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In Memory of Bear (Boo Boo) Graham March 21, 1993 - May 11, 2002

Celebration Of My Beloved Bear Graham's Life homepage

Bear Graham's Last Close up

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Peabody College at Vanderbilt University
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Things Graylen Likes to do:

  1. Reading
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  3. Loving my Cats


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Welcome To The Web of the Late Bear (Boo Boo) Graham Site




5/11/02 10:00 AM The Passing of my beloved Bear

Hey! Please forgive me for the delay in writing this note. This email has been long in coming. I am sorry for not returning your calls or E-mails. The results of the biopsy came back Benign (Non-cancerous) progress of my recovery have been very good. When I spoke to the Urologist last Tuesday, he assured me that the surgery was a success, and I will make a full recovery. Thank you for your prayers and support. I wish that my news could have stopped here but unfortunately for me it does not.

After recovering from my illness, my cat Bear got sick and in a matter of a few days his kidneys and liver started shutting down. Today, I had to finally put him down. I demanded to hold him while the Vet injected him, and Bear took his last breath. I had to do this because I was there to witness his birth 03/21/93, and I was going to be there until the end. Bear was the first birth that I have ever witnessed. So, I am numb right now, and the e-mail is probably filled with all kinds of grammatical errors. After recovering from a sickness several years ago, my grandmother dead without warning. For years, I have felt so guilty for being so selfish and being wrapped up in my own problems that I did not see the signs of death approaching someone dear to my heart. I guess the reason I have not returned calls is because I probably would feel very uncomfortable if I lost it while talking since a lot of people think it is silly to go into a period of mourning over a household pet. I remember losing it when the Vet told me that there was nothing else he could do for Bear. I told him that my cats are all I have to live for. This is when it became so apparent to me how Pitiful my life has become. What a life that only exists for sharing an intimate meaningful health loving relationship with ones animals. Anyway, I am not in the mood for any comforting right now. I got find my own way. I firmly believe that being consoled would only make me feel worse. The Vet reminded me that I do have two more cats. As a matter of fact, it was only the three of use for also a year before Bear and the other kittens arrived. With Bear being the baby, I never imagine that he would be the first out of the three to go. I held him most of last night. I knew in my heart that the end was near, and I wanted him to know how much I loved him. That is also one of the main reasons why I had to hold and sing to him until the very end. When Bear was a kitten, I use to nurse him with a baby bottle filled of catís mike while I singing to him. It was amazing watching that little guy, who fit into the palm of my hand at the time, sucking that bottle and making "me" "meĒ sounds. Since Bear had not eaten in a couple of days, I got out his old baby bottled and nursed him yesterday evening and throughout the night. He just made very low mellow sounds while I was doing this. Isnít it funny how life seems to come back full circle? Even after the doctor told me that he was gone, I could not release him from my arms for almost an hour. Holding him reminded me of the time I stayed up with dear departed grandmother in the hospital for hours because I knew down deep that she was not going to come out of her coma after her stoke. To my regret, I left with my friend Jonathan Jackson for only a little while in order to take a little break. Grandma had passed before I returned to the hospital. The nurse let me have a few minutes alone with her even though she was already gone. I remember her body still being warm, and she looked like she was still breathing. Strangely enough, I could still feel her presence in the room. I have regretted not being there when she took her last breath for many years. Maybe in a way, my holding Bear until the end was my dealing with some unfinished business (issues surrounding grandmaís death). I know that some of you are saying to yourselves, too much information, but writing this note seems to be kind of therapeutic for me. I have always been able to find a release in writing that I very rarely find in verbal conversation. At least no one can interrupt me or say the wrong thing. Anyway, I just wanted to keep to myself for a while. In other words, go into my cave. So please forgive me if I do not return calls or write back in a while. School is coming to a close, and I need to focus my energy in wrapping up everything. Even though I am very tired, I am afraid to sleep. Why is it that the venerability of sleep makes us feel worst when we are experiencing a crisis? Thank you for taking time to read my long e-mail message. Luckily, I needed to finish out my roll of film last week, and I took several pictures of the three cats together chilling out. I will treasure. I am very grateful for this. God is good! Sincerely, Todd PS. I do have pictures of Bear and my other two remaining babies on my web page. The link is located in my E-mail signature. .


Graylen Graham Voicemail/Fax 877-655-9859 E-mail: graylengraham@ureach.com Home Page: http://www.angelfire.com/tn/graylen/index.html Email graylengraham@ureach.com Web Site http://www.ureach.com/graylengraham ď . . .Language is also a political instrument, means, and proof of power. It is the most vivid and crucial key to identity: it reveals the private identity, and connects one with, or divorces one from, the larger public, or communal identity . . . to open your mouth is to 'put your business in the streets.' You have confessed your parents, your youth, your school, your salary, your self-esteem, and alas, your future." James Baldwin



