We had to put our dog to sleep today which, as my son pointed out, is just a nice way of saying she died. She was old and sick and quickly losing control over bodily functions, and it was time.
As I write this, Tilly is not sitting at my feet under my desk. Taking a walk seems pretty pointless. And I don’t know who will be my silent sounding board for my writing ideas. She never interrupted. Never criticized my ideas. Just listened patiently, occasionally offering a sigh of contemplation.
We are very sad. I am sad about Tilly, our sweet, old dog, and I’m sad as I watch my children carry their sadness. I cannot shield them from such sadness, and I cannot make it better, for death, even when it’s “just an animal” is just… plain… sad.
Today our family gathered by Tilly’s gravesite behind our house. We placed stones of remembrance, sprinkled the earth with flowers, and I read a very simple poem I penned:
Death is a hollow void,
Where something used to be.
A heavy stone of emptiness that yearns to be set free.
Death is an earthly thing,
Falls on anything with breath.
People, plants, and seasons, and our beloved pets.
Death is not what was meant to be,
When God created life.
But time on earth is but a moment, a step toward paradise.
Death has been defeated,
Someday it will be no more.
For when our Lord died in our place, he rose– the veil was torn.
Life is what is eternal,
Our souls were made to thrive.
Heaven is our tearless home, when what is dead will rise.
We will miss you Tilly, our sweet, smiling, always-underfoot dog. Thank you for being so good with our kids. We are grateful you were a part of our lives.