I died when I was 98 years old. I wasn’t shocked I reached that age, as I didn’t really care what “age” was.
I just kept going. As long as you feel young, the fear of old age isn’t fearful at all. This will be a brief account of my long life. When I was born my parents didn’t want me. Within weeks, another family came and took me away. Obviously I can’t remember this, but I’ve heard others talk about it. They thought I didn’t understand their “hidden” talk, they thought I was stupid, but I knew everything. All the things they thought were secrets weren’t secrets at all. My first family that adopted me, treated me well at first. As soon as my legs came alive and I wanted to run into life, they didn’t treat me so well. They used to keep me in a cage when I got too hyperactive, which only made it worse. As when they let me out, boy did I create havoc. The cage and it’s hell, crammed in on all fours, was unfortunately short-lived. Unfortunate because of what came next. I was beaten a lot. When I say a lot, I mean more than not. I had to avoid everything in order to avoid punishment. Avoid eye contact, avoid making a sound, avoid breathing loudly and stay still and curl up in my bed. Anything that works. I now know this had a detrimental effect as my early years went on. They call these early years “unmemorable yet, unforgettable”, as these experiences shape your core being, even if we don’t realise it.
If you’re still here, thank you for being interested in my story. My story now gets significantly more positive. The family who abused me, thankfully, got reported and I was saved. Saved from a lifeless life. Now I had life. I was in hospitality with many other people like me. A place full of individuals who’s only role was a self. They may have been a son, brother, sister and friend, but not in here. We were all waiting for a new home, and I am blessed to have been given one.
A young man, well young back then, took me to his family home. You’d thought it would have taken me a while to adapt to a new environment but, this wasn’t the case. I ran around the home and marked my territory. I slept and I dreamed, hard. This was my time and I had wasted enough life already. I had experienced trauma in the past, but this wasn’t trauma. I stayed in this home until I died. I was 98 and they still looked after me. The family in the home changed a lot, who lived there and who visited. But I liked them all and their individual ways. As I was in my later years I could barely walk. I still managed to go out every day, accompanied by my best friend. He was vital for my health. You hear that old people die when their other old person dies? As in their other old loved one. People keep you living. We don’t hold on to life, we hold on to people.
I died happy. I didn’t fear death as what was the point? When we are here death isn’t here, and when death is here we aren’t here. Therefore we need not fear death. Maybe my negative early life experiences made me live in a more fulfilled way. But people shouldn’t have to experience the bad to realise the good. There are good people everywhere, you probably are one of them, or if not, you can be. I think, we should cut this craving of wanting to live forever, as it makes us forget to live, and I lived and loved every moment in my adopted home.
My tail is no longer wagging, but that’s fine, it wagged enough. My adopted home gave me a name too, and I quite liked it. This name was Coco, and It’s a shame I didn’t get to know your name.
Coco on his final trip to the park.