Máthair Chúnna Faoil
"... and when I run out of fortitude I will pretend I have it."
I have had many of you contact me asking what you can do for her family during this time. My understanding is they have a support system through Mark’s church, and they have been helping with prepared dishes and chores when needed. I will double check this with Mark just to make sure.
Before Heather passed, we talked about how she would want our community to remember her and celebrate her life. I have also spoken about this with Mark. Heather’s greatest worry was always the older, chronically ill and hard to place hounds turned over to rescue. In the past, Heather and I have often discussed setting up a fund for these hounds, but with many other projects taking our time, this never came to fruition. Our community is going to change that; we are going to make them a priority starting TODAY.
We have had multiple older hounds with chronic health issues who have entered our rescue. These hounds are often hard to place. Potential owners are concerned with the costs affiliated with the care of an older hound as it continues to age; this a very valid concern. Many may not be aware, but Heather often adopted these hounds herself, caring for them and providing for their medical needs. Deaglan and Maddigan were two such hounds. They came to us underweight, with urgent medical needs and needing love and a soft place to land. Mark and Heather gave them the care they needed and the love they craved. They lived out the balance of their lives in a way that all hounds deserve.
In honor of Heather IWAMS and IWRMS have set up a fund to cover the medical expenses for these at risk and potentially unadoptable hounds. It will be named the Heather Burns Memorial Fund for Veteran Hounds. It will apply to any unadoptable veteran hound entering rescue. We will work out the details and I will get them to you as soon as I can. We have members willing to provide foster homes, care and love, despite the heartache that can come in loving an older hound. What we lack is a designated fund to keep these hounds in permanent foster, while still supporting the balance of our rescues. In this way we honor Heather with something that spoke directly to her heart. Please consider donating, in Heather's name, to the care for our veteran hounds in lieu of flowers or gifts.
When you make your donation, consider sending a note to Mark and take the time to share with him your stories of Heather. If you want to send him a card of condolence, send it to me and I will ensure he gets all communications from our community. My address is below.
Donations can be sent using the below link:
Heather was the "Mom" to many of our members. She was someone to call if you were worried, or just to vent, and she leaves a huge hole in our hearts. I spoke with her almost every day and I cannot begin to describe how much I will miss her; and I know many of you feel the same.
I will be taking over rescue, as well as Heather’s other duties in the interim, but I will need your help. I know in the past many of you have offered your help; please reach out if you are still interested. I cannot do this alone.
Heather always hated having her picture taken, preferring to be on the backside of the lens. As I went through the last several years of our pictures on Facebook looking for her beautiful face, it struck me what an engaging and interactive community we have grown to be. I know Heather was a big part of that, and she will want you to continue, and to strive for an even deeper connection. You should be proud of what we have created. Heather would want us to share stories and laugh, not cry. She would want us to smile, not be sad. She would want us to share hope, not regrets.
Heather was a force of nature, and words cannot describe how much she will be missed.
Until we meet again my Irish Viking Warrioress.
Irish Wolfhound Association of the Mid South
Irish Wolfhound Rescue of the Mid South
2232 Old Reedy Creek Rd.
Cary, NC 27513
By now most of you will know of Heather’s passing. She fought hard to stay with us, with her husband Mark, and with her beloved hounds. But as her battle continued, her body and soul tired. Each of us must go home when we are called, and Heather would have stayed with us if she could. The sadness and loss we feel is immeasurable. As I write this, I hope we can all choose to remember the quality and fabric of her life. She wanted each of you to feel included in our community. She wanted you to feel supported, accepted and loved. Our lives are filled with daily strife and ambiguity as they have never been before. Heather’s life was an example of caring and community. We can honor her memory best by taking time to laugh, love and connect with each other. Take time to grieve, and then take time to share stories and laugh.
Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are.
Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you.
For an interval.
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.
Nothing is past; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before only better, infinitely happier and forever we will all be one together.