I’m sure all readers will relate to a situation like the one my friend and I faced recently.
I refer to a quote from a beautiful film called Shadowlands starring Anthony Hopkins who played the part of a mature Oxford Don and author, CS Lewis.
In the film, Lewis fell in love with an American poet.
They married and everything was fine until his new wife was diagnosed with cancer and, after devoted care, she died.
Lewis felt his faith was being challenged.
He then asked the question: “Why love if losing hurts so much?”
Last week my friend and I could have asked the same question as one of her four cats lost the use of its back legs.
Ginge was quite elderly and had had treatment for cancer in the past.
Sadly, the cancer had returned so, tearfully, a decision was made to peacefully end any additional suffering and distress.
It was, undoubtedly, the right decision, but naturally very upsetting – especially for my friend.
The feeling of loss and separation was indescribable but thoughts had to be given to her other cats waiting at home.
Many of us have been there haven’t we?
I have, several times.
Nothing can prepare you for such a loss and with pets it always seems different, if not harder.
The void is very different to that of losing a human, however close that human may be.
Tennyson’s words that “tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”, embrace a large element of truth.
Since losing Ginge, while giving the other three extra cuddles, we fondly remembered some of the antics Ginge used to get up to and the pleasure he gave.
We also thought hard about the last part of Lewis’s quote: “We love to know that we are not alone.”