By Robert (Bob) W. Jones

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.

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 wouldn’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? Did I make 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?

About this Contributor:

Robert (Bob) W. Jones is a recovering perfectionist, who collects Coca-Cola memorabilia and drinks Iced Tea. His office walls are adorned with his sons’ framed football jerseys, and his library shelves, with soul food. He has served as a pastor for 36 years and has enjoyed the past 26 years in leadership at North Pointe Community Church in Edmonton, Alberta.
Connect with Bob:
North Pointe Blog

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