recently read an article about a similar situation and one paragraph resonated with me.
“Pheobe’s death makes me feel like someone has come along with a giant eraser and rubbed out my face. I am going to have to learn to exist without a face. And possibly a personality”
That’s me in a nutshell. I feel as I’ve lost my personality, my face, the one thing that gave me purpose and made me not only be a better person but do better for animals alike.
I was very lucky to have him in my life, and I’ll be eternally thankful that he was placed in it. He was perfect, and sometimes even the best of luck seems perfectly devastating.In loving memory of Cooper the Pooper – 12/05/09 – 05/21/19