i searched the whole yard for a flower worthy to lay on your grave. this rose will have to do. i thought nature was lovely, but i’d rather have you then all the wildflowers that smile up at the sun.

the thorns lining your rose’s delicate stem dug into my skin as i picked it. it reminded me of when you dragged your claws over my arms and left blood behind you. i’ll remember you by my scars.

i remember when you died. i was caught up in the peaceful ignorance of sleep and i had no clue that my world was about to shatter like glass. my mother crept into my room that morning, dragging me into this ugly world that stole you.

“apollo. emily is dead.”

the words didn’t stick. there’s something about death that our minds reject. how can a heart stop? where does the spark in their eyes go? what happens to their soul?

my mother climbed into bed with me. trembling arms wrapped around me as she murmured, “i’m so sorry.”

“i don’t understand.” the heaviness in my soul let me know something was wrong, even if my mind wouldn’t let me process her words. “what happened?”

 her eyes were filled with confusion and heartache. i’m sorry for refusing to believe it the first time, mom. i’m sorry for making you repeat that horrible sentence.

“she’s dead. emily is dead.”

i recall that as i tossed the last handful of dirt over your grave, my neighbor strolled past. her world was still intact. she wasn’t missing a chunk of her heart. her gaze settled on us, the grieving group clustered around your resting place, staring at the ground with stinging eyes.

“what happened?” she asked, coming to a halt.

i wanted to scream at her that everything was wrong, that nothing would ever be right again. i wanted to pour my pain and regrets and helplessness all over her so she would find it as hard to breathe as i did. but the only word my mouth could form was your name. and i couldn’t even bring myself to say that. it felt like an anathema, laced with sorrow and guilty black tears.

“we’ve lost someone,” my mother informed her flatly.

“oh. i’m sorry.” she waved and continued on.

my brother mentioned to me one day after you left that i was a perfect example of the kübler-ross model of the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

how my mind hadn’t let me fathom the idea of your death at first? that was denial. anger: all those times i tensed up whenever a car passed our road, and i thought i could hear all the bones in your body breaking. i wondered, was it you? are you the one who took her away from me? and those long nights with my face buried in a damp pillow, promising to anyone who was listening that i’d be good from now on, an angel, if only you would show up at my door the next morning. i was trying to bargain with God.

why was there still color in the world? why did the sun still rise? why did people still laugh and smile? why did it feel like your memory was slipping away with every second?

“that’s the depression,” he stated. like everything was facts and science and there was no room for emotion in the universe.

all of this was pointless without you. i didn’t want time to move on.

but it did.


you never got a gravestone. i keep telling myself i’ll fix that someday. but it seems to me that setting a plaque into the earth with your name engraved on it would really mean you’re gone for good. maybe there doesn’t have to be a marker there. the whole place is filled with your presence already.

i visited your grave today. it’s under the almond tree, the one that’s covered with pastel pink blooms in the springtime. when the wind rushes by to sing to you, the petals are brushed off their branches and swirled through the sky. looking up at the clouds, i imagine i can see your face up there. i’ve been holding onto the hope that i’ll see you again someday, when we’re both up behind the sun.

 i’m sorry the last thing i said to you wasn’t “i love you.” i’m sorry i couldn’t protect you. and i know “i’m sorry” won’t bring you back.

dead rose, i will love you forever more. (dead rose // the classic crime)

(this was written for my cat, who died the summer of 2015.)

xo apollo


Author: apollo

i'm apollo, a poet & hot mess.

52 thoughts on “emily”

  1. I’m so sorry about your cat, Loren. When you posted that she died last year, I wanted to comment but I didn’t know what to say. :(

    -Clara <3


  2. *pats your back* *awkward hug*

    What was super sad was as I read this I had Vanilla Twilight playing and it was literally ‘oh darling, i wish you were here’ and it was all i could do not to dissolve into a puddle. :(

    It’ll be okay- I’m 96% certain that cats go to heaven.


    1. i love ” vanilla twilight” so much, even though it makes me sad.

      i was talking with N about death (yep, we have weird conversations), and after that, i’m not so sure that kitties can go to heaven. i still really hope they do. i would love to see emily and twinkle again.


  3. I’m so sorry about Emily, Loren, and although you’ll never forget her, at least you have Navi now to bring you even better memories.


      1. I meant that I felt like I was there… I felt like I was experiencing what you had. It really made me feel and almost cry… That’s what I meant by saying I was engrossed in a book. :)

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so sorry for the loss! I lost my cat molly last year, so I know what losing a pet is like. But Now you can make new memories with navi :) -Kalie xx


  5. I’m so sorry, it would be heartbreaking to lose a cat. I have one but I hope she can stay with me a lot longer, since she is only six. And I know what it’s like to lose someone, I lost my grandma last year and I remember crying for hours straight the first few days. I will never forget her. I also lost my other grandma and my grandpa a few years before that. :( Most people my age have never had someone special to them pass away.


    1. it was, but it was a long time ago. i hope your cat stays around for many more years. my last two cats died at one and two years old, so several more years with either of them would have been quite a blessing. i’m so sorry about your grandparents, mya.

      xo loren

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, Loren. That must have been hard. Every time I stroke Twila’s fur, I imagine how horrible it would be if she got taken away from me. Cat’s have a bad reputation, but my Twilight Bells means everything to me. She is my world. This may be silly, but I think of me as her mother, since the owner that owned her real mother decided to leave her in a cardboard box as a kitten on the side of the road. I tell her I love her every time I look at her, and she licks my nose before I fall asleep. Cats can become best friends. You mentioned in reply to Mya that you last two cats died, did that include Navi? I’m not trying to pry or anything, but I’m just kind of curious, and if so, I have one more person and 3 more cats to pray for tonight.


    1. it was hard. but in a way, i’m kind of glad it happened, because then i got to meet navi. though i do wish i could have had more time with emily.

      twila is lucky to have such a loving owner. :) and animal pals definitely can become best friends. and it’s not silly to consider yourself as her mother — i do that with navi.

      no, navi is thankfully still alive. my first cat, twinkle (she was boo’s sister) ran away many years ago.

      xo loren


      1. It always takes everything inside of me to keep from sobbing when dead cats are left on the side of the road, and this happens a lot in the front of my school. I love the Warrior cats series, so I sometimes think that those kitties go to starclan. (Have you read Warriors? You should.)
        Like Daisy Paquet was saying, I’m also positive that passed kitties go to heaven.


  7. I am so very sorry for your loss. I lost my sister abruptly a few years ago and your words are the perfect description of how that feels. I am so sorry you and your family had to go through that pain.


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