Our son called last night to tell us about the death of their dog. Maxey was a family member for 18 years, and the loss of that precious cocker spaniel is just about the most heart-breaking thing anyone can experience.
The loss of any loved one is devastating. When it's the lovable animal who gave her whole unquestioned devotion and unconditonal love, it tears the heart to ribbons.
Maxey had been on 'borrowed time' for two years, our son said, with many health problems, which our son and daughter-in-law ministered to with incomparable dedication.
There are no words to made them feel any better, but as I said on the phone, "it's all right to grieve; it's all right to cry, to be angry and to wonder why." Grieving is hard, but - as with the loss of a parent or other loved one - it's necessary.
Two other family members have had similar losses in the past few months with Bonnie and Mocha. Each time, their lovable dogs were an integral part of the family for a long time. Each time, the immediate loss was a shock and their grief was tangible.
As a parent, it's almost impossible to know how to console an adult child who suffers a loss like this. I can only pray that their memories will serve as solace over time.