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A Sad Day

Polar Bear

Polar Bear
15 June 2002 - 22 July 2011

It is with great sadness we have to announce the passing of Polar - a so very much loved member of our family.

Since he arrived with us in August 2002 he has been an absolute joy and the most devoted companion anyone, or any family, could want for - whether it's been the mundane days at work, fun and games at home, or just shear company and a cuddle. Polar was present at the births of both our daughters, Molly and Milly, and has loved them and protected them every minute since; Polar was never the family 'pet' - he was one of us, equal in every way.

We will miss everything he was, starting from that early morning cuddle on the bed each day and ending with bed time chocolates and a cuddle - and if we'd had a difficult day at work (or if it was a cold night!) that cuddle lasted all night - apart from going on checking on his little girls of course. He's shared every up and every down with us - and bore all our problems upon his so strong shoulders.

Thankfully his condition came on very rapidly and so he suffered little or no pain. This afternoon the four of us buried him close to his favourite apple tree - he loved to pinch the fruits, not to eat - just to play with; we'll have more apples this year - but we wish we weren't going to.

And so we have spent the day feeling empty - upset and crying, and then turning round to reassure Polar that he did not need to worry; he hated seeing any of us upset - his understanding and compassion was humbling.

Our house is now so very quiet - no clattering of claws and feet, none of his 'talking' or satisfying sighs of relaxation. The working day will be so different too as he has come to work with us every day.

Why oh why are the dead described as 'the late ...' ? Surely all deaths are too early? Polar died far too early, he was just a month over nine.

And so today a huge chapter in our lives has come to a close as we have said goodbye to Polar - Polar Bear - or just P.B.

In the words of WH Auden...

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song,
I thought that love would last forever: 'I was wrong'

The stars are not wanted now, put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Stephen, Serena, Molly and Milly Shirley
22 July 2011