I dropped off a loaf of freshly-baked bread, along with a sympathy card, for my friends Karen and Dan, who lost their dear cat Fuzzy last week. Fuzzy, like Calvin, had kidney disease. While I was at their house, they gave me all of Fuzzy's renal food.
It was one of those bittersweet moments. I didn't really know what to say, apart from, "Thank you." Their hearts were breaking, and I felt a little guilty, as if I were benefitting from their cat's death. They assured me that it was actually helping them to give Fuzzy's food to Calvin; they felt better knowing that her things would help keep another cat with the same awful disease alive. And yet, my steps felt heavy as I left their house, carrying the very nourishment that once helped sustain the life of their beloved pet. I was grateful for my own boy, but sad in their loss.
And this, I guess, is the reality of life. The loss of one now goes to help sustain the life of another. Calvin can't be grateful for Fuzzy's gift; he's too caught up in his own feline anger over the loss of his former diet. But as his owner, his "mama," I'm so very thankful for my friends who can be giving, even in their moments of deepest grief.