Juxtaposing comments by Bel Mooney

Let me just start by saying that over here in the UK Bel Mooney is an Agony Aunt for the Daily Mail newspaper. She has a weekly column in the paper helping others with the problems of their lives. I have rarely read it (unless I think the subject matter useful or relevant in some way).

Now, I am not going to sit in judgement on this woman – only God knows her true heart. It’s just hard to feel that there isn’t a huge gap in her thinking here. Let me start with her article about her darling dead dog. I know what it’s like to lose an elderly dog – my goodness it’s painful, but, well read on:

Anyone who has felt the devastating loss of a beloved pet will understand the aching void it leaves.

Here, off the top of my head, is a list of things I miss since I lost my beautiful Maltese dog Bonnie last year: my friend; playmate; counsellor; anti-depressant; admirer; confessor; baby; thing of beauty; grateful recipient of devotion.[…]

Every single night I stretched out my right arm to the space where she had always slept on our bed and felt about with my fingers, letting my hand hover about four inches from the duvet — exactly where she would have been — bouncing them on emptiness, concentrating hard, as if that would let me feel silky dog hair.

This was all done with no sound, hardly a breath, because I did not want my husband to know. I mean, reaching out for our dog in the darkness? Really? Talking to her inside my head and willing her furry self to be there?

No, admitting such a thing makes a person look utterly pathetic. Just like secreting one of her collars (a turquoise one decorated with silver conchos that I bought in New Mexico) under my pillow every night. You do not have to tell me. […]

When you reach out to living creatures with a full heart, they say, miracles can happen. And so it proved with what happened next.

Bonnie used to sleep on top of the duvet, pressed up behind me against the curve of my legs. That was her place. Now, as I watched the horses, I felt her there. A sudden pressure, almost a shove against me.

The room seemed to hold its breath. The silence roared as I felt that little push again. Bonnie was nudging me, telling me that she was there.

I spoke aloud. ‘Bonnie? . . . ’ The silence enfolded us.

‘I know you’re here, Bonnie,’ I said. She was.

There was no mistaking the feeling of that little animal mass; for 14 years I was accustomed to its insistent heft. Of course, I know some people will reckon a sick woman on anti-biotics will imagine she feels the presence of her dead dog. Poor thing! But recording here what is absolutely true, I rejoice in not caring a mouse’s breath what anybody thinks.[…]

In 2010, I’d set up a Facebook page in Bonnie’s name to help market a series of children’s books I’d written about her.

Now, in the cold black morning, I quickly called it up and bashed out these words: ‘This is Bonnie’s spirit writing with ethereal paws. I woke Bel from her sleep to make her realise she had to make a Christmas donation to Happy Landings animal shelter.

‘They do wonderful work and that’s why she is a patron. So I’m watching her at her desk now, just after 4.30am, writing a cheque in a card to the team, led by Lyn, and the assorted creatures they care for so well.’ […]

My husband digs a small hole at the base of each one, and I start to divide Bonnie’s ashes between them.

And it feels to me — as we both carry out our quiet tasks in the May sunshine, that all the loves and the losses in my life have become one, intermingling and fusing for ever.

As I reach the last rose, immediately in front of the summerhouse where Bonnie and I used to sit and read and snooze, a sudden impulse makes me moisten a finger, dip it in the ashes, and place those last atoms of my pet on my tongue.

Surprised and moved, Robin follows suit, and then I tip the last ashes into the roots of the last rose. This feels fitting. At her end, she tasted my tears; now I receive her back into myself and make it a beginning. (source)

Alright – that’s enough! What did I just read, you may be thinking – believe me those are only a small selection of the incidents in the article which make clear to this audience that Bel Mooney is, well, devoted (and I think that’s the correct word, biblically) to her dead pet. You really should read the full thing to appreciate the New Age claptrap in all it’s glory – and, again, I don’t blame Bel for this – these same emotionalism/spiritualism-themed articles appear all over the place all the time, encouraging this kind of viewpoint (and opening doors for active demons).

Now for her comments on her abortion. Yes, you read that right.

Obvious Child tells the truth about abortion and that’s something few women would shout openly and which pro-life groups would rather suppress.

For the fact is that for many people who have had one, including myself, an abortion is no big deal.[…]

I can honestly say I’ve never felt sad about having a very early termination at the end of 1980. My son was born in 1974, smaller than average and treated in special care. Then in 1975 I endured 16 hours of labour delivering a stillborn son at full term.

In January 1980, I had my daughter prematurely by caesarean section, contracted a dangerous infection and heard a succession of bleak warnings from doctors about my baby’s health.

The prognosis was uncertain and the future looked frightening and exhausting in equal measure – though at the time I had no way of predicting just how hard it would be.

That’s why, 11 months after my daughter’s birth and pregnant again at the age of 34, I was so relieved to hear my new GP tell me: ‘If you were my daughter, I would counsel a termination.'[…]

Like Donna in the film, I was thoughtful, but determined about having an abortion.

And from that day until this, I have never experienced a moment of regret about that decision. For the sake of my health and in order to care for my sick child, it was the right thing to do. (source)

As a dog lover, I understand her pain over her loss of her pet (who by the way had lived a full life into an old age). But to speak only days later in the same paper of her abortion and say it was no big deal – you see why I feel I have to juxtapose these two viewponts and suggest that these show a worrying trend in our media; that they display some pretty *ucked up priorities? Is it just me?

I was never blessed with children. I never had the opportunity to be a Mum, yet I cannot imagine for a moment being glib about an abortion, and yet encouraging excessive (and spiritually dangerous) mawkishness over a pet.

Thoughts please?

God Bless you