Tuesday, July 14, 2009

In the Midst of Life

...we are in death, so the saying goes. That phrase has been in my head for the past several days, as I prepared for Carly's death. Last Saturday afternoon, I made the appointment to take her in on Monday night after a long chat on the phone with the vet about the options. She was very compassionate and helpful and once the decision was made and the appointment booked, I felt good about it, knowing it was the right thing to do. But I was also glad to have the time to prepare myself (as much as one can) and say goodbye to her.

Unfortunately, life doesn't always work out that way. When I went in to work yesterday morning, I was shocked to hear that the 15 year old nephew of a work colleague (who is also a good friend) had drowned on the weekend. What a horrible tragedy for a family to endure!! As devastating as my own loss feels right now, it simply doesn't compare to theirs.

I keep thinking of the irony that my cat lived a longer life than this poor boy. I am saddened at the thought of all the joys and challenges of life he won't have the chance to experience. Still, I'm sure his parents wouldn't trade a minute of the time they had with him, as much as they might desperately wish to have had more.

When we choose to become a pet parent, we do so with the knowledge that we will probably outlive that pet. Overall, their lifespans tend to be relatively short and depending on their lifestyle, they might be exposed to a lot of hazards that might prove to be their undoing. But giving birth to a child is different. You never expect to live longer than that child and I'm sure any parent would gladly sacrifice their own life to ensure their child lived on healthy and safe and happy.

My heart goes out to this family. Losing someone we love always leaves a hole in your heart that never quite heals but to lose a child under such tragic circumstances seems even worse. I pray they will be able to come to some sort of peace with this loss in time, and will be comforted by their memories of the time they did have together.

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