Goodbye, Schumba (our lion-love)

I was there when he took his last labored breath. His ears twitched a bit as he settled for the last time in the soft fluff of his bed. 

Earlier, he had curled himself into a corner, shivering, though the house was hardly cold. He ignored me as I fixed his breakfast. Didn’t stir when I brought him fresh water. He let me hold him, caress him as he grew cold in my arms. He looked at me, but uttered no sound. 

Helplessness set in as I realized how grave his condition was. Nothing could bring him out of this sudden sickness. I told him I loved him. Told him we understood he was in pain. And though he didn’t need my permission, I said it was okay not to fight anymore. 

We said goodbye, all of us. Teary eyed and weary, we contemplated how he grew ill – what could’ve caused this fate. 

As always, when something unexpected happens, she blamed the monster. The monster that at times brings gifts, but most often brings destruction, loss, tragedy. I’d like to think there is no such entity that brings such pain and such joy in random intervals. But how else can a child rationalize events she doesn’t understand?

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