It’s been a tough afternoon, and all of the post ideas I had floating around in my mind seem flat and unimportant. Ironic, because to most people the death of a pet sounds flat and unimportant.
But here in the four walls of our universe, it’s our own small tragedy. We got him for Christmas, so we’ve had him for almost eight months. We watched him grow from a tiny fluff ball into a big fluff ball. We loved it when he did a “binky”—a random, springy jump that is a rabbit expression of joy.
Last night he was fine. This morning he was sick. This afternoon he died.
The kids are teary, becoming raw with the question “why?” It’s their first time through the valley of the shadow. The idea that sometimes there is no “why” feels like a hollow outrage and hurts almost as much as the loss itself.
I’m feeling jarred by the image of our little pet being laid into the dirt—the familiar fur looking strange on the stiff, unanimated body. The empty corner in the kitchen has left a dull sort of awe at the fragility of life and an almost panic at the thought of losing more than a pet.
I know that we will all heal, that in a few weeks (or months) the memory of our pet will be happy. But tonight, when our hearts are sore and void in a space that didn’t even exist eight months ago, I wonder about that old cliché that it’s better to have loved and lost than never have loved at all.
I really do.