Lilies… they were sitting right on the side table, filling a room with their essence, when my little JoJo took her last breath… Lilies… Lilies… she smelled…


my rendition of ‘A Scent Of the Last Breath’:

my book “Through Grief’s Tender Heart”

get it here

A Scent Of the Last Breath

Lilies bloom with a promise—
a vow whispered to still air,
yet their fragrance stifles,
a heavy blanket in a room too small for their scent.

Tiny feet, minuscule boundless heart—
your absence fills rooms,
breaks all barriers,
eclipses the sun.

A choice too immense
crushes down on a chest already tight.
Who am I to snuff a candle
that once outshone the moon and stars’ light?

Your snout twitches—
is it the scent of what lies beyond
or a betrayal, perplexing
as the lilies’ essence that lingers around?

Forgiveness I plea,
a prayer I can’t quite voice—
yet, in the whispering leaves, in the morning sun,
I search for your silent choice,
for your soul unbound…

In the soil under the tender young tree,
your frame takes root.
May your essence unfold
In a place unburdened by questions too profound.

I kneel before the tender tree,
Lilies’ petals trailing my tears, kissing freshly turned soil.
Oh, please, hear my soul weep for you in prayer—
know I love you,
please forgive me,
set us both free…

(09/01/2023 © Julia Delaney)

Lilies bloom with a promise

Could it be that the very air my little JoJo last breathed, imbued with the scent of these lilies, served as a sort of olfactory bridge between two realms—this tangible world and another place, perhaps a plane of pure light and joy, as I hope for her?

Could it be that I, overwhelmed with my earthbound senses and human limitations, could only smell the suffocating scent of lilies as an undertone of death, while she, in her final moments, found in that same aroma a promise of peace, a whisper that she is going somewhere beautiful, a place where she can rejoice, unfettered by physical limitations?

Pets aren’t just animals we feed and walk; they’re companions who bear witness to the seasons of our lives. JoJo was more than just a pet; for more than 16 years, she was a confidante and a vessel of comfort, someone who helped me navigate the complexities of human existence—from my struggle with Lyme disease, depression, and cancer to the everyday vicissitudes of life.

Yet, the decision I made came from a place of deep love and an earnest desire to bring her peace. Life’s script is often messy, filled with lines we wish we could rewrite. I didn’t want her to suffer, to be trapped in a cycle of pain that no medicine could truly break. My wish was for her to be free.

My love for JoJo wasn’t encapsulated by a single decision or a singular moment. It was a living entity that grew and breathed across 16 years of shared experiences. While her last moments right now are burning my soul, I know I can also hold onto the years of love, the seasons of joy, and the epochs of comfort that I provided her. During her last moments, she was wrapped not just in an old t-shirt but in years of my love, devotion, and care.

Right now, this loss feels almost insurmountable, as she’s become a part of my emotional and spiritual makeup….

I understand that it may take more time for the contours of my grief to fade into something more manageable, and I may find that they never fully do. And that’s okay.

If love is the compass of the soul, then I believe she is exactly where she needs to be. Wherever her spirit resides, it’s a place touched by the love I offered, and that is the most beautiful and peaceful place any of us could ever hope to be.

Sometimes, the weight of the decisions we make for those we love most feels unbearable, as if we’ve crushed something irretrievable and beautiful.


my rendition of ‘Yoke’:

my book “Through Grief’s Tender Heart”

get it here


In a room drowning in tears,
beside a chair, a vase—
Lilies smell too damn strong,
like the choice I wish I didn’t have to make.

JoJo—tiny feet, sweetest heart, boundless soul,
you filled gaps I didn’t know I had,
making my fractured life
feel somehow whole.

Sixteen years, you’ve been my light,
through darkened rooms of my own making,
your blind eyes saw me—
and my fractured world, you were remaking.

Years spent navigating silent darkness,
sweetheart, you became my eyes—
while I held your fragile body,
you guided me to see my own disguise.

Your care a ceaseless ritual—
endless lifts and cleansing, plates and pills—
yet it’s your agony, a wail of your relentless pain—
that’s a weight on my soul I couldn’t quell.

Steroids, narcotics, antibiotics—a perpetual wheel,
your ears a traitorous soaring silent field,
yet your tenacious spirit could never kneel.
You stayed ever sweet,
sleeping snuggled in your sling,
on my belly,
at peace—complete.

In your final chapter, wracked with pain,
I faced a choice where each option a loss—
to hold onto you a moment more,
or free you, no matter the cost.

I wished for nature to decide,
to take you softly, on her tide.
Instead, it was my voice that shook—
it was my hand that took.

Doctor’s shots—one, two, three,
your little body stilled on my knee.
A cry escaped your lips, a plea—
Did you feel my love?
Could it set you free?

And in that heart-wrenching moment,
as you wailed your last, unknowing cry,
I hope you felt my love surrounding you,
as I howled a soul-ripping goodbye.

My arms a cradle, for hours holding tight,
as your essence faded,
into the depth of incoming night.
The lilies stared, their scent a cloak,
as if they knew the heaviness of the yoke.

Now, under a tree, your form takes its rest—
Love’s all I have left,
untamed and unpossessed.
Forgive me, sweetheart, for playing God—
for the choice I’ve made, for this painful part—
I hope you roam in boundless presence,
joyful and free.
Yet, questions linger,
heavy as the lilies-scented night —
could I have loved you better,
in darkness and in light?

Your ears closed, but your soul open wide,
now free from all earthly strife—
I long for your forgiving whispers,
on the other side of this earthly life.

(09/05/2023 © Julia Delaney)

little JoJo

Be Alive 🌱
Love ❤️, Julia

To My Sun-Loving Yogi

No matter how many times I say to myself, “She had a good, full life,” [...]

Healing through Loss


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