I buried my cat today. As I lay him to rest, I asked him, as a final favor to me, to carry with him the 18 years we shared. To carry away the shattered dreams, the long knives of love, the shame of failure and regret. To carry away the self-loathing and nihilism I attach to those memories. To bear these things on his tender back into the darkness between here and there, and release them as he moves into whatever light awaits him.
He was a loving, strong cat; I believe he will bear my burdens easily, and shed them with grace. I thanked him, and covered him, and tamped the earth with footprint and tears. And with that I completed the purest, most peaceful loss I have ever experienced.