For some reason, I seems to stumble into a lot of these lately:
It sounds noble, to wish a best friend to live forever, but I disagree. I want to say that I detest people who said it, but if words can kill, I don't want any other dog or cat to torture him/herself to death because I kill their "master".
When animals die, we mourn them. "It hurts so much I wanna die", said a member of a support group in Facebook. "I can't handle the pain", said another in his status. One other elderly lady who outlives many of her rescue would post every day writing different version of "today 16 years ago my beagle passed..." and "my cat supposed to be 17 this year but she left me on..."
Then I remember Hachiko, who went to the train station looking for her dead masterrefusing to eat or drink and starve herself to death. I remember Master, who lie on top of his dead master's grave, exposed to the elements, refusing food and drink, and died miserably. I remember Dakota, a cat once belong to an elderly who passed away from cancer, and cry endlessly on his mommy's bed, and although he is now adopted by the lady's son, he doesn't want to let go of his mommy's bath robe, for the next 16 years. More recently I also read about a cat who has been a best friend for 9/11 hero, who was shocked, shivering, and crumpled himself in the corner after he watch his "master" killed himself.
I am sure if I post a challenge here, my website will be crashed by the amount of stories of how animals heartbreakingly torture themselves - too often to their tragic demise - mourning the death of their parents.
Human don't live forever. Human die, and when they die, it's over. They left this world, tend their own afterlife business, and never again need to look back.
And then, when those people die, what would happen to their "best friend" pets, should they live forever? Day in and day out, mourning on the grave of their human, refusing food and drink, feeling sad and helpless. But since they live forever, they can't die, so they are cursed to live in such tragic, heartbreaking state till the end of time; who knows when.
So, answer me, if it hurts so much you wanna die, why make your best friend live forever to endure that horrible experience without any chance of release? If you can't handle the pain, why make your best friend live forever to handle it without any chance of redeem?
If they really are your best friend, your family, why abuse and torture them? If you really want to be with them forever, why make them live forever, and deprave them the opportunity to join you in the best of your being after you left this decrepit world?
What different that would make them compared with, for example, a slave? They live to service their master, as long as the master live, and when master die, that's it? Fuck with them even if they torture themselves for the rest of their lives - which is - forever?
Let me drag this a little further. Since they live forever, and they mourn you and stay in your grave, what kind of torture they will bring when your animal-loving family member visit your grave, and see them in such devastated state? A sad, depraved, skeletal remains that wanders in the utter disgrace on top of your gravestone. And, again, since they live forever, they will eventually learn that your other family died, and it make them more sad. And then another died, and your best friend is more sad, and when there's no more, they will live their eternal life, in mourning and painful loneliness.
You called yourself a "proud parents" of a dog, or cat, or pig, or rat, name it; and yet, you do that to your "best friend", "family" or worse yet "fur kid". Don't be kidding, we're talking about kid here, as in "child" And the reason you do that just because you can't handle the pain? Oh gee...
Truth be told, I couldn't think of worse torture than that.
I think of animals as non-human person. They grow old, they got tired, they got sick, and die. And so when they think their service time is over, I would be honored to let them go, to set them free. It hurts. It hurts for as long as I live and even if at some point of my life I adopted another, that wound will never heal.
But if something make me strong enough to keep walking, it will be their legacy. Their indomitable spirit, the joy, their antics, the sweet moments and the darned ones when they are so bad, I wish I can smite them.
They will live forever, but in my heart, and only their memories. Every day I will take some of them that is forever in my heart to pass it on to other suffering animals, so that they too, can join us in the blessing of life.
And when I die before them, instead of a legacy of eternal sadness and loneliness that is there with living forever, I want to leave a legacy of undying love, wholehearted service, the better future, and the scent of my being that slowly fade away, so that they too, can pass on this joy we used to share and make someone else's life more bearable, the way they made my life beautiful.
The only thing that should live forever is the love that transcend through time, space, and difference of lifeforms. The only thing that should liver forever is the preciousness of life. The only thing that should live forever is the choice not to take life for granted, and cherish every single day as if it is the last, because who knows when it is indeed, the last.
That choice empower me to give without reservation, to return all the kindness and generosity that my "best friends" offers at the cost of their lives.
On September 25th, billions of people around the world will remember their best friends who went before them, and those who went without knowing their human. Though I will not lit 276 candles (should be more), I wouldn't wish my best friend to live forever. I wouldn't wish the power to take life for granted.
If I am granted one wish, I would wish that my best friends, and all other animals, and me to afford to be happy, so that when our time is up, our legacy will lit the lives of those we left behind with love and joy.