Letter of Comfort From a Very Dear Friend Catherine Hazelwood Graylen, regardless of whether you wanted anyone to respond-- couldn't help but send the following thoughts to you-- After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and connecting with a soul. And you learn that love and company don't mean endless security. And you begin to learn that kisses and hugs aren't contracts for forever, but the memory can last eternally. And you begin to accept your defeats and disappointments with your head up and your eyes open with the grace of an adult, not the grief of a child. And you learn to build all your roads on today and learn to enjoy the journey because sometimes tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans. After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much, but what a wonderful feeling to have felt the warmth while it was there. You learn to plant your own garden and decorate your own soul however you can, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers. And you learn that you really can endure, that you really are strong and that you really do have worth. What a wonderful thing for you to have been with Bear as he was with you when you needed comfort!!!! Although I know you are terribly shaken and sad consider that you had a second chance to "make things right" This time you were there!!--And by the way, I've always believed that angels come in all forms--including animals--So call your existence pathetic if you will but I think anyone who has witness the full circle of life and been able to share it lovingly with anyone or anything has truly experienced something miraculous--Hope you feel better soon. Love, Catherine


Letter from Long time Friend Thomas Wright I am not sure, but if the Vet ruled out poison as the cause of death, I would be inclined to agree with him. However, I am not an expert in this area. I know a couple of people who own cats, I will see what they think about it. But you must keep in mind, that noone would know like a veterinarian. If I read correctly, didn't you say that the doctor said Bear's health had been on the decline for a while? I would think that if the spray you used was that powerful, you would have seen a bad reaction in Bear right away. But then again, I am not an expert. I don't think you should blame yourself. I know you loved Bear and I am sure he was crazy about you. Do you think for one minute, he would want you blaming yourself? Bear would not, but most importantly the Lord would not. It is only natural for you to mourn Bear, he was a big part of your life--family. In answer to your question, yes I believe that you will see Bear again. Many believe that the Bible is silent on this, but our God is a personal God. Jesus knows how much Bear meant to you. You know in the Book of Revelations, it says that King Jesus will split open the sky riding on a white horse and his saints with him on white horses (I have read that passage before in Revelations). I can't find that passage at the moment. I will make a point of finding it and e-mailing it to you when I have time. It only stands to reason if there will be horses in Heaven, there will also be other forms of animal life there as well. Does not the Bible say that ``Eye hath not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man the things that God has prepared for them that love him" (Corinthians)? You can read about that Holy City (New Jerusalem) in the Book of Revelations. The description blows the human mind. It is my personal opinion, that whatever meant the most to you and lost will be regained in Heaven--that includes Bear. Gotta go. Keep the faith. I am praying for you my Brother. Do not blame yourself; the devil will try to use this guilt to tear you down. I think you should talk to the Lord about Bear. Love and Prayers, Thomas 5/17/02 Praise God! The Vet just confirmed what the Holy Spirit had already told me about Bear's death. It seemed logical to me that the spray would not have caused his death, but perhaps the expected side effects (such as vomiting, or diarrhea) when one has been exposed to some kind of pesticide. I hope that you found closure, and the burden of guilt lifted.


Graylen Sorry to hear about your loss. Isn't it amazing how our pets become family members....Bear was lucky to have you as his owner...and that you have so many fun memories the cat we have. Lester...we have had since Lexi was 9..I can't imagine not having him around.. Georgia


Dear Todd, Thanks for your E-Mail. Animals are perhaps our best friends in this world. It is a pity that we do have to lose them so soon. I wipe your tears for the loss of beloved Bear. Kisses, Andre. andrevz@mweb.co.za


Hey Mr. Graham I am so deeply sorry about Bear, I remember a lot great things that you said d about Bear last year. I know what you are going through 8 months ago my 7 year old Tea cup poodle, Killer, died. He was killed by my next door neighbors "pet" wolf. The incident occurred while I was out school and my dad had taken Killer outside for just a few minutes, when the wolf ran out of my neighbors driveway and for no reason attacked my dear dog on my own driveway. Killer only weighed 4 lb., as you can see he was very small, and would not of been able to survive. The wolf had punctured his lungs when he bit him. Killer was not only my Very best friend but he was also my mentor, whenever I had a bad day I would always hold Killer and he would make everything all right. You are probably wondering why his name was Killer, well when he was 6 weeks old he would bark at the bigger dogs and he thought that he was very tough, so I knew Killer was the perfect name for him. I know that Killer's death was something that was meant by God, and was a horrible tragedy but since his death I have been blessed with a darling Siberian Husky. His name is Keiko Dakota and he is black and white with turquoise blue eyes. He has helped me through Killer's death and has made my life easier, thank you for listening to my story. Kristy Pinkston ( Milton high school )


Letter from Long time Friend J. Robert Baker Dear Todd, I've been down at my parents' house for Mother's Day and only just got back. I am so sorry to hear about Bear. I know you must feel his loss quite deeply. Still, I hope that you won't be torturing yourself about whether or not you contributed to his death. Cats--male cats especially--have such tricky systems. Bear probably got out from under the sofa before any of the Raid got to him, and I don't think the vet would have given him an allergy shot or a dose of Revolution if there were any sign of his being ill. It's more likely that something in his delicate system gave way. Cats, like all of us, have a time to go--and they know it better than us. Please do not kick yourself for being sad about Bear's death. We do get attached to our pets--and the depth of your grief about Bear is a signal of the depth of the love you are capable of giving to others--men, women, children, and animals. Count yourself lucky that you have this affliction of sorrow and not the terrible tragedy of a stoney hear, my dear friend. You'll remember that it took me months to recover from Munchie's death ten years ago last March. Give yourself time to mourn a pet dearly loved, one who gave you much pleasure and who was a good companion. You and he are both worth it. Know that you are much in my thoughts in your sadness. Love, Robert


Letter from Long time Friend Rev. Greg Davis
Hi Todd, When people or friends who we love die, we all deal with death in certain manners. Part of that manner, is a swinging range of emotion. That emotion runs from sadness, anger, guilt, and fondness or affection. What you are feeling is a natural part of the grief process. It is the pain associated with loving and being loved by someone or something. Your love for your cat is grieving the loss. Your feeling of guilt at contributing to its end, is neither unusual nor necessarily silly. What I suggest is the following: 1) Put your mind at ease. Your vet is a skilled professional. If the cat had liver damage, it can take its life rather quickly. Your spraying may have affected it temporarily, but more than likely the liver damage would substantially affect its life faster than limited amount of exposure to toxins in the spray. 2) Continue to take time to pray. God has designed prayer to be beneficial to your soul - mind, will, and emotions. In prayer, the Holy Ghost will provide the comfort and joy you need to put this event in proper perspective. 3) Recognize the grief and let it take its natural course. Eventually, you want to celebrate the joy of relationship you had. Each of life's events add to that, so don't be feeling out of the loop--because you have a loss. This cat was like a child to you, and it hurts to lose anyone or anything that one loves. 4) Finally, this experience adds depth to your life. A greater compassion for others who will go through the same experience, A greater sense of appreciation for the animals you still have, and broader understanding of priorities of living. God gave us the capacity to love and be loved in return. Love is one of God's gifts. It is the dimension of God in us. I hope this helps. Greg


Letter from Long time Friend Dr. Thadious Davis Dear Todd, I am in New York City at the Center for Scholars and Writers. I arrived with my two cats on Sept. 6 for my first day at the Center on Sept. 11. The rest is history. But I wanted to let you know that I lost both of my cats this year: one on Nov. 27 and the other on Dec. 21. The first was my most favoite cat ever; he experienced severe stress on his system after 9/11, and he failed the week after Thanksgiving. That was a shock because the other cat, the youngster, had been diagosed with an untreatable cancer in the summer and given six months. (She was a Sealpoint Ragdoll, so I really related to your loss of Bear.) This has been a season of loss for me, but the year has also taught me to count my blessings and to look to the future. I am catless for the first time in my adult life, and it is a very lonely feeling. Take care and be well. Love, Thadious


Letter from Long time my younger brother Darrin P. Graham
Todd I really don't think that spraying for bugs had anything to do with the death of Bear. Sometimes things just happen because It just should be. We can never explain the plan, it's out of our hands, and He don't make mistakes. In saying that be easy on yourself, it ate me up inside when poco died. Did I not recognized that she was severely sick, Did I take her to the wrong vet at first (who mis-diagnosed her). Was I to slow. but it was really just ment to be. Love your brother.


A letter from a Long Time Friend and Brother Brian Harris Todd, I'm not a vet, but I can assure you that you DID NOT cause the death of Bear!! You must get this out of your mind. If youthink that you are the cause of his death, then what other death are you the cause of? Your grandmother's? No!!! Please stop beating yourself up! You LOVED Bear! Bear knows this! Shit happens for reasons that we don't understand, so in order to look for answers, we tend to blame ourselves. By blaming ourselves, we are more apt to stay in mourning and think that we did something horrible to our love ones. In this case, as with your grandmother's death, this was all part of the Master's plan. Now, you must take this, accept this, and realize that you are surrounded with love ones who truly care about you. Your feelings are crushed, as only I can imagine, but in time you will know that you cared for bear and your grandmother in the best manner by which GOD had given you. Todd, I know that you are a religious man, and that you believe in GOd and the work that he's capable of doing. I want you to pray to God and ask him to help you get through this. It's not your fault. I do believe that had Bear died of poisoning, the Vet would have said so. Remember one thing, God is there for you and so am I. I just wished that I was alot closer to be there physically for you!! Your friend, Brian Much love, and stop beating up on my friend!!!!


I have two out of my three Siamese cats Left. Their names are Linton, Heathcliff. I was teaching Emily Bronteís Weathering Heights when I brought Linton and Heathcliff and named them after the characters. I found it very interesting that their personalities are so much like their namesakes. Their birthday is on ďApril Fools Day.Ē I was told that Heathcliff was a boy but I discovered shortly afterwards that he was a she. So I changed her name to Miss Heathcliff. She is my guardian angel. At home, she is always around keeping an eye on me. I am always telling her how touched I am that she loves her daddy so much. Bearís was born a March 21. He was twice as big as the other kittens in the litter. So I named him Bear after his grandfather. After seeing how big he has gotten, I should have named him Grizzly. My mom says that out of the three cats, I spoil Linton the most. Linton is the cat I call my first born.

When I die, everything will be his.