When Animal Friends Leave Us

Yesterday it was confirmed: one of my family’s felines, following a coyote attack, was no longer with us. Stargazer, a gray tabby whom we adopted from the county animal shelter five years ago, was a special cat. She could be counted on to be my office assistant as she slept soundly behind my laptop; she could also be found sitting atop the sofa, looking out the large, living room window. We’ll miss her.

Losing an animal companion is not easy. In “Light Fixtures”, Aurora must deal with the passing of a trusted guide and friend; though Mr. Dragonfly was a tiny one, she loved the mosquito hawk (as her grandmother called dragonflies). He taught her so much. Of course, suddenly having a close being stripped from your life can be challenging for anyone, but for one with bipolar disorder, it can be a mood trigger. That was the case with Aurora. As Aurora slowly discovers that fateful summer, she has the onset of teen bipolar disorder and the mania she was experiencing early on suddenly subsides to depression once she learns Mr. Dragonfly has died.

Of course, it’s normal to grieve the loss of an animal companion, but for Aurora Mr. Dragonfly’s passing plunged her into “the hole” as she called, a place so dark and deep that no light or hope lived in her heart. And it would take much time before things changed.

But meanwhile, she would have to learn to get along without Mr. Dragonfly, as we’ll have to move on without our beloved Stargazer. Both animal friends are to be remembered with honor and great joy.

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