It is difficult to lose loved ones, whether they be humans or furry companions. I lost my beautiful Fergie two days ago. I just realized that her name includes the letters in the word grief. She gave me so much love and comfort during our six and a half years together. 

I remember finding her at Bishop Animal Shelter where she “chose” me by rubbing up against my back. She was so beautiful that I almost felt guilty adopting her. I didn’t want to be prejudiced against the less lovely cats who shared her cage. However, she soon showed me her inner qualities were just as beautiful and I knew she was the one.

Fergie was special. She was friendly to everyone and so gentle. Everyone who came into contact with her commented on her sweetness. Yet, she eventually became very sick and I knew her time with me was coming to an end. I gazed at her, trying to memorize every detail of her appearance. Once recently we stared into each other’s eyes for what seemed like forever. 

Making the decision to let her go was excruciating, but I didn’t want her to suffer and I could tell she was dying. I came home from work early that day so I could spend as much time with her as possible. However, she kept hiding and I knew she needed to be alone.

Although I hadn’t cried in a long time, as I held her in my arms at the vet’s office, my tears flowed like a river. Waves of grief washed over me and I kept telling Fergie how much I loved her. Afterwards, I felt spent and sadly left for home.

At home that night it was so quiet. Fergie was a talker. The house seemed empty despite the presence of my fiance and our dog, Ace. As I rested on the couch in the stillness, I suddenly heard a cat’s meow. I looked outside to see if there was a stray cat around, but found none. I felt comforted that it could be Fergie’s spirit letting me know she’s still with me.

Despite the pain, grief can feel like a healing release, leaving us with a calm sense of peace. Let’s thank God for love-filled memories and for the Gift of Grief on the Journey.