Tribute to my Hero

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I have some sad news, my dear readers, last week my blog’s namesake passed away. Little Moe died in her cage peacefully. She was almost 2 years old. She led a healthy and wonderful life full of cuddling with my face, nibbling on organic apples and running around in her little plastic ball. A few hours before she died, she appeared to be very lethargic but not in pain.

The first few days after she passed, I was not doing well at all emotionally (partly due to other events on top of her death). My room feels strangely empty without her in it. I’m starting to get used to it, but the first few days without her seemed overwhelmingly lonely.

It’s amazing how a little fur ball can make such a huge difference, that’s why she’s been my hero. My little ball of energy I could always turn to for comfort and security. Taking care of her gave me a sense of purpose. I like to think that she’s up in heaven with Jesus and she’s having the time of her life eating all the carrots she could want.

After seeing her lifeless body, I was so heartbroken I wasn’t sure what to do with myself at first. But I knew I needed to cry, create something and begin the process of grieving. I decided to paint a little box for her to be buried in. This was one of the first times I’ve painted in a long time. I sat down on my room floor with tears in my eyes and worship music playing and designed an adorable little box to commemorate my furry friend. It felt great to create something.

As a child, I was constantly creating things. I loved to draw. I would literally lay on the living room floor with a pencil and paper pad and draw inanimate objects. I remember spending entire mornings sketching the legs of a table, the shadow created by a flower vase, the lines and curves on my hand. I would escape through writing creative stories about a fantasy life. I painted vibrant scenes of deserts, mountains, cityscapes, and the night sky. I sang to myself to the point where no one in my family wanted to hear me sing anymore. I made up songs on the piano. I wrote emotional poems accompanied by drawn illustrations to depict what I felt as I wrote them. I used to express myself freely. Sometime around when I entered high school, I began judging myself harshly. As the teasing and rejection from my peers increased, I internalized that and began hating myself and everything I did. I stopped creating. I unconsciously told myself that nothing I could create would be of value and it would be a waste of time and effort.

On the day Moe died, I didn’t tell myself my artwork wasn’t good enough or it was pointless to even try. Because this box wasn’t for me, it was for Moe. In my mind, Moe deserved the best hamster burial she could have. My folks and I had a little funeral service for her in the backyard, accompanied by me reading a letter I wrote to her reflecting on the joy, comfort and peace she brought into my life.

My creative instincts have laid dormant inside me for years. However, I still allow myself to be creative in small ways here and there, but I have to force myself to start and I tend to become frustrated and often abandon my project prematurely. I haven’t been blogging here on a consistent basis. Not because I have nothing to say because I do. And I’m not too busy to blog. I struggle to muster the courage to just sit down and write. Even writing this post was a battle. I usually write about five drafts of the same post until I find one I hate the least.

But when I can stop prejudging myself and what I have to say, writing feels so good. I think the more I do it, the easier it will be to ignore the negative thoughts about myself and my writing like, “I have nothing important to say,” “No one cares,” “My writing isn’t good anyway.” Just like with Moe’s painted box, this blog isn’t for me. It’s for other people who may need to hear what I have to say about mental health, Christ, or any of the various topics I discuss. Not to say I have any answers to life’s questions, but I can at least share my perspective. I encourage you to live out your life’s purpose regardless of the thoughts holding you back.

Dearest Moe,

There’s so much I wish to tell you about the positive impact you’ve had on me. It’s difficult for me to put into words how much you meant to me and how deeply saddened I am by your passing. Your presence gave me a sense of comfort and joy. Seeing you running on your wheel or sleeping the day away in your bed without a single care gave me encouragement. Whenever I was sad, I could hold you and your soft fur against my skin soothed me. You helped me get through times of immense loneliness. Taking care of you was never a burden, but a pleasure. You hardly ever bit and only peed on me once. I’m going to miss sharing my salads with you, hearing you scurrying around your cage, and watching you run around in your ball. For such a small, furry animal, you took up a huge place in my heart. I know you’re in heaven with Jesus running on a golden wheel, eating all the organic broccoli your little heart wants. One day, we will be reunited again in heaven. I’ll never forget you. Thank you for being the best hamster I could ask for.

All my love,

B

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