One summer we were to take care of our friends’ rabbit “Little Dot” for three weeks. On day five I found it dead in its hutch. After conferring with the owners, who were on holiday in Italy, I went to the nearby woods with my two sons and some shovels in order to bury it. That turned out to be more difficult than I had thought. The woods were full of large nettles. After some searching we found a suitable little spot, out of necessity because of the nettles close to a path. Just after the funeral a lady with a large dog came walking by. The dog started sniffing en went straight for the grave. I quickly packed up the shovels en directed the kids out of the woods. A few days later I went to see and luckily the carefully picked stones that we had placed on top of the grave were untouched.
Our friends in Italy had a hard time because of their rabbit dying. We sent them some pictures of the burial and the grave of Little Dot by email. In the years after my youngest son and I sometimes walked by the place we buried it. He still sometimes cries about it. If he’s tired or doesn’t feel well Little Dot tiptoes into his head. And transforms into a chunk of grief. I know how he feels. As a rule I’m like my son, a positive joyful person. But sometimes there’s a chunk of grief in my head too. When I think about my reumatoid arthritis and what it took from me. Now and then grief tiptoes into my head, even thought I really learned how to live with reumatoid arthritis and generally feel strong. The other day, after crying again about Little Dot, my son went to work with paper, glue, pictures and pencils. Loss of a rabbit, loss of my health, small sadness, big sadness, every now and then it surfaces. My son made a collage about it, I write these kind of stories. It helps.
(Originaly written in Juni 2012, translated April 2019)