Everyone knew except her.
Tell tale signs that tears had trickled there.
“Everyone must think I’m foolish,” she imagined as she prepared her makeup for the day. It was easy to alter the appearance of her face – far easier than the condition of her heart.
How could she expect anyone else to understand the intensity of her feelings? Wasn’t this depth of grief reserved only for the death of a family member? She was just a companion.
But who else so patiently listened to her roll out the bitter disappointment and hurt? In the worst season of her life, simply talking to her at least made things tolerable.
No judgment. No advice. No rejection. She just wagged her tail as if inviting more.
Now she was gone. Cancer. I hate cancer.
Two of the most wonderful Goldens in the world had died of the same cancer at the same young age. Holding the first as her body went cold gutted her. She couldn’t bear to be that close when the second one breathed her last. There couldn’t be a third victim.
“Do you think she was suffering?” The vet’s response, framed in such a way as to not inflict further guilt, failed. That hurt even worse – now knowing she was in severe pain and nothing was done about it. There was never even a whimper.
She never let on anything was amiss all the while she was dying.
“Did she absorb my pain? Could I have made her sick? Did she carry my sorrow?”
Her mind was a jumble of thoughts, which is why she must have chosen the wrong mascara for the moment.
The thin black streaks on her face told the story for all to see. Her heart was in the streaks.
There were no words necessary to explain her appearance. No one asked.
Hugs were all that was needed.
They said it all.
This piece of creative writing is based on my wife Jocelyn’s experience with the loss of her beloved Goldens – Tammy, Sprite and Silver. Have you had a beloved pet pass away? Can you relate to this post?
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Dogs. They see through us. And they see us through. We could take a lesson from them on how to listen. And how to miss them when they go.
I can certainly relate to this post. I lost my Archie, a 13 year old cockapoo, last year just before Easter. I was so devastated and still am. I’m still looking for him around the house and very much miss all the things we did together. He was my best buddy.
Archie was healthy all of his life. Then towards the end he got very sick really fast. He had jaundice and we believe liver cancer. He was not going to get better. We had to help him not to suffer anymore. One of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make. In a short time he was gone.
I miss him every single day and keep telling myself to remember him with joy. It’s surprising to me that I still miss him so much and more so than other people I’ve lost. Archie left his pawprints on my heart forever.
Our dogs love us unconditionally, they don’t judge us for what we wear, who our friends are or what kind of car we drive. Christ’s love is unconditional too. Maybe a lesson here for us. My bichon cooker, Bosco, was with us 14 years and then left quickly from a seizure. No matter how upsetting your work day was, he cuddled and wagged that tail and most concerns dissolved away. Three years now and I do miss him, but love the memories he left on my heart with his paws.
I lost my beloved Takoda on June 13, 2016 and it was devastating! She was only 7.5 years old. She was my world. We did everything and went pretty much everywhere together!
They aren’t simply pets, they are family! The loss is is huge and heavy.
I held Takoda in my arms as she breathed her last and even though it was incredibly hard, I’m glad that I was there with her!
I can relate. My best friend when I was 7yr old was my black lab named Blackie. He died one morning when she was put in the backyard for her morning business. Someone had thrown a pattie with striknine poison in it. She had eaten it and died instantly. I cried for many years. I still have a picture of her.
We had to say good bye to our Frankie boy just before Christmas. We got him as a two year old failed racer (greyhound) He was the sweetest dog we’ve ever had and will hold a special place in our hearts forever.
We’re very close to saying goodbye to my 14 year old Labrador , Griffin. He’s been such a faithful companion, full of love for everyone, taught us all about love. He’s struggling these days. I actually don’t how I’m going to do life without him. Man, I love this dog.
Growing up as a child I had two dogs, Fanny and Mugs. They were Pekingese dogs, known for resembling lions,; however, besides their appearance, Fanny and Mugs did not resemble lions as they were sweet as could be. Living in a small town near a trailer court , I was not the only one with a dog. Nearby lived a large Husky, and I recall how it would get too close to little Fanny. One day, in front of my very eyes, the huge and merciless husky picked up Fanny and with a few shakes, she was gone. My cute, dear little dog lay before me in the snow, gone, just like that! I was terrified and felt so helpless as I could do nothing to help her. Soon after, my Dad noticed how much I missed Fanny and brought home another Pekingese, named Mugs. I was so thrilled to have a new dog but this excitement did not last for long as Mugs got a serious illness. At that point, my uncle made a decision to put Mugs down. It took me years to forgive my uncle for this, though it had to be done for poor Mugs. Even though it has been years, when I see Pekingese dogs, I think of Fanny and Mugs. My little “lion dogs” will always have a place in my heart.