The Hardest Thing
The heavens are a little brighter tonight, but here on earth someone's heart is broken. A good friend of mine had a beloved old tomcat that got sick and had to be put down today. She'd had him since he was a tiny kitten she fed with a bottle to keep him alive. If you've had animals in your life that you've loved, I don't have to tell you about the hurt she's feeling tonight. The sad fact is, most of us will outlive our pets... a blessing to them, but certain heartache for us. It is rare, by the time someone reaches adulthood, that they haven't wept tears over at least one pet they've had to tell goodbye. If you're older, it's likely been more than one, but each one just as loved and missed, whether their time with you was short or long, and their passing sudden or expected.
We've heard some people say "they're just animals, not children", but for many of us that's simply not true. They ARE our furry children, loved and treasured members of the family, each with their own personalities, their own facial expressions, and their own unique way of doing things. One by one they've carved our places in our hearts, and to suddenly have them gone leaves a gaping hole in our lives that only time can heal.
A hug and "I'm sorry" seem such small comfort for someone who has suffered such a loss. All we can say is "I understand", and note the good life and love this treasured furchild was blessed to have. It doesn't take away the sting, but it is a comfort to know that friends and loved ones acknowledge the place this special animal had in your life.
After a time for mourning, I believe that the very finest way to honor the memory of a beloved pet who has gone to the spirit world, is to share the love that was once bestowed on them with another animal rescued or adopted from a shelter, one to whom a new home and a new family would mean everything.
Love.... be it of family, friends, or furkids... it's the gift that keeps on giving. Life and death are the natural order of things; but love transcends death... love is forever!