I am so sorry for your loss of Sam, especially when it seemed he was going to live longer than he did.
The Rainbow Bridge legend always makes me cry, but I truly believe there would be no heaven for us without our beloved pets, so I like to think that the ones who have passed before us are playing gently and waiting for us to cross with them.
You did absolutely the right thing when it was time to say goodbye to Sam. You hugged and kissed him, held him, and stayed with him until he was gone, and he knew you were there and that it was okay to leave. When you think of him sleeping, remember how peaceful and pain-free he was once again. It's so hard to let one of our pets go, but it's much harder finding them after they have passed on alone and scared.
When I read these messages in the Cat Memorial, they always bring a flood of emotions, usually accompanied by lots of tears, and sometimes I just can't read through them and have to go back later. (I'm very emotional, too!) It's okay for you to feel sad that Sam is no longer with you, but you probably have photos of him when he was healthy and happy, and you must have great memories of his life with you. It hurts a lot now, but it will get better. When I have to say goodbye to one of our pets, the tears seem like they will never stop, but eventually I can remember good times and look at their photos without crying so much. Some days are harder than others, but the tears do stop. We have planted a memorial garden in our backyard. It's on a sunny hillside and is covered with flowers and evergreens. We are buying engraved stone markers for each of our beloved pets who have gone before us. It's a beautiful, peaceful place to remember our furry friends.
I often reflect on the relatively short life of our pets compared to ours. I believe that if Duke, the cat I inherited from my mom, had lived as long as I might live, I wouldn't have known Billy, the happy-go-lucky guy who has brought so much laughter and joy into our lives. If Blackie had lived as long as I might live, I probably wouldn't have known the love I receive from Jess, Jinx, Midge and Sofie, all adopted from the local shelter, and all with emotional, medical, or physical needs that made their chances of adoption, even survival, almost nil. Both Duke and Blackie gave us the opportunity to care for older, diabetic, hyperthyroid cats, which led to adopting insulin-dependent Chloe, whose diabetes is now controlled with diet alone.
The loss of one life can bring you the gift of another, and when the time is right, you will know it. The hole left in your heart by the loss of Sam gives you room to love another without ever forgetting Sam and the wonderful times you had together. I hope you will soon find peace in remembering Sam and the joy he brought into your life.
:love: Rest in peace, Sam, and play gently at the Bridge until one fine day when you will cross together. :love: