This week my wife and I learned that our cat Lily has cancer on her kidney and on her intestine. The veterinarian told us she as about 1 month to live. Bummer!
My wife is having an especially hard time knowing that Lily’s end is near. It’s sad to think of her not being around soon. I’m amazed at the impact a cat or dog can have in the life of its owners. They very quickly become so significant, so important, and so loved, which makes it so painful when they leave us.
The sadness and pain we feel over the loss of a pet is evidence that we loved them, and that they brought something positive to our lives while they were with us. When compared to the joy we receive while they’re with us, the pain of losing them is relatively miniscule, but it still hurts.
It would be easy to avoid that pain, by ether never having a pet, or by not loving or becoming attached to them. I don’t think either of those are very good options, at least for me. Had we thought this way about Lily, my wife and I would have missed out on so much joy that we experienced with her. I’m glad we didn’t miss it.
What I’ve been reminded of this week is that loving a pet, and even a person, comes with a price. Although that price is sometimes painful, as in the case of loss and separation, it’s worth it.
For my wife and me, our plan is to love Lily up during her final weeks and send her out well loved and well-remembered. I know that saying good-bye to her will be painful… but it will have been so worth it.