Recently my husband and I flew across the country to celebrate an early holiday with family. We chose to go at the beginning of December to avoid peak holiday travel and inclement weather. With great anticipation we stepped off the plane and texted our son to meet us in front of baggage claim. Minutes later he pulled up, hugged us, put the luggage in the trunk and adjusted himself behind the wheel as we secured our seatbelts.
As we pulled out of the airport he turned and said, “You couldn’t have picked a worse time to visit.” Startled, I caught my breath. Then he explained that Lucy, the family cat, was dying and that our grandkids, 12 and 14 as well as our daughter-in-law were in tears not wanting Lucy to die and not wanting her to suffer.
We were met at the door with watery eyes, tissues in hand and sweet Lucy cradled in their arms laboring to breathe and weighing just half of her original 8 pounds. We listened to the heartbreak of possible loss and what the options were while cuddling their beloved kitty. Slowly everyone came to the agonizing decision, and all four of them drove Lucy to the veterinarian’s office at eleven o’clock that night to say goodbye.
Our grandkids stayed home from school the next day. We talked, hugged, and cried together. It reminded me that my most tender and warm hugs as a child came from my grandparents. Sharing pivotal and emotional moments with loved ones is a gift. It’s comforting for the bereaved and an honor to be a trusted witness.
Little Lucy provided an opportunity to share what we loved about her and express our unguarded emotions. I loved the tenderness and compassion my grandkids shared and saw it beautifully modeled in their parents. What a legacy.
Death is a paradox. It is the loss of someone you love and the opportunity to forge deeper relationships with those who remain and to appreciate life. The worst time for a visit turned out to be the best time. Thanks Lucy, miss you ❤️