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Jackie’s Story

Date of death: 4th May 2007

Jackie arrived at BrightHaven in August of 2001 and proceeded to touch the hearts, souls and lives of people too numerous to know, or count. A close friend was heard to comment that “BrightHaven is incredibly fortunate to have a yogi dwelling in its living room.”…and I guess that for me summed up her amazing life. For, you see, Jackie spent most of her six years here, in bed, unable to stand, much less walk. In the early days she could sit up on her elbows to eat, but most recently she simply lay sweetly smiling at all and sundry.

Jackie sustained a fall from a garden fence in earlier years that had impaired her jumping ability but, after a flea treatment she became neurologically impaired, shook uncontrollably and gradually lost the use of her limbs and ability to move.

Jackie taught us about joy and bliss; in fact this truly unbelievable spirit who surely was a guru, never once complained about her lot. She ate well, laughed a lot and truly enjoyed her life, mostly with at least three other animals in attendance at her party! Jackie embodied poor quality of life but amazing joy and will to live…

As mentioned, many people have come to BrightHaven over the years and been both honored and humbled to know this girl who lay sweetly awaiting their touch or smile. Jackie would happily nod her pleasure and rub her head on their hands. In the summertime she would lie in the garden watching everyone at play and I swear we often saw her laughing with pleasure at their antics.

Jackie came to us with a mission to teach us how to live our lives. She wanted us to learn to live in the moment and to be happy. I sincerely hope we can make her proud.

Because I could not stop for Death –

He kindly stopped for me –

The carriage held but just ourselves –

And Immortality.

 –Emily Dickinson (Poem: “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”


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