I was determined to leave resistance at home and serve with a new level of grace. I was willing to be called and chosen, shaken and stirred, in whatever way would be most helpful.
That’s why on Saturday morning, when I was summoned to help prepare a feast for 50-plus people, I said “yes.” I went to the kitchen, found a sharp knife, and stood before a mountain of broccoli. It was mine. I was going to scale it like a German Tank. I would conquer the broccoli and have something to show for my effort. Tangible results. Evidence.
I picked up broccoli stalk number one and cut it into bite-sized florets. I peeled the woody stalk like Nikki taught me.
My colleagues who know about Pet Grief said “Get a paw print from Stella before she dies.”
Determined to honor her passing exactly right, I vowed “I will get that footprint.”
So in the midst of inconclusive vet visits and internet searches for horrifying dog illnesses, I staggered over to Michaels to survey their Pet Memorial Products. There I found The Pet Memorial Stepping Stone. The picture on the box indicated you could cement-secure a pristine footprint from your dog and then decorate it with mosaic tiles!
Perfect. I got two.
I came home and mixed the cement. Then the task of convincing stubborn Stella to step in it…
Today is the anniversary of our beloved Stella’s passing. I wrote this shortly after she died. I have shared it with people who have lost pets and other loved ones. People seem to find it comforting. Please feel free to pass it along.
Today, my grief has mostly morphed to gratitude – but I offer this as a tribute and a touchstone for anyone who is struggling with the realities of mortality in our immortal existence.
“It’s time,” I tell Hugh.”
He rises from the computer and strides to my office, where she lies on the blue carpet. She greets him, delighted to see him. She doesn’t get up, but is bright-eyed alert. She thumps her tail and gives her biggest grin.
Hugh says, “Are you sure?”
I shake my head and shudder because just now, I almost killed our dog.
At night she weakens.
I know and Hugh agrees. Tomorrow is the day. Tomorrow is the day I will carry my sweet gift of a girl to the car and drive her to the vet for the last time. Hugh asks if I will come to bed and I say, “No, I will spend this last night glued to Stella.”