I’ve had several people tell me that their favorite character of the Charmed Pie Shoppe mysteries is Ella Mae Aunt Dee. When I ask why, they inevitably share a story about a beloved pet who’s crossed over the Rainbow Bridge.
“We wish we had one of Dee’s sculptures to help us remember (pet’s name).”
You see, like all the women, Dee possesses magical abilities. She creates metal sculptures of animals that have passed away using photographs provided by the pet’s owners. But she uses her magic to instill a glimmer of real life in the sculptures. When the owners look at them, they can still sense their pet’s presence and they feel comfort and a strong sense of peace.
The idea for Dee’s gift came from a real-life woman who made dog and kitty angels out of sheet metal. Many years ago, I lost a cat to old age. His end wasn’t a surprise, but we’d been together for 17 years and I had a really hard time getting accustomed to not having him at the foot of my bed or waiting for me in the kitchen in the morning. Griffin was a grey tabby and a brilliant cat and I was so used to his company that my house felt empty without him.
Not long after I said good-bye, I went to a craft fair and saw this kitty angel. It spoke to me. I brought it home and placed it where I could look at it every day. I talked to it as if it were my precious cat. Of course, it wasn’t, but it helped me heal. Without a mourning process, it’s hard to move on. Very few of us have funerals for our pets or even have the chance to bury them—and these are acts that help people obtain closure. Without them, it’s even more difficult to accept what’s happened.
So I wanted my fictional character, Dee, to help people come to terms with their loss and to focus on celebrating the happiness they’d shared with their pets. I guess she resonates with readers who have loved an animal truly and deeply and know the heartbreak of having to say good-bye.
I hope you all have many, many years with your furry, feathered, or scaly family members and that you will always hold tight to the magical memories you created together.
Ellery Adams is the author of the Books By the Bay mysteries and The Charmed Pie Shoppe Mysteries. She grew up with big dogs and a few cats and is now owned by four cats: Jasper, Finnegan, Sherlock Holmes, and Doc Watson. For more info visit her web site: http://www.elleryadamsmysteries.com