Life is on loan for a short while. It’s a gift. It’s uncertain. It is made up of so many different pieces- times, circumstances, events, people, animals, and places all woven together to make the individual story.
complicated purposes and work! There is something about a “long life” and story that make the loss of it more bearable. A fulfilled potential- a life lived up to its expectation.
In our work, there is the unfortunate reality of life on loan for an extra short while. A miscarriage, a stillborn, a puppy, a kitten, a five-year-old- these unfair traumas of not long enough. But then there’s the 11-year-old, the 17-year-old… the grief only compounded because of all the years cherished together, and yet it still was not long enough. In C.S.Lewis’ A Grief Observed, he states, “The death of a beloved is an amputation” and “…it’s difficult to accept the fact that there is nothing we can do with suffering except to suffer it.” There’s a deep sorrow of losing these all-too-short animal lives that surprises many.
Why do our animals have such a short time? I wish I knew…But, profoundly, they hold a piece of our story- our lives are marked by location, time, and relationships- the “gotcha day,” the “goodbye date,” and the “in-betweens.” If we are honest with ourselves, if life goes how it “should,” we will outlive our furry friends. A reality that I don’t understand as they just seem to live and love better than we do- but perhaps that’s just it- they’ve fulfilled their purpose faster and therefore are not long for this world.