September 5th was a horrible day. It was the day I had to say goodbye to my sweet cat, Millie. Millie had shown up on our doorstep, on a cold winter’s night, almost 11 years ago. I was a woman who hated cats and had no desire to ever pet one or certainly would never own one. But Millie showed up, snuck into my house and into my heart.
As you may know, I have been on a journey to understand “grief” since my dad died in 2010. My book, “We Don’t Die” dedicates a very special chapter about grieving. Regardless of my beliefs about life after death, our bodies will still have to grieve and it hurts.
The day my aunt and I put Millie to sleep was also the day I had to do the final proofread of my book, before it went to print. There, in the depths of my own pain, I was quickly lifted to a new, better place – with hope and a knowing that I will see her again. I also knew this was her final gift to me, to know the value of my own words. In just the few weeks that I have had the book, readers have shared how fast their grief was lifted after reading my words.
It has been just over two months and we have gotten rid of every trace of cat paraphernalia. No more cats. Until a couple of days ago. My aunt’s friend had a stray show up on her doorstep. A good kitty, loves to be held and petted and is currently living in a box, outside, under this woman’s porch. She cannot keep the cat, as she already has a house full. Right now, 9:43 am my aunt is on her way to meet this kitty and see if he is a match for us. He’s been nicknamed “Cousin Harry” and, if my aunt likes him, I told her he could live with us.
I am ready to love again.