I was talking to the lady who does my lashes a few months ago, and the topic rolled around to pets. Phred the Cat seems to be holding steady, but cancer IS going to take her from me. 

I am honestly thrilled and perplexed as to how she is doing so well, but I'm not looking that particular gift horse in the mouth...I'm just snuggling and loving and scooping poops for as long as I can. And it is my great privilege to do so. 

Anyway, I asked her if she had any pets and she told me, "No, I can't stand it when they die." 

I thought about that. It IS awful and hard, but even now, I'm relishing what precious time I have with my baby girl. 

She curls up against my neck and purrs at night. She squawks at me when she wants a fresh bowl of food. She perches in her window to look down on her universe, and absorbs Phred super-powers from the sun. She winds herself around my ankles as I try to get ready for work. 

Her tiny, warm furry body and her wee meow give my heart light and hope. Phred, and her unconditional love, has blunted my pain through the worst of my divorce and life without her will be a little...less. 

But I will be a little...more, for having known her. I will have known more love. I will have loved better. I will have loved fully and completely and without reservation.

And when she dies I will feel her loss acutely. 

Grief stays with us. It changes us. Bereavement makes us see life as the gift that it is, though at your darkest moment you may not realize it. 

When my grandmother died, part of ME died. You probably have felt the same, after you lost someone dear to you. That echoing, empty place in your soul gets a little darker and more hollow. Deeper. And while time blunts the most acute pain, it doesn't go away. Ever. 

If you have had the dubious pleasure of going through a divorce, you, too have felt the howling loss, anger and devastation that go along with it. If you had children involved, it is likely even worse. 

In love, and loss, the warp and weft of our tapestry gets frayed. Some of our strings get pulled and  the colors bleed. We become thin and worn in spots. That grief gets woven into our lives and reminds us we have lived. We have loved. We have lost. 

A brand new tapestry is certainly vibrant and pretty...but far less interesting, and far more cold, in it's perfection.

With our war-wounds on full display, our imperfections become beautiful for our willingness to show them to the world. We love again. Each loss makes our live deeper and more complete. We are better lovers, those of us who know and embrace loss. 

 Photo taken by Remi Jouan, Wikicommons