I spent the last 48 hours of my mortal existence in an oxygen tent because of a rapidly growing tumor in my lungs. I was full of spunk inside the oxygen tent, but once removed, I couldn't draw a breath. There's no getting past not being able to breathe when the dementors are summoning you to the Bridge.
The same calamity befell my friend Gizmo. He did not have a tumor, but congestive heart failure proved to be his undoing. Gizmo had borrowed a lot of heartbeats to stay with his family, but his ticker became so damaged during that time it could not support his active lifestyle.
I was waiting for Gizmo when he crossed the Bridge. He was pleased to be able to breathe again. He had been hiding his condition from his mom for months because that's what dogs do. We never want our parents to know anything is amiss unless it's something serious like the water dish is empty or it's time to eat, or we have to go out, or we think there might be something outside. Did I mention the time to eat? Dogs are like middle-aged men. There is no cause great enough to make us want to go to the doctor. Whatever it is, we are confident we will be better by morning and if not the next.
Gizmo was enjoying his recently healed body. Then he remembered where all his pain had gone. When his mom helped him cross the Bridge, she took on all his suffering, and it devastated her. Sadly, what parents need the most after taking on all their new angel’s pain, is the recently departed pup. Life is a cruel circle.
Gizmo wanted to get to his mom. He tried to recross the Bridge, but every time he did, he landed back where he started. The builders of the Bridge developed tricks to ensure no one could get back to the mortal side. Stubborn Gizmo tried to swim across the river to no avail. He was stuck like the rest of us.
It took an hour to calm Gizmo down and get him to understand where he was. He kept saying he wanted his Mommy. I told him he could be with her, but not in the way he remembered. He said he didn’t care how it was; he just needed to see her again.
There was not enough time to teach Gizmo how to use his angel powers to become a ghost. But I might be able to take him to see his mom. I gathered all my energy, took Gizmo by the paw, and we materialized as ghosts in his living room where his toys were still on the floor. Of course, Pocket saw us and barked, just like my Pocket. So unprofessional. But this Pocket is young. She will learn.
Gizmo’s mom was sitting in her chair, deep in painful memories. Gizmo climbed up on her shoulder and gave her the briefest kiss. His mother smiled for just a second, and then the sensation was gone.
I am working with Gizmo to teach him how to use his powers so he can visit his mom for longer and bring her more comfort. It won't be the same as when he was mortal, but these small moments of pleasure can ease her long torturous nights of grief.
I know Gizmo, his mom’s little angel, will do everything he can to smash away at his mom’s grief until he destroys it forever